Catherine Greig, the longtime girlfriend of alleged mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger, once told a neighbor that he had "a mental problem," the neighbor told Santa Monica Patch on Thursday afternoon.
Barbara Gluck, who lived about 200 yards down the hall from Bulger, said he had a "violent, rageful energy" that sharply contrasted with the nature of Greig, his "lovely, friendly, kind" girlfriend who "seemed full of life and good energy." He appeared to be "mentally disturbed" and have "a rage issue," she said.
Bulger and Greig were on Wednesday night. Over the past 15 years, Bulger had been on the run from the FBI. He was wanted for 19 murders and other felony charges. The FBI previously charged Greig with harboring a fugitive.
Gluck—who is also a Santa Monica Patch reader—said she never understood why the 60-year-old Greig was with Bulger, 81.
"I was almost mystified when I saw them together," she said. Greig "seemed like his caretaker." "What was she doing with him?" Gluck sometimes wondered to herself.
Gluck would occasionally talk with Greig when she was alone—in the elevator, outside the Princess Eugenia apartment complex, on the street—but when Bulger saw the two of them conversing, his perceived rageful streak would become apparent.
"When he was around and [Greig and I] started to chat, he'd yell, 'Stop talking to her, let's go!' And she'd look at me ... she'd just sort of indicate for me to be patient. Once, I think she said to me, 'He has a mental problem that causes him to be so rageful.' I suspected it was Alzheimer's or dementia."
Gluck said she never "bumped into" Bulger when he wasn't with Greig but would sometimes encounter Greig when she wasn't with Bulger, who wore a hat every time Gluck saw him.
Gluck also said she sometimes feared for Greig's safety. Gluck never heard any disturbances from inside their apartment but said "you wouldn't be able to," given the design of the apartment complex.
"I was contemplating whether she was in danger, living with someone who ... had such a violent, rageful energy," she said.
"But I never thought of him being dangerous to me, ever," she added.
Gluck moved into the Princess Eugenia complex—which is located at 1012 Third St., just south of Washington Avenue—15 years ago. The Associated Press reported that Bulger and Greig also moved into their one-bedroom apartment 15 years ago, using the aliases Charles and Carol Gasko, but Gluck said she wasn't sure how long they lived there. She added that their apartment faced east, not west, and that they did not have an ocean view, contrary to some reports.
Over the course of those years, Gluck never saw the inside of Bulger and Greig's apartment, and they never visited hers.
"I didn't really ever get to know them," she said. "We didn't have a lot of long, private conversations."
Still, Gluck and Greig did have some interactions, mostly about "girlie stuff," Gluck said. She added that she once suggested to Greig that she shop for produce at the 99 Cent Store, instead of the Whole Foods Market, near the intersection of Lincoln and Rose in Venice.
"She started going, but we didn't go together," Gluck said. "She said she was grateful for the tip."
If Greig erroneously received a package intended for Gluck, she would put it in front of Gluck's front door. When another neighbor died and his cat became homeless, Greig took care of it, Gluck said.
"She was very sweet," she said. "I certainly never would've guessed [she was living with one of the most] wanted men in the world," she said.
Editor's note: Barbara Gluck and the author of this article previously volunteered together for the Hill Street Voices for Change.
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