From The Desk Of The Jigsaw Seen: Whitey And Me

The co-founder of the Jigsaw Seen 25 years ago (alongside ace guitarist Jonathan Lea), former all-Maryland high-school soccer player Dennis Davison gets his exercise these days as a professional dog-walker. Strolling L.A.’s concrete canyons gives him ample time to do what he does best: write distinctively original lyrics and melodies that give off the mere whiff of former heroes such as the Bee Gees, Who and Love. Unlike previous albums, Old Man Reverb, Jigsaw’s fourth set of originals in the past four years, has a unified sound running throughout. Davison and Lea will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our new feature on the Jigsaw Seen.

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Davison: My encounters with the notorious Whitey Bulger have been documented elsewhere, but now I have the opportunity to tell the whole story.

In my non-musical life, I’m very involved with dogs. Most of my focus is with Sachi Animal Rescue, but I also do rehab, training, walking and socialization. This is how I came in to contact with a friendly, crisply attired, senior couple with conspicuously out-of-place New England accents in Santa Monica, Calif.

They first approached me while out on a stroll in the neighborhood. They had all sorts of questions about the trio of bulldogs that I had in tow. I’m always up for a chat with animal lovers, so we would talk for a few minutes about the dogs. “Charles” was very critical and visibly upset about seeing people walking their dogs, whom he felt were too rough with them and very complimentary of the way that I handled my dogs. “Carol” would tell me about the neighbor who moved away and left their cat behind. Charles and Carol took it upon themselves to feed and care for the abandoned cat, and were frustrated that they couldn’t get the kitty to come inside. We would run into each other a few times a week, and on one such occasion, I remember Carol being worried that the cat had disappeared. The next time I saw them, the kitty had returned and all was well again at The Eugenia apartment building in Santa Monica. Or so I thought.

A few days later, Third Street was lined with news trucks, but the locals seemed pretty blasé about what was going down. It wasn’t until the next day that my wife Michelle told me that the authorities had captured the notorious gangster Whitey Bulger and his girlfriend. The two had supposedly been living in the neighborhood for years. When she showed me the front page with their photos, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I’m tempted to say that my jaw literally hit the ground, but I’m pretty sure that would be impossible. Yes, it was my two compassionate, animal-loving friends “Charles” and “Carol,” who were really Whitey Bulger and Catherine Greig.

They had been living in a small Santa Monica apartment for 16 years and seemed to be completely unconcerned about being recognized or turned in by anyone. I saw all of the news stories over the next few weeks, replete with assessments from nosy neighbors who seemed to get every minor detail wrong about the duo.

They had seemed out of place to me from our very first encounter. With their thick accents and expensive looking attire, it didn’t add up to me why they would be living in a small Santa Monica apartment. Some people just look like they have money. Little did I know that it was buried in the walls of their rented abode.

Anyone who encountered the couple would surely agree that they were not trying to hide from anyone. Catherine “Carol” in particular was always outgoing and ready to have a conversation. I’ve heard accounts from neighbors that Whitey “Charles” could be surly, but I think that our mutual love of animals insured that he was never anything but friendly with me. I’m guessing that they had struck a deal years ago to let them live freely on the West Coast, but when America’s Most Wanted ran their photos, the FBI must have gotten flooded with phone calls and felt as if they had no choice but to bring them in.

I’m glad that Whitey Bulger and Catherine Greig have been captured, but I miss Charles and Carol.

Another photo after the jump.

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