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A targeted ad campaign leads to mob arrest

Marketplace Staff Jun 23, 2011
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A targeted ad campaign leads to mob arrest

Marketplace Staff Jun 23, 2011
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JEREMY HOBSON: The infamous Boston mob leader who inspired the movie The Departed is in custody this morning — after being arrested last night in Santa Monica, Calif. I’m talking about James Whitey Bulger who has been on the run for 16 years. He was caught just days after the launch of a new TV ad campaign from the FBI.

For more let’s bring in Curt Nickisch. He’s a reporter for station WBUR and he’s with us from Boston. Good morning.

CURT NICKISCH: Good morning.

HOBSON: Well, Curt a lot of people in Boston know who this guy, Bulger, is. But remind us exactly what he’s famous for.

NICKISCH: Well he’s famous for running a crime gang and killing a lot of people. He’s wanted for 19 murders. And has been missing for just about as long — 16 years. Got a tip from an FBI handler that he was going to be arrested and he took off and hasn’t been seen since.

HOBSON: He took off, and then the FBI launches this ad campaign earlier this week looking for him and all of a sudden, they find him.

NICKISCH: Yes. So this ad campaign was actually a little bit different than all the other ones that they’ve done targeting him. They decided to go after his female companion who’s around 60. And they went after her demographic by showing these on shows like ‘The View’ and ‘Ellen’ and ‘Live with Regis and Kelly.’ And you know, a day later after they started airing in 14 markets, they found him.

HOBSON: And how much did this ad campaign cost the FBI?

NICKISCH: $50,000 believe it or not. They must’ve been considered PSAs and not actual commercials on those expensive programs.

HOBSON: Curt Nickisch, reporter at station WBUR. Thank you so much for joining us.

NICKISCH: My pleasure.

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