South Boston Suicides

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South Boston was once celebrated for its dynamic ability to overcome any obstacle, but now the despair is overwhelming. "Southie" has changed. It was once renowned for the unity and success of the town's residents. South Boston was a place where Irish immigrants, Italians, Lithuanians and Albanians came from poverty to rising to middle class success. The town's people were able to find good jobs and buy homes for their families. The Southie men were known as priests, politicians, policemen, firemen, fishermen and factory workers. Maybe some of these jobs were not regarded as the best, but the town was proud and always helped families if they needed it.

As the time passed, Southie realized that they had their share of problems. South Boston's decline started after WWII. Home mortgages were cut off, and in the 1970's busing started. Southie waged war, parents hurled stones, and the youth began to drop out of high school.

The residents of this fiercely proud city put barricades against outsiders and change. They never got over the fight, "after busing, everybody saw authorities as the enemy", said Michael Macdonald.

Within all this turmoil, the teenagers of South Boston began to feel as though they were trapped. About 70 teens from Southie were hospitalized for attempting or thinking about committing suicide. They did not think life had much to offer them. So, some turned to suicide. Some connections can be drawn from studying the victim's background. All of the victims came from fatherless homes of South Boston. Also, all of the suicides were committed by males. The first victim, Kevin Geary, hung himself on December 30th after getting an $85.00 traffic ticket for running a blinking red light. Tommy Mullen was gregarious and popular, but on the night before St. Patrick's Day...