He was on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list and was sentenced two life sentences after being found guilty of federal racketeering, extortion, conspiracy and 11 murders. Jimmy “Whitey” Bulger will now be featured in an episode of "Murder Made Me Famous" on the Reelzchannel, recently filmed in Waxahachie.
AMS Pictures, stationed in north Dallas, filmed three days and 40 scenes around Waxahachie over the last week. Locations manager for AMS, Desiree Fultz, said Waxahachie’s locations have unique qualities that are ideal for the 1960s — 1970s timepiece.
“Part of the value comes in the maintenance of the historical buildings, which is huge,” Fultz said. “Every single person that we’ve met here has led us to somebody else which has filled in another portion of what we need. This can only happen in a city that’s that welcoming, friendly, helpful and excited.”
The director of the production, Adam Dietrich has filmed in Waxahachie several times. He said it’s the untouched venues like the Veterans of Foreign Wars post 3894, Citizen’s National Bank, Downtown Farmer’s Market and the Waxahachie Country Club “still have an essence from the by-gone era.”
“Waxahachie is a small enough area where you can come in and film those areas in a way that honors them, hopefully not only get what you need, but the community kind of gets this collaborative experience that they can hopefully after the fact can say, ‘That’s our place,’” Dietrich said.
AMS Pictures also filmed at College Street Pub in downtown and a local residence.
The docudrama tells the story of Bulger’s life from the times he was in and out of prison in Atlanta and Alcatraz to the several murders he was behind.
Jail scenes were filmed at the VFW, as the cinderblock walls served as an impeccable backdrop.
Also at the VFW, the bar was utilized to depict a scene where leaders of the Winter Hill Gang, Bulger, and Steve Flemmi, met with John Callahan. Callahan convinced Bulger to have his hitman, John Martorano, kill Roger Wheeler, the owner of the sport, Jai Alai.
Post commander at the VFW, Randy Hughes was even used as background talent in the bar scenes.
One of the more extreme scenes shot was at CNB — a bank robbery. Johny Guerrero, social media manager for CNB said, other productions have been shot at the Elm Street location but nothing quite this intense.
“This is wild, there’s so much detail, and I can’t believe how many people are in the crew. At first, it kind of freaked me out a little bit since it is bank robbers in a bank — you never want to see that,” Guerrero said.
On the third day, filming took place at the Waxahachie Country Club. General Manager Steve Jones said even though it was a bit chaotic, “They (the crews) have been very friendly and a joy so far."
Jones watched a couple of guys get offed in the back parking lot of the club. “I watched two guys get shot. It was pretty cool since they were able to get up and walk away from the shooting,” he explained.
Also shot at the country club was a hospital scene where Bulger participates in LSD experiments in order to get time off his sentencing. The director said Bulger had around 50 injections of LSD during the trials. Before the LSD trips, injuring people wasn’t in Bulger’s criminal taste, but after the experiments, he was charged with murdering 11 people.
“There’s speculation whether that led him to be the kind of the ruthless criminal that he was,” Dietrich said.
Amy Borders, director of communications and marketing for the City of Waxahachie, said the town is a certified film-friendly community through the Texas Governor’s Office.
“One of the reason that we do that is because the economic impact when we have a project that shoots here in Waxahachie is always positive,” Borders explained.
The release of the Bulger episode of Murder Made Me Famous is unknown at the time. The episode was written by Jessica Schoenbaechler.