The Boston Globe has found itself under fire for publicly identifying the woman who led the FBI to the notorious mob boss Whitey Bulger.
In a Globe article published on Sunday, Globe staffers named the tipster who provided officials with key information that led to Bulger's arrest. The article provided a detailed account of the search for and arrest of the famed mobster who was on the FBI's "10 Most Wanted Fugitives" list for over a decade. The paper has since responded to critics who called into question the paper's judgement, saying her safety could be in jeopardy.
The Boston Herald ran an article on Monday that described the Globe as "outing" the tipster. According to former prosecutors, this could "have a chilling effect on other witnesses who could think twice before coming forward." Media outlets like the New York Post and International Business Times also reported the tipster could be in danger.
A number of sources, however, like CBS News, Los Angeles' KTLA, UK's Daily Mail, and Boston's local Fox station, simply ran with the headline that the tipster in the Whitey Bulger case was identified. They also named her and wrote about her relationship to the mobster and his girlfriend. While these sources did not question the Globe's decision, they all referenced the Globe as revealing the informant's identity.
The Boston Globe responded to the heat and released an article on Tuesday. The article explained why they ran the name of the tipster. The Globe wrote that they deliberated for a long time about whether or not to name the woman and consulted with the FBI to determine whether identifying her could jeopardize her safety. The Globe also reached out to the Attorney General's office, and said that "neither agency raised concerns about her safety."
Jennifer Peter, the Globe's deputy managing editor for local news said they, "were confident Whitey Bulger and Cathy Greig knew exactly who the tipster was,’’ through a "variety of sources."