Boston mobster James 'Whitey' Bulger was turned in by former Miss Iceland
A FORMER Miss Iceland received the $2m (€1.5m) reward for the tip-off that led to the arrest of James "Whitey" Bulger, the Boston mobster who spent 16 years on the run from US authorities.
Anna Bjornsdottir, a former model and winner of her country's nationwide beauty pageant in 1974, is understood to have called the FBI after realising that her former neighbours were wanted fugitives.
Bulger, who is accused of 19 murders, went into hiding with his girlfriend, Catherine Greig, in 1994 after discovering he was about to be arrested. They moved into Santa Monica, California, in 1998.
Miss Bjornsdottir, who appeared in television commercials in the 1970s, lived nearby and befriended Miss Greig – who was using a false identity – after both became involved in helping a local stray cat.
During a trip back home in Reykjavik, Iceland, earlier this year, she saw pictures of the couple on television after the FBI launched a new publicity campaign for information on them, according to The Boston Globe.
Bulger, 81, and Greig, 60, were subsequently arrested in June at their $683-a-month flat. Authorities have since found about 30 firearms and $822,000 in cash hidden in the walls.
Bulger led the Boston-based Winter Hill organised crime gang, which ran a campaign of extortion, burglary, drug trafficking through the city during the 1970s.
The FBI said it paid $2.1m to "more than one individual" for information that led to the arrests. Miss Bjornsdottir collected $2m of this, the newspaper said, citing its own sources.
The newspaper also reported that while on the run, Bulger assumed the identity of a local homeless man in order to obtain medicine and to keep a bank account without alertine authorities.
Both Bulger and Greig, who has been accused of harbouring a fugitive, have pleaded not guilty to all charges against them.
Neither Miss Bjornsdottir – who is now 57 and thought to work as a yoga instructor and graphic designer – nor the Boston FBI office could be reached for comment.