FBI Hopes Leaky Breast Implant Points Way to Most Wanted Fugitive 'Whitey' Bulger

FBI hopes ad in Plastic Surgery News leads them to fugitive Whitey Bulger.

May 14, 2010, 1:00 PM

May 14, 2010— -- The FBI is hoping a leaky breast implant may lead them to one of their most wanted fugitives.

The Feds took out a full page ad in the April-May issue of Plastic Surgery News asking for help locating the infamous alleged Boston mob boss Whitey Bulger, now 80, and his wife, Catherine Elizabeth Greig, 59.

Bulger, indicted on a battery of charges that includes 19 murders, has been on the run for 15 years.

"The FBI came to us and said what's the best way to identify all your plastic surgeons and get the word out, and when you open the first page it jumps right off the page, right at you," Dr. Phil Haeck, president elect of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and past Editor-in-Chief of Plastic Surgery News told ABC News today.

"It's something I read every month and it's the key periodical to read in the field," Dr. Sheldon Sevinor, a plastic surgeon in Boston and Miami, told ABC News.

"I opened up the April-May issue and right on the first page it said 'Have You Treated This Woman?' I've never seen anything like that in 33-years in practice," Sevinor said.

Click here to see the FBI's dragnet ad in Plastic Surgery News

The ad features four pictures of Greig from the 1980's and 1990's that appear to have been taken by plastic surgeons, Haek said. Also in the ad are pictures and information on Bulger from the FBI's vast file on the alleged mobster who is widely believed to be the inspiration for Jack Nicholson's character in the movie "The Departed."

"They are pretty classic plastic surgeon before-and-after pictures taken by a professional plastic surgeon," Haeck said.

The ad goes into detail of past surgeries Greig has allegedly had including the identification numbers for the breast implants she received.

Haeck said more helpful are the pictures of Greig as well as the fact that her model of breast implants are notorious for breaking down and leaking.

Are Wife's Implants Key to Catching James "Whitey" Bulger?

"Clearly she has very old implants, first generation implants, and they historically have not held up over time," Haeck said.

"Because of the material in older implants, if the outer shell broke it could leak into the breast tissue and cause pain and scar tissue and there's a very high chance that implant has already been replaced. That was, I think, why they wanted plastic surgeons to know about this," he said.

Plastic Surgery News has a worldwide readership of roughly 6,500 people and Haek said there is a very high readership percentage with those subscriptions.

"It's really a great way to try and find someone who has operated on her," Haeck said.

But Sevinor said if Greig came to him now, he would be torn about whether or not he should break the patient-client privilege and report her to the FBI.

"As a plastic surgeon I have to respect the patient-doctor confidentiality agreement. It's sacred, but also as someone who respects and understands that the FBI is in search of a fugitive I understand they would want to get this information from us," Sevinor said.

"I'm kind of torn," he said.

"Plastic surgeons are historically well known for being discrete," Haeck said. "It's a way of life and there is also the issue of privacy laws. But in this case, because it's a person wanted by FBI, I don't think the usual ethics rules would stand in the way."

The ad is the latest effort by the FBI to find the couple, who have been on the lam since January 1995.

"James Bulger and Catherine could be anywhere in the world, and we're always looking for opportunities to find them," Special Agent Gail Marcinkiewicz from the Boston Branch of the FBI told ABC News.

"The more people who see the pictures, the more opportunities we have to find them. We've never tried this through Plastic Surgery News, but this may be a very positive thing to do," Marcinkiewicz said.

Whitey Bulger Wanted for 19 Murders

Bulger is wanted by the FBI for allegedly committing 19 murders, as well as charges of extortion and drugs during his alleged reign as the leader of a Boston organized crime syndicate in the 1970's and 1980's.

"Some of the challenges to catching Mr. Bulger is that although he is in his 80's, he's traveling with a woman 21-years younger. He's been a fugitive for 15-years, and he looks like many people his age and probably stays under the radar," Marcinkiewicz said.

Bulger, who has previously spent time in Alcatraz prison for bank robbery, told law enforcement before he went on the run that he would never go back to jail. Marcinkiewicz said the FBI feels he most likely planned his fugitive years well, including seeding money across the world.

"He spent many years planning to be a fugitive," she said.

The FBI has had many reported sightings of Bulger throughout the years, however the agency says the last corroborated sighting of Bulger and Greig came in 2002 in London. Currently there is a $2 million reward offered for helping to bring them in. Despite their ages, both are considered dangerous.

"We've always known him to carry a knife and we can only assume that he exhibits some of his past behavior. He's a very engaging guy, with a very violent temper," Marcinkiewicz said.

Sevinor thinks that despite perhaps needing or recently receiving new implants, Greig's past surgeries may entice her to go under the knife once again as she reaches her 60's.

"This is a woman who had four surgery procedures from 1982 to 1992, and the likelihood is that at 59-years-old she may have even more procedures," Sevinor said.

"Is it possible to find her through a surgeon? I think it's possible," he said.

A sentiment the FBI most likely shares.

"We would very much like Mr. Bulger to be found, and brought back to justice," Marcinkiewicz said.

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