Sandy King and the Code of Silence

February 24, 2011
By

The death of Sandy King earlier this month marks the passing from the local scene of a person who was larger than life for what she sought following the homicides of two of her sons.

The murderers of her sons were never revealed to police despite many people knowing who they were.

She was 66 and living in South Boston when she died but her entire life was an homage to the Charlestown she loved and to the code of silence which she hated and fought against.

In the end, some people say Sandy King was responsible for the code of silence being reduced, and in more ways than we can understand, almost being disassembled.

Charlestown was famous for generations for what came to be known as the code of silence.

Ten people could witness a homicide here only to be questioned by police with everyone who witnessed the murder to a person saying they had seen nothing, knew nothing about it and had nothing whatsoever to say about it.

The code of silence still remains but it is vastly reduced. In today’s world, there are virtually no secrets anymore. Loyalty is something almost extinct. Everyone is a witness. Facing jail or a bad reputation, most criminals will rat on one another to avoid prison.

Avoiding responsibility for our actions is what the modern world is all about.

Sandy King grew up here at a time when the code of silence was as sturdy as a brick wall.

After the loss of her sons, she went into action by publicizing the names of victims.

She comforted others who lost their children and for whom there were no witnesses even though word on the street showed that many knew who had committed the murders.

She founded the Charlestown After Murder Program.

Mainly, she encouraged Charlestown people to stand up for their rights, to speak out against those criminals who had killed others and managed to walk around free on the neighborhood’s streets.

Sandy King broke the code of silence in Charlestown.

This is her lasting legacy.

It was her way of memorializing the two sons she lost.

Considering what she was trying to do, her bravery in the face of intimidation was extraordinary.

She grew up poor in this neighborhood.

She understood the street.

She wasn’t going to let the deaths of two of her sons go unpunished.

Our condolences to her family.