James 'Whitey' Bulger', the criminal portrayed by Jack Nicholson in the OSCAR-winning movie 'The Departed', has been captured after 16 years on the run, reports the Associated Press. The fugitive who inspired Martin Scorsese's classic crime-drama will appear in a Los Angeles court today (23rd June 2011).
Bulger is facing charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, narcotics distribution, extortion and money laundering. The 81-year-old has been on the Fbi's 10 Most Wanted List with a $2 million reward - he is thought to be linked to at least 19 murders. Authorities managed to track him down after increasing the publicity on the investigation, and Bulger was arrested at a Santa Monica apartment building on Wednesday evening. The criminal allegedly headed Boston's 'Winter Hill Gang', and was involved in "numerous murders committed from the early 1970s through the mid-1980s". A one-time Fbi informant, he disappeared in January 1995 after discovering he would be charged with the crimes. In 'The Departed', police assign undercover cop 'William Costigan', played by Leonardo Dicaprio, to infiltrate a gang headed by 'Francis Costello', based on Bulger.
Jack Nicholson was lauded for his portrayal of the mob boss, while Mark Wahlberg gave what most critics agree was the finest performance of his career as Sergeant Sean Dignam.