A Boston Mobster Ruined My Childhood

A Boston Mobster Ruined My Childhood

By Elle Prendergast

When I was just eight years old, my life took an unexpected turn after a seemingly innocent movie night with my family. We gathered around the television to watch The Departed a gripping crime thriller that would forever change my perception of the world. Little did I know that this film would ignite an absurd fear within me – a fear of Whitey Bulger, the real-life criminal who had inspired one of the movie’s characters.

As the opening credits of the film rolled, I was too young to comprehend the intricacies of the plot or the significance of Whitey Bulger’s character, played brilliantly by Jack Nicholson. All I saw was a menacing, larger-than-life figure on the screen, with a wicked glint in his eye and a devilish grin that haunted my dreams for weeks to come.

The portrayal of Whitey Bulger in the movie was so chilling that it left an indelible mark on my impressionable young mind. I couldn’t shake the image of him as a powerful and unpredictable presence, lurking in the shadows of my imagination. I was terrified that he would somehow escape from the movie and enter our world, just as he had done in the film.

My nightly routine became an exercise in paranoia. I would peer out from under my blanket, convinced that he was watching me from the dark corners of my room. Every creak of the house or rustle of the wind outside was transformed into his sinister presence.

My parents, initially perplexed by my newfound fear, tried to reassure me. They explained that the movie was a work of fiction and that Whitey Bulger was, in reality, a dangerous criminal who had been captured and was serving a prison sentence. Little did they I (an eight-year-old girl) was responsible for his demise (that’s not true). There was no hope, any day now Whitey Bulger would be after me.

Reminiscing on my horrors as an eight-year-old has reminded me of two points, sometimes I need to calm down and think logically, and I was kind of a weird kid.