FBI target wrong suspect on German crime watch program

23rd February 2008, Comments 0 comments

Among those who called up was a distraught German couple, who told the producers they were the ones on the photo and not the fugitives.

Munich -- A popular German television crime watch show was only to happy to help when asked by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation to help it track down a suspected killer.

Dozens of callers rang up with information after a photo of the suspect, mobster James Joseph "Whitey" Bulger, Jr, and his girlfriend, was shown to an audience of more than 5 million on Wednesday evening.

Among those who called up was a distraught German couple who told the producers they were the ones on the photo and not the fugitives.

The program makers admitted Friday that they had been supplied with the wrong photo by the FBI, who even sent one of their agents to appear on the show called Case Number XY ... Unsolved.

Bulger was placed on the FBI's list of 10 most-wanted fugitives in 1999 for racketeering, multiple murder, drug trafficking and money laundering, and has been on it ever since.

The alleged leader of the Winter Hill Gang, an Irish-American crime family operating in the Boston area of the United States, there is a reward of $1 million for his capture.

There have been numerous sightings of him for around the world since the now-79-year-old disappeared with his partner, Catherine Greig, nine years ago.

The picture provided by the FBI was taken in April 2007 at the resort of Taormina on the Italian island of Sicily. The German couple was on holiday there at the time and unaware they had been photographed.

The FBI said it would not show the photograph again, but would continue to search for Bulger in Europe.

Lawyers for the two Germans said publication of the photograph was a serious violation of the couple's right to privacy.

DPA with Expatica

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