AP LA Writer Conjures Up Clever ‘Whitey’ Bulger Angle

For wire service reporters like Associated Press Southern California staffer Thomas Watkins (pictured), the recent arrest of Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger and girlfriend in Santa Monica is the gift that keeps on giving. But it still requires a little ingenuity to make that gift really shine.

Score one on that front today for Watkins with his great dispatch about interest among prospective renters in Bulger’s vacated rent-controlled digs. Apparently, Westside Rentals—which has handled previous vacancies at the Princess Eugenia but has no formal arrangement with the building–is getting so many calls about Apartment 303 that the company has had to memo staff about how to handle the crush:

“It’s a total curiosity,” Westside Rentals owner Mark Verge said. “People say they want to rent it. But as the owner, you want the best tenant, not someone who is fanatical about living in a monster’s apartment.”

Wonder if that secret extra wall space Bulger used for weapons and cash will translate into a “2BR, 2BTH + ¼” listing. Building manager Josh Bond tells Watkins he too has been fielding all sorts of calls about the unit, from as far away as Beantown.