Two weeks ago, the ruthless Boston Crime boss James Whitey Bulger was captured in California. He spent 16 years on the lam, living out a simple life among other sun-seeking East Coast transplants in Santa Monica.
Bulger is best known these days as the man whose life was immortalized in Martin Scorsese's 2006 Oscar-winning drama The Departed.
Now, back in Boston, news of his arrest has set off a spate of interest in mob-related tours of the city.
We're definitely seeing more interest in our tours, David Aspro told the Associated Press. He leads the Boston TV & Movie Sites Tour for New York-based On Location Tours. We've sold out both the tours we've done since he was captured, and I think we're on pace to do that again this upcoming weekend.
To be clear, the tour does not focus on actual mob sites, but rather locations used in the films and television shows which have vividly depicted Boston's checkered history. It's a tour of sites that you won't see on Boston's popular Freedom Trail.
On the Boston TV & Movie Sites bus tour, for example, riders visit locations ranging from Louisburg Square, the Beacon Hill Park seen in The Boston Strangler, to the flower shop/headquarters of gang boss Fergus Colm (Pete Postelthwaite) in The Town.
The art-imitates-life aspect of the tour is particularly apparent at sites relating to Martin Scorsese's The Departed.
We actually go right by the courthouse where Whitey was arraigned, Aspro told the Associated Press. They also used it in the movie, so it's kind of ironic.
In a city that prides itself on its cobblestone streets, world-renowned hospitals, and intellectual campus life, the fascination with Boston's social underbelly provokes mixed reactions.
We appreciate the movies coming into town and spending money, absolutely, but enough, okay? Donald Wilson told the Wall Street Journal. He's the interim president of the South Boston Chamber of Commerce. His neighborhood was once ruled by the Winter Hill Gang and its alleged leader Mr. Bulger.