Did mobster evade capture with plastic surgery?

August 22, 2011

Did mobster evade capture with plastic surgery?
Did mobster evade capture with plastic surgery?

FBI television ads targeting daytime television viewers recently resulted in the arrests of infamous Boston mobster - and one of the F.B.I.'s 10 most wanted criminals - James "Whitey" Bulger and his girlfriend Catherine Greig, after 16 years on the run.

Authorities apparently targeted viewers of shows such as "Dr. Oz," "The View," "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" and others that attract older female viewers in hopes of finding the couple, who may have had some cosmetic surgeries to disguise themselves over the years.
The recent advertisements follow a print campaign that appeared in medical magazines such as the Plastic Surgery News last year urging doctors who may have treated Bulger or Greig to contact authorities.

Before the couple fled, officials say that Greig underwent several cosmetic procedures including breast augmentation, a facelift, liposuction and eyelid surgery. In the magazine, they listed the identification numbers for her breast implants in case she visited a surgeon to have them replaced.

Recently, the Orange County Register had several cosmetic surgeons analyze the mugshots of both Bulger and Greig to determine whether either underwent cosmetic procedures to disguise their identity.

Most doctors questioned by the newspaper said that Bulger most likely used facial hair to disguise himself and hide his aging skin. However, one surgeon believes that the 80-year-old alleged gangster may also have had eyelid surgery in the past.

"Whitey Bulger may have had his lower eyelids done as they do not appear consistent with the upper lids," the expert told the news source.

More of the doctors interviewed by the news provider believe that Greig, who authorities said most likely frequented beauty salons and had her teeth cleaned regularly, has recently undergone some cosmetic procedures including Botox injections.

"[Greig] appears to have benefited from procedures to tighten her cheeks and tidy up the neck area with perhaps a facelift and possibly occasional Botox injections," one expert surmised.
While most who undergo cosmetic procedures do so to improve or enhance their appearance, rather than completely change it, experts say it is not unheard of.

One doctor interviewed for the Orange County Register article says that over the years he has helped to alter the appearance of individuals in the witness protection program as well as professional gamblers who want to hide their true identities from casino authorities.

Another much sought-after criminal, Tatsuya Ichihashi, was recently arrested in Japan for the rape and murder of a British woman, despite attempts to use cosmetic surgery to alter his appearance.

According to The Telegraph, Ichihashi had eyelid surgery, lip surgery and had some moles removed from his chin.

While most cosmetic surgery patients are looking to improve and enhance their natural features, some criminals have found a way to make it useful for evading capture.


The mission of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASAPS, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to www.surgery.org

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About ASAPS
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

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