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WPI video systems specialist enhanced Bulger photo for forensic use

Monday, August 26, 2013, 6:51pm
(NECN: Mike Cronin) - Seven years ago, it was hard to make out this picture of James "Whitey" Bulger. But then, Bruce Fiene got his hands on it.

"Working on these photos, using Photoshop, retaking the pictures, blowing them up and getting them as good as I could get them," explained Fiene.

Fiene is a video systems specialist at Worcester Polytechnic Insistute. He also volunteers his forensic video skills to help local and state police catch criminals. For the Bulger case, he enhanced two small photos of Bulger and girlfriend Catherine Greig in 2006.

"I was really surprised he made it to trial and he got convicted," said Fiene. "I'm glad to see that."

At the time, Fiene says the Bulger case wasn't making headlines. That all changed when his work hit the news.

"They had all the old pictures of Whitey and Catherine, but they didn't have the new ones," he said. "So this was really a nice start in 2006."

Fiene is used to seeing his work on television. Over the past 13 years, he's worked on a couple hundred criminal cases throughout Worcester County. He says most are armed robberies, but occasionally, he gets a murder case.

"There's either video footage of something happening with the murder, somebody walking through and they want to capture the image or sound, there's a lot of audio recording, so I've worked on that too," he said.

Fiene says a lot of people see his work on TV and report suspects to police. Other times, his pictures are used as evidence.

"A lot of the people that I work on, these cases, I see the same thing," he said. "They all end up getting convicted."

Fiene admits it's exciting work. While he enjoys working for WPI, he says it feels good to volunteer and make the community safer.

"When I get those big cases I do love dropping what I'm doing and working on those cases," said Fiene. "It is great to get real criminals off the street."
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