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    Is ‘The Blacklist’ Inspired By A True Story? Who Is The Real Raymond Reddington?

    Crime-drama series always makes one question the real existence of the character or the plot. Sometimes, it is baffling to know that the content may be based on true events or inspired by real life. Although there are chances that real events might be fabricated just for the sake of entertainment. But does ‘The Blacklist‘ fall under this category or is it completely born from the writer’s imagination?

    The Blacklist‘ starring James Spader is a clever, twisted, and dubious crime-thriller series. It follows the life of a former U.S. Navy officer, Raymond Reddington who identified himself as a high-profile criminal, Raymond Reddington. He suspiciously surrenders to the FBI and uses the list of dangerous criminals as leverage for prosecution. If this does not get weird, wait for more! Reddington demands something surprising to help him finish the hit list-Elizabeth Keen, who is a rookie FBI agent. But did any of this happen in the real world?

    Related: ‘The Blacklist’: How Is Raymond Reddington Related To Elizabeth Keen?

    Is ‘The Blacklist’ Based On Real Incidents?

    James Spader and Megan Boone in 'The Blacklist'
    James Spader and Megan Boone in ‘The Blacklist’

    It is always fun to watch a crime drama when it is based on a real person or a true incident. Importantly it also depends on the writers of the show who incorporate the life of real people with their fictional lives. And the writers of ‘The Blacklist‘ have successfully induced a somewhat fictional story with a real person. Basically, the character of Raymond Reddington is loosely based on James Joseph Whitey Bulger.

    James Joseph Whitey Bulger is a Boston supercriminal who was ultimately arrested after 11 gruesome murders. He was so good at escaping that the FBI took years to track James and put him behind bars. In 2013 John Eisendrath, co-creator of ‘The Blacklist‘ revealed to Collider, “So, the idea was, Well, what would happen if a man like Whitey Bulger turned himself in. ‘I am here. I have some rules that I want you to follow, but if you follow them I will give you the names of people that I have worked with, during the 20 years that I have been a fugitive‘.” Now, this is where fiction becomes the hero. In the series, Raymond surrendered himself, whereas James Joseph Whitey Bulger does not but most of the crimes from the series were borrowed from real life.

    But now that ‘The Blacklist‘ has ended, without giving any spoilers, let’s tell you how the actor behind Reddington, James Spader, feels about the ending. “I really felt like this was complete and I loved how it really completed a circle, in a way. It wasn’t just an unbroken line from point A to point Z, but it was a circle of sorts,” he told the Associated Press.

    In case you missed: ‘The Blacklist’ Series Finale: Does Raymond Reddington Actually Die In The End And How?

    Who Was James Joseph Whitney Bulger Who Inspired Raymond Reddington’s Character?

    James Joseph Whitey Bulger was listed as one of the 10 most wanted fugitives by the FBI up till his arrest in 2011. The American crime boss was a leading figure in organized crime from the late 1960s to the mid-1990s. Since his teenage years, James was involved in a street gang and was arrested several times for many charges.

    In 1975 James Joseph Whitey Bulger agreed to corporate with the FBI as a so-called Top Echelon Informant. This is where ‘The Blacklist‘ extracts its idea from. His FBI handler, John J. Connolly was 10 years younger than him and the son of South Boston. But things escalated real quick and the relationship instantly turned corrupt, with the handler describing it as the devil’s deal. Soon the tables turned as the crime boss began to manipulate the FBI instead of the other way around. Late in 2011, the FBI finally trapped him and arrested James.

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    Khevna Shah
    Khevna Shah
    Khevna Shah is a content know-it-all, working as an Entertainment Writer for First Curiosity. When she's not forensic-analyzing new movies and shows, she's probably out there with her camera. Approach her with your fan theories, and you've got yourself a friend for life. She aspires to be a professional content critic someday.

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