Globe reporters traveled repeatedly to California and Iceland to talk to as many people as possible who knew James “Whitey” Bulger during the 13 years that he lived in Santa Monica. Neighbors and employees of the apartment building where Bulger and Catherine Greig lived spoke openly, but two key people - the woman who tipped the FBI and the man who let Bulger use his identity - posed challenges.
Anna Bjornsdottir of Reykjavik, Iceland, who told the FBI where to find Bulger, declined to speak to the Globe. The Globe relied on sources familiar with the circumstances of the tip as well as Bjornsdottir’s friends and people who knew her in Santa Monica to reconstruct her relationship with Bulger and Greig.
James William Lawlor, who let Bulger use his California driver’s license in exchange for rent money, died in 2007. The Globe relied on sources, court records, and employees of the building where Lawlor lived to reconstruct his relationship with Bulger.