Why Catherine Greig Did Not Cooperate Against Whitey Bulger

Last Thursday I brought up the riddle, at least to me, of Catherine Greig pleading guilty and taking a big hit of eight years in jail for committing no criminal act other than going on the lam with a guy (Whitey) she’d been involved with since she was in her twenties for 16 years living quietly with him in California.  Why didn’t she cooperate?

I wanted to find out where she was incarcerated so I went to the Federal Bureau of Prisons inmate locator.    The site says she is in the “Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in Waseca, is a low security facility housing female inmates  FCI Waseca is located in southern Minnesota, 75 miles south of Minneapolis on Interstate 35”.  The site also gives her inmate number, 57820-112, her age (61), race (White), sex (F), release date (06-10-2018)

Greig was arrested along with Whitey on June 22, 2011.  On August 18 she pleaded not guilty.  Her lawyer, Kevin Reddington, said she wasn’t going to cooperate and he looked “forward to trying the case.”     Reddington by the way is a good lawyer who knows what he’s doing and likes to try cases.

When Greig was arraigned the brother of one of the victims hoped she’d get the maximum of five years for the one charge of harboring a criminal.  Later two additional charges were added:  conspiracy to commit larceny and identity fraud.  She made a didn’t go to trial but decided  to make a deal to plead guilty so that she could keep her house, not be forced to testify against Whitey, and not cooperate with the feds.  Each side was left free to argue what it believed was an appropriate sentence.  The government sought ten years.

The families of the victims after being briefed were upset that another deal had been made.  They want to have all of the evidence come out in public.  I’m not sure that will ever happen since the last thing the FBI wants is to have its reputation take another beating.  I’ve suggested that Greig’s sentence was a bone thrown to them to keep them content.

Greig didn’t get a great deal.  She could never be forced to cooperate or to testify against Whitey.  She could be held in contempt for her refusal and do a little bit of time for each act of contempt but it’s unlikely she’d have been in jail until the middle on 2018 on the installment plan.  She saved her house but gave up her rights to tell her story and make some money.  But knowing Reddington he got her the best deal possible given her state of mind.

It again comes down to the question why didn’t she cooperate with the feds?   We’ve seen how well people do when they join the Red, White and Blue team.  She could have avoided prison and not have lost anything.

There is nothing she could ever have done if she cooperated that would adversely affect Whitey.  He’ll be locked up forever, here and in the hereafter.   I’ve wondered why Whitey didn’t give her the OK and release her from any promise to him.  I’ve suggested it is the only right thing to do for a woman who gave up so much of her life to him.  Why didn’t it happen?

A clue was noted in the Boston Globe article on October 13, 2011.     It said the prosecutors knew Greig lied when she told the pretrial service officials that she had not spoken to friends or family members during her 17 year absence.  It pointed out that Greig’s sister, Margaret McCusker, and her friend, Kathleen McDonough, pleaded guilty to perjury and obstruction of justice for denying they had been in contact with her.  (Never heard of that before.  Haven’t seen anything on their sentences.)

With that clue I believe I figured out the mystery.  It’s not so much that Greig can hurt Whitey,  it’s that she has evidence of other contacts that they made back in the Boston area.  The feds would love to find out who those people were.  Some may have already been brought before a grand jury and testified that they have had no contact.

Greig refuses to give them up — she’s one tough woman and really a stand up person — you won’t hear John “Red” Shea calling her a rat bastard.  When you look at it that way you recognize that the feds had to heap the years on her.  They depend on people folding under their pressure.  Fortunately, they weren’t able to water board her as things now stand.

I’m surprised however that she did get a low security prison.   It’s so  low that Greig is listed as one of the two notable inmates.  But no matter how you slice it, it is still a prison with its rules and regulations.   You can’t decide to take a drive to Starbucks.

So the people back home who kept in touch with Whitey can rest assured their  identities will be protected.  That is unless Whitey tries to make a deal for himself.