A high school project in Lakeville, Massachusetts ended with famous mobster and convicted criminal Whitey Bulger offering an important life lesson for three students: that they shouldn’t waste their lives like he did with his.
The confession/advice was given to Apponequet Regional High School students Mollykate Rodenbush, Michaela Arguin and Brittany Tainsh in a response letter after the three 17 year olds had initially wrote him to inquire about his legacy.
The three students were involved together into a competition for National History Day regarding legacy and leadership, which consisted of creating a site for a historic personality. The girls chose to create a site representing the former Boston mobster and the legacy he left behind as one of the leaders of mafia activities in the city during the 70s and 80s.
They wrote Bulger, now 85 years of age and imprisoned, with the intent of asking him how he viewed his legacy, and received a surprisingly apologetic response in the form of a letter. The letter was posted by the students on the site they created about Bulger for the competition.
The 85-year old adopted an apologetic tone throughout the letter admitting that he wasted his life and caused suffering to his family, while also calling his brother, former president of Massachusetts state senate William Bulger, as a better man and example than him. He advised the students to go to law school if they want to “make crime pay”.
However, the mobster’s regret was dismissed by Patricia Donahue, whose husband was one the eleven men killed by Bulger during his criminal reign in the 70s and 80s, as she told the Boston Globe that:
“I don’t think he’s changed at all. All he cares about is his family, which is probably one of the only normal things about him. He doesn’t care about anybody else. I’m sure he doesn’t have any remorse about anyone he’s hurt or killed. He is a wasted life.”
James “Whitey” Bulger rose to prominence in Boston’s criminal underwold as an associate of Donald Killeen, leader of the city’s famous Irish Mob. He then gradually lifted himself through the 70s as both a Boston crime boss with his Winter Hill gang and an FBI informant about the rival Patriarca family. He largely controlled Boston’s crime world by the 80s, but was convicted on multiple charges of conspiracy, murder, racketeering, extortion and shoplifting to two life terms in prison by the late 90s. However, he managed to avoid arrest as a fugitive until 2011, and is now serving his term at the Coleman II Penitentiary in Florida.
Image Source: National Review