'Whitey' Bulger letters speak of love for Catherine Greig - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

'Whitey' Bulger letters speak of love for Catherine Greig

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BOSTON (WHDH) -

A woman who said she hasn’t seen James ‘Whitey’ Bulger in 30 years is opening up about letters she exchanged with the convicted mobster during his trial.

She said the 84-year-old opened up to her, without her even saying who she was or how she was connected to him.

“I didn't tell him I’m my father's daughter or anything like that, just good luck with upcoming trial, you’re going to need it. That was it,” she said.

Darlene didn’t want her last name printed, but she did share a 2-page letter he had sent her about his time on the run and his love for Catherine Greig.

“Catherine sacrificed her future for me. I'd give my life to free her. I offered from day one to plead guilty to all crimes; innocent of some, guilty of some. No appeal of any sentence even execution if they would free Catherine. My offer was rejected," he wrote

Darlene's father, knew Bulger from the shipyards and would often see him at Triple O's, a South Boston bar. Sometimes Darlene would go to the bar with her father, she said Bulger nicknamed her Shirley Temple because of her curly hair.

Darlene says she doubts Bulger remembers her. But there's no doubt he remembers his time in Alcatraz prison during the early 1960's. He sent her a photo of birds on a window sill with writing on the back.

"My favorite Alcatraz photo, I loved the birds there. We broke the window so the birds could fly into and around the cell. I'd feed them bread. Beautiful little things. Penalty if caught: two days in the "Hole" freezing! Worth the risk,” he wrote.

Darlene said it is stories like this that show how tough prison life really is.

“A sparrow in a window; I mean how lonely can you get. It was something for him to play with for a few days, but those things mean a lot to you because they’re little things,” she said.

The convicted mobster told Darlene he was worried about his health during the trial, a trial he said was unfair.

“Maybe because his side isn’t getting told and he just needed someone to vent to,” she said.

A jury convicted Bulger of involvement in 11 murders, a judge sentenced him to 134 years in prison.

The love of his life, Greig, got 8 for helping him hide.

“Our last 16 years on the run were the best days of both our lives never a harsh word, I felt intense love for her. She changed my life," he wrote.

He also lamented that he may never talk to her again.

"We are not allowed to write each other. We have been together for almost 40 years, judge told her ‘if you will cooperate with the government I'll review your sentence’ she would never say one word against me.”

“He's going to do his time alone. I understand he took lives, I understand the damage he’s done. But when you are in jail you are still alone,” Darlene said.

Bulger signed his letter "Goodnight, keep smiling."

“I do have sympathy for him, I can’t say I don’t, that's just me,” she said.


Darlene recently got out of federal prison herself for charges of conspiracy involving drugs. She says she plans to sell the letter and hopes the money will help her get a fresh start.

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