Questions Remain After Whitey Bulger's Arrest, Retired Tulsa Detective Says


Thursday, June 23rd 2011, 10:11 pm
By: News On 6


Emory Bryan, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma – When Boston mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger gets back to Massachusetts, he'll face a long list of federal charges.

The FBI's most-wanted man was arrested Wednesday in California. He's wanted for murder, conspiracy to commit murder, narcotics distribution, extortion and money laundering.

Bulger is connected to as many as 19 murders, including the murder of a Tulsa businessman in 1981.

6/23/2011 Related Story: Mobster Connected To Infamous 1981 Tulsa Murder Arrested

Ever since Roger Wheeler's murder, two men have relentlessly pursued the truth about what happened.

One of them is the son of the victim, David Wheeler, who despises the FBI for the agency's role in the murder of his father.

"I have been lied to, my family has been lied to so many times over the years, it's unbelievable," David Wheeler said in an interview Thursday after Bulger's arrest.

6/23/2011 Related Story: Son Of Murdered Tulsa Businessman Reacts To Mobster's Arrest

The other is the now retired Tulsa homicide detective Mike Huff.

"I'm not going to tell you I told you so, but I told you so," Huff said.

Huff was relieved with the arrest, but concerned about the revelation that Bulger was living comfortably in California all these years.

"You need all kinds of identification to do things, I would have thought if he had been living in the United States, by now he would have been caught," he said.

Bulger, 81, was arrested at his apartment in Santa Monica, California, after a tip generated by a new publicity campaign identifying his girlfriend.

Read the CBS NEWS James "Whitey" Bulger Timeline.

The FBI says agents found $800,000 in cash during a search of his apartment.

Steven Martinez, FBI Assistant Director in Charge in Los Angeles, said at a news conference Thursday afternoon that agents also found more than 30 firearms, including pistols, rifles and shotguns, several types of knives and several pieces of false identification.

Whitey had recently gone to the top of the FBI's most wanted list, but the campaign also came just after the retirement of detective Huff.

David Wheeler thinks that's no coincidence.

"They arrest him right after Huff retires and Huff is the one guy who exposed all of this FBI corruption and they wait until he's gone and then they make the arrest," Wheeler said.

Both men spent years trying to get to the truth, testifying before Congress about mob influence on the FBI and keeping the case in the public eye.

"The depth of this corruption and cover-up is monumental and I still think there are a lot of questions to be answered to this day. How did this guy stay on the run for 16 years, who has helped him?" Huff said.

That's a question that Sergeant Huff would really like to see answered and one Wheeler doesn't believe the FBI will ever allow to be heard.

Bulger was ordered returned to Massachusetts to face charges during a federal court hearing in Los Angeles on Thursday.

The Associated Press contributed to this story