The envelope, addressed by hand in meticulous, slashing cursive, arrived at the Boston magazine offices without fanfare. Our receptionist saw the name on the return address and thought it might be worth an editor’s attention. A Mr. James Bulger, prisoner ID number 02182748, from the high-security U.S. penitentiary in Coleman, Florida, was requesting a change of address for his subscription. “Look forward to your magazine,” Bulger penned in his own hand.
Almost two years into his two lifetime prison sentences, James “Whitey” Bulger is taking pen to paper. A few weeks after our envelope arrived, the local newspapers reported on a letter the 86-year-old gangster had dashed off, over the winter, to three students at a high school in Lakeville: “My life was wasted and spent foolishly, brought shame + suffering on my parents and siblings and will end soon,” he wrote. It may be the closest he comes to ever showing remorse after being convicted in 2013 of 11 murders. In the meantime, like other retired snowbirds we know, he is evidently relying on these pages to stay in touch with his hometown.