Just One Station: First look at Whitey Bulger
PLYMOUTH, Mass. -- James “Whitey” Bulger’s trip has left a lasting impression for some people in Plymouth. People who work at the town’s airport got an up-close look at the infamous criminal on Thursday.
“He looked pretty harmless. He doesn’t look like a murderer of any kind, but it was kind of exciting to see,” said Jane Grennell, owner of Plane Jane’s Restaurant at the Plymouth airport.
Grennell watched in awe as Bulger got a ride to Boston on a helicopter.
Patrick Ellis, who is in charge of airport operations at Plymouth Airport, was just feet away from Bulger and good a good look at him.
“An older guy with a white beard with glasses and an orange jumpsuit and cuffs, leg irons, the whole bit,” said Ellis.
The airport was locked down and heavily secured for the transfer.
“I thought it was a big production for 82-year-old gentleman, but I guess for safety’s sake it had to be done,” said Grennell.
Bulger was helped out of the US Coast Guard helicopter by a heavily armed US Marshal. He stooped under the blades of the helicopter as he walked to a waiting US Marshal SUV at Logan Airport on Thursday.
Bulger was shackled and wearing the standard orange jumpsuit. The Coast Guard said the US Marshals service asked for the transportation to and from the Plymouth Airport to Logan Airport, but due to security the Coast Guard could not reveal why they needed a special flight.
The federal agency said the one-hour operation that included manpower, fuel and logistics cost $13,880 per hour. In the helicopter with Bulger were two pilots, an aviation mechanical technician and a federal Marshal.
Video taken by Sky7 showed a rifle-wielding Marshals escorting Bulger to the SUV. At one point, Bulger gave the men a quick thumbs-up.
From Logan Airport, the 81-year-old reputed mobster was rushed to his Federal Court hearings in a caravan of vehicles.
So far, Bulger has traveled in a private jet from Los Angeles to Boston. He has had caravans taking him to and from federal court and Thursday’s two helicopter rides. Before Thursday, Bulger had been transported in an SUV from Plymouth to Boston.
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