In May, 2019, a remarkable book hit bookstores across the country. It told a story unlike anything anyone could ever imagine. A story of a life marred by tragedy, violence, rage, and, ultimately, redemption. A life entangled with loneliness, prison, and the dangerous world of organized crime.
And now this incredible story is being made into a movie and documentary to tell the remarkable story of survival, not just against the odds but against all odds.
This is a glimpse at what this story revealed.
Imagine you are six years old, trembling beneath your bed, desperately looking for the one reassuring presence who can save you from your rampaging father. Your aunts and uncles will rescue you again. They will come, standing between you and the raging man who seeks to destroy your innocence.
And you will know them not by their faces, or their voices…but by their ankles. The saviors arrive and the reassuring sight of their ankles bring you hope…
Imagine you are twelve years old on Christmas Eve. Inside, all around you, families wait in quiet anticipation for the celebrations of Christmas. Trees adorned with decorations stand watch over wrapped presents waiting silently for the laughs and giggles of children, young and old.
But for you, there are no presents, no decorations, no Christmas feast. On this Christmas Eve you are alone, cold, and abandoned. Tossed from your home by your father with no one to turn to. Wandering the streets of Providence, wearing pajamas, sneakers, and a thin jacket, looking for a way to survive.
You will spend a silent night in a dark, dank basement in the Providence projects sleeping in an abandoned cardboard box.
Imagine you are sixteen years old, sentenced to adult prison. Your reputation for brutal violence draws attention from Organized Crime who lure you in and groom you to be one of them, becoming the “family” you so desperately seek. Years of working as an enforcer for the mob follow, more prison time, and narrow escapes from serious convictions.
Imagine you are being targeted, pursued, and shot by a would-be assassin. Running until you can run no more, you collapse against a car. No longer able to move, or escape. Your blood pours out as the pain bores in.
Imagine the gunman places the barrel of the gun against your forehead, smiles, and pulls the trigger. Click, the gun does not fire. Click, again. And you realize it is not your time to die. Summoning the strength you thought had abandoned you, you lunge at the gunman, chasing him away.
Imagine you survive the horrific damage to your body by that 9mm bullet. You know what you must do and how you will do it, in your own way. All the while knowing no one leaves a mob crew except by disappearing into prison, the Witness Protection program, or giving up breathing.
Imagine confronting the man who now heads Organized Crime in New England, a man unaccustomed to being told anything he did not want to hear, and telling him that letting you leave the life was best for all concerned.
And he agrees.
For Robert “Bobby” Walason, this was not imagination, this was his life, and this is his story. A story of abandonment, desperation, rebirth, and redemption.
“The story casts a light onto the ebb and flow of a dark side of American society, a look at the forces that play havoc with the lives that go adrift on the streets of all our cities.”Joe Broadmeadow, UnMade: Honor, Loyalty, Redemption
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