Whitey Bulger to teens: My life was wasted, spent foolishly

Three Massachusetts teens wrote the notorious mobster in hopes of interviewing him for a history project. The response was quite unexpected.

David L Ryan/The Boston Globe/AP
High school students Mollykate Rodenbush (l.), Brittany Tainsh (c.), and Michaela Arguin, hold a letter from former Boston crime boss James 'Whitey' Bulger as they pose for a photo in Lakeville, Mass., June 19. The three Apponequet Regional High School students wrote to Bulger for a history contest on leadership and got a surprising letter back. Bulger had some advice for the three girls: Crime doesn't pay. The 85-year-old sent the handwritten letter, dated Feb. 24, from federal prison in Florida where he is serving two life sentences, The Boston Globe reported Sunday.

Former Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger admitted in a letter to three high school girls that he “took the wrong road.”

The 85-year-old imprisoned ex-crime boss responded to a letter the students wrote asking questions for their submission for a National History Day competition. He said in the letter, “If you want to make crime pay – ‘Go to Law School.’ ”

Mr. Bulger is a former FBI informant who was convicted of racketeering charges in 2013 that implicated him in 11 murders. He is currently serving two life sentences in a federal prison in Florida, the Boston Globe reported, but his lawyers are appealing his conviction in a Boston appeals court next month.

“My life was wasted and spent foolishly, brought shame + suffering on my parents and siblings and will end soon,” Bulger wrote in the letter dated Feb. 24.

David L Ryan/The Boston Globe/AP

The theme of the National History Day competition was leadership and legacy. The three students from Apponequet Regional High School in Lakeville, Mass., created a website about Bulger’s life as their entry, but one of the girls, Brittany Tainsh, 17, said she was surprised by his remorseful response to their request for his thoughts on his own legacy.

“It wasn’t what we were expecting at all,” Ms. Tainsh told the Globe. “He did not really reply to any of our actual questions. He was very apologetic.”

Patricia Donahue, the wife of one of Bulger’s victims, told the Globe that Bulger’s letter only showed remorse for causing his own family’s suffering, and disregarded his victims and their families.

“I don’t think he’s changed at all,” Ms. Donahue said. “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.”

This report includes material from the Associated Press.

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