Whitey Bulger: A Tweet, A Fugutive Caught and the Social Web Explodes
Around mid-night, or somewhere around there, the FBI Press Office tweeted, "FBI Agents in Santa Monica, CA have captured Boston Fugitive James J. "Whitey" Bulger and his girlfriend Catherine Greig. boston.fbi.gov."
Yes, you read that right. THE Whitey Bulger, one of the most notorious organized crime members from Boston; one of the top 10 FBI's Most Wanted Criminals, was nabbed by the FBI after a 16-year search.
The elusive Bulger, who's 81 years old, has been somewhat of a folk tale in the Greater Boston area. There has been many stories written about him and the seediness that infiltrated the FBI in Boston during his tenure as mob boss in Boston.
The arrest is being credited by a tip that someone left via phone to the FBI as a result of a PR campaign that was launched recently — a campaign that targeted day-time TV viewers and focused on Bulger's girlfriend, Catherine Greig.
Once the FBI tweeted the news, the social web erupted:
On Twitter, #whiteybulger is trending across the US:
A quick Google news search brings back a SLEW of related results:
The Boston Globe runs unfiltered Twitter reaction:
One former Boston Herald reporter, turned PR veteran put his news budget hat on and created a hashtag called #whiteynewsbudget, which talks about the various news angle this story has.
And, finally, as a friend of mine pointed out that I'm sure we'll see a "Social Media Lessons Learned from Whitey Bulger's Capture."