FBI Will Flash 'Virtual Wanted Poster' in Search for Mob Boss

The FBI is taking its pursuit of fugitive crime boss James "Whitey" Bulger to the Internet with a "virtual wanted poster."

In a first-of-its-kind agreement announced Wednesday, Lycos will flash a message about Bulger, including his likeness, in one of several banner ads that appear in rotation on the Web portal's global network.

The project hopes to generate tips on Bulger's whereabouts and bringing attention to the FBI's $1 million reward offer.

"It might simply be a clerk in a grocery store bagging groceries, goes home that night, gets on the Internet and says, 'you know, I think I saw that person bagging groceries today,"' U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan said.

Bulger, wanted in connection with 21 murders, is listed on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list. He disappeared in 1995 after an FBI agent told him he was about to be indicted. The former agent was convicted earlier this year of tipping off Bulger and other mobsters about their indictments.

The "virtual wanted poster" will be run as a public service on U.S.-based Terra-Lycos Web properties such as the Lycos network, Wired News and quote.com, as well as on sites run by the company's Miami-based Latin American network. Lycos is the Waltham-based subsidiary of Spanish telecom company Terra-Lycos.

The company isn't being paid for the service, said Terra-Lycos spokesman Brian Payea.

"We're committed to providing important services to our community and we feel it was a very worthwhile effort," he said.