Eric Schneider was one of numerous young victims in a major sexual abuse case that rocked Boston in the mid-1980s. Some of the boys committed suicide, but the tormented Schneider became a violent teenager, an arsonist, a drug dealer, and a criminal. He recounts in detail the incredible challenges he faced and overcame in a new book, The Choir Boy: Why I Turned to a Life of Crime with the Whitey Bulger Gang after Being Raped by My Scoutmaster Schneider hopes that by sharing his struggle to lead a normal life, others can avoid abuse and the troubling consequences of a life of crime. He describes his outrage when the community he lived in refused to believe that a widely admired scoutmaster had been abusing young boys for many years and introducing them to drugs. By the age of 20 he was a member of the notorious Whitey Bulger organized crime network in Boston.
Captured and faced with life in prison, Schneider testified for the prosecution, sending his partners in crime to prison. He was given a new identity by the witness protection program and lived in obscurity in another state. Intelligent, talented, and charming with choir boy good looks, he lived well but repeatedly destroyed his career in construction and two marriages because of his drug-induced behavior. He candidly shares his experiences and inner feelings about:
- The details of how his predator befriended him and gradually increased the abuse over four years, threatening to kill his family if he told anyone.
- How his adoptive parents never showed him affection or understanding, but repeatedly bailed him out of trouble.
- Accounts of his robberies of restaurants, retailers, banks and armored vehicles and his involvement with the Whitey Bulger gang.
- His attempts to overcome his addictions to drugs and alcohol, including many periods spent in 11 different rehabilitation centers.
- How eight dreadful months in a Florida prison was the turning point that motivated him to successfully turn his life around.
The Choir Boy
is the journey of a survivor who has been to hell and back, yet sees a bright future. It is Schneider's hope that his candid story will help other victims of child abuse overcome their suffering, and help parents prevent child abuse by recognize signs of it and assuring children that it’s safe to talk about whatever might be bothering them.
About the Author
Eric Schneider is a survivor of childhood sex abuse, alcohol and cocaine addiction, industrial poisoning, and a life of crime as a member of the infamous Whitey Bulger organized crime syndicate. At one time a professional bank robber, he became a successful building contractor, is rehabilitated, and is in a loving relationship. He is affiliated with Childhelp, an organization for the prevention and treatment of child abuse. He lives in Southern California.
I am normally not a book reader, but there are a few select books I have enjoyed. I tend to enjoy real stories the most and I truly admire those who come out strong from a bad situation. When I heard of Eric's story and his book I was interested in the read. I tell you, this book is a tear jerker and will keep you on the edge of your seat the whole time. The things he went through are just things that are hard to hear and things you wish weren't true. I'm honestly not the best person to review a book because I don't read much when it comes to books, mainly due to the lack of time with a busy schedule, but I can tell you that this book is a good one. I hated reading everything that Eric went through, but I love the outcome of his story and how he's not staying quiet about what happened to him. I believe that keeping secrets in like that are only bad for you and getting them out is therapeutic to a person. I found Eric's story inspirational and a great read for anyone who's ever been or is going through a similar situation. I may not be a big reader, but this story was great and something to be shared! If you haven't already, check out Eric's book, The Choir Boy! Nothing short of inspirational!
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