AUBURN, Mass. – The state police officer who pursued the notorious crime boss Whitey Bulger for decades dropped by Auburn on Wednesday to sign his newly-released book, an account of chasing Bulger for 20 years.
Tom Foley, a retired colonel with the Massachusetts State Police, signed “Most Wanted: Pursuing Whitey Bulger, the Murderous Mob Chief the FBI Secretly Protected” at the Oct. 17 Auburn Democratic Town Committee event at Pakachoag Church.
“It gives an opportunity to tell the story from our perspective, not someone else who is on the outside putting together a bunch of newspaper articles for a book,” Foley said. “This is actually what happened during the investigation for so many years that we were unable to talk about.
“It’s a captivating story,” he added. “Most people read the story and say they can’t believe that was going on all those years. They can’t believe what we went through.”
The book, which was released in May, isn’t only an account of Foley’s 20-year pursuit of Bulger; it also explains Foley’s key role in exposing the FBI’s protection of Bulger’s criminal empire.
Foley said the book signings around the country have been well-received by the public.
“Last night we were up in Hamilton and there were over 100 people there,” Foley said. “The library closes at 8 and it was 8:30 and people could not stop asking questions. Then it got closer to 9 and they had to start blinking the lights in the library.”
Auburn wasn’t simply another stop on his national tour; Foley said he has friends in the town’s Democratic Committee and Auburn used to be part of his patrol area.
“So Auburn’s like home to me too,” Foley said. “It’s great to be here.”
Doreen Goodrich, who introduced Foley at the book signing, said it was exciting for someone on a national book tour to come sign books in town.
“He never forgot his friends,” Goodrich said. “He was glad to come out and it’s really exciting for us.”
“Most Wanted” might be made into a Hollywood production. There are rumors that Mark Wahlberg might be interested in starring as Bulger, which Foley said is still in the talking stage.
A career officer with the Massachusetts State Police, Foley rose to become its highest ranking officer in 2001. Foley was awarded the U.S. Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service for his role in the Bulger/Connolly investigation. Since retiring in 2004, Foley teaches criminology at the University of Southern New Hampshire.