The woman who lived a secret life with reputed Boston mob boss James 'Whitey' Bulger for 15 years in Santa Monica was sentenced Tuesday to 8 years in prison.
Catherine Greig, 61, had pleaded guilty in March to charges of conspiracy to harbor a fugitive, identity fraud and conspiracy to commit identity fraud for helping Bulger stay on the run until their capture in Santa Monica in June 2011.
Bulger was a former member of the FBI's Top Ten Most Wanted list. He awaits trial on charges in connection with 19 murders.
The Boston Globe reported that victims' family members blasted Greig during the sentencing hearing, calling her a "cold-hearted criminal."
For the most part, when the victims’ relatives were speaking, Greig looked straight ahead, avoided eye contact, and showed no obvious emotion.
She lost composure, the Globe reported, when a reference was made to the 1984 suicide of her brother David. “If truth be told, if I had a sister like you, I would have killed myself, too,” said witness Timothy Connors.
In handing down the sentence, U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock also criticized Greig, the Associated Press reported.
"We are all responsible for what we do. We all make choices," he said. "There is a price to be paid."
Greig and Bulger lived in Santa Monica starting in 1996 until their arrest last year. "Bulger liked Santa Monica because it was a cosmopolitan location with a number of transient and homeless people and vacationers," prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said Greig and Bulger posed as a married couple from Chicago under the aliases of Charles and Carl Gasko while renting a one-bedroom apartment at 1012 Third Street. While there, Greig ran errands for Bulger, who mostly stayed indoors. She used cash to pay utility bills and rent and ordered medications for Bulger, too.
When the couple was arrested at their Santa Monica residence, prosecutors said they found a stash of $800,000 in cash and an arsenal of 30 weapons.
They reportedly used other aliases, too, mostly of real people, according to prosecutors.
In a sentencing recommendation, in which they asked the courts to put Grieg behind bars for 10 years, prosecutors alleged Greig was present when Bulger purchased a driver's license, social security card and a Sam's Club card from a man they met while walking in .
Greig's defense attorney had asked for a more lenient sentence of 27 months, saying Greig believed Bulger was "totally incapable of the things that were being said about him."
Attorney Kevin Reddington called Greig a good neighbor who was "sweet, kind and gentle."
But prosecutors contended that by helping Bulger with his daily tasks, Greig helped hide his identity, and, for years, denied victims and their family members the opportunity to see Bulger stand trial.
From the Boston Globe:
A fifth witness also spoke about the impact of Bulger’s crimes. Stephen Rakes, who had his South Boston liquor store taken over by Bulger, testified that he thought Bulger had been arrested in 1995, only to learn that he had fled Boston after being tipped off about his impending arrest by corrupt FBI Agent John Connolly.
Rakes testified that he spent the following 16 years fearing that Bulger would return—and kill him.