Mob Headquarters Now House of Worship

James "Whitey" Bulger's headquarters sold to a preacher

Thursday, Oct 2, 2008  |  Updated 7:14 AM EDT
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Mob Headquarters Now House of Worship

FBI

Photo of James "Whitey" Bulger taken in the late 1980s. He's one of the FBI's 10 Most Wanted Fugitives.

SOMERVILLE, Mass. - A former car repair shop that once served as the headquarters of James "Whitey" Bulger's notorious Winter Hill Gang is getting new life as a church.

The building in Somerville is where Bulger and Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi ran operations including loan sharking, murder and corruption. Bulger was the model for the ruthless villain played by Jack Nicholson in "The Departed."

The building owner and former gang leader Howie Winter, who bought the property for $14,000 in the 1960s, sold it for $330,000 last January to a preacher who plans to turn it into a Pentecostal church.

The 79-year-old Winter tells The Boston Globe he had no idea the buyer was a preacher, but says he wishes the congregation "good luck."

The Rev. Collin Green says any former gang members who want to repent are welcome at the church, which plans to open next January.

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