Mark Wahlberg was a Drug Dealer and was Charged with Attempted Murder Before Forming Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch

Image Courtesy of ©Glenn Francis,

Today I found out Mark Wahlberg was a drug dealer and was tried for attempted murder before forming Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch.

Wahlberg, born the youngest of nine children all living in a three bedroom apartment, dropped out of school around the age of fourteen and joined a gang.  During this time, he was reportedly in trouble with the law around 20-25 times, for dealing drugs and various other offenses. He also claims he became addicted to cocaine during this period.  Things came to a head when he was 16 years old and he attacked two Vietnamese men without provocation.  He attacked the first with a stick and he punched the second, permanently blinding him in the process.  The official record of the event as recorded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Superior Court is as follows:

Count I:

At approximately 9:00 p.m. on April 8, 1988,  Thanh Lam, a Vietnamese adult male who resides in Dorchester, traveled by car to 998 Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester, Massachusetts.  At 998 Dorchester Avenue, Thanh Lam left his car carrying two cases of beer.  As he crossed the sidewalk, Mark Wahlberg attacked Thanh Lam.  Wahlberg was carrying a large wooden stick, approximately five feet long and two to three inches in diameter.  Wahlberg approached Thanh Lam calling him a “Vietnam fucking shit”, then hit him over the head with the stick.  Thanh Lam was knocked to the ground unconscious.  The stick broke in two and was later recovered from the scene.  Thanh Lam was treated overnight at Boston City Hospital.

After police arrested Wahlberg later on the night of April 8, 1988, Wahlberg was informed of his rights and returned to the scene of 988 Dorchester Avenue.  In the presence of two police officers, he stated: “You don’t have to let him identify me, I’ll tell you now that’s the mother-fucker whose head I split open”, or words to that effect.

Count II:

As a police officer arrived at the scene of 988 Dorchester Avenue, Wahlberg and two other youths who were with him fled up Dorchester Avenue toward Pearl Street.

Shortly after 9:00pm on April 8, 1988, Hoa Trinh, an adult Vietnamese male who resides in Dorchester, was standing several blocks away from 998 Dorchester Avenue, near the corner of Dorchester Avenue and Pearl Street.  Hoa Trinh was not aware of the altercation outside of 998 Dorchester Avenue.

Wahlberg ran up to Hoa Trinh, put his arm around Hoa Trinh’s shoulder and said: “Police coming, police coming, let me hide.” After a police cruiser passed, Wahlberg punched Trinh in the eye, causing him to fall to the ground.

Police arrived and Hoa Trinh identified Wahlberg as the person who punched him.  Wahlberg was placed under arrest and read his rights.  Thereafter, he made numerous unsolicited racial statements about “gooks” and “slant-eyed gooks”.  After being returned to 998 Dorchester Avenue, Wahlberg identified Thanh Lam as the person he hit over the head with a stick.

For these attacks, Wahlberg was arrested and initially charged with attempted murder, but it was later reduced to criminal contempt, which carried a maximum sentence of ten years.  After pleading guilty, he was given a two year sentence at the Deer Island House of Correction in Boston.  In the end, he only had to serve 45 days in the correctional facility.

Unlike most that go through such facilities, the time he spent locked up inspired him to try and turn his life around.  “As soon as I began that life of crime, there was always a voice in my head telling me I was going to end up in jail. Three of my brothers had done time. My sister went to prison so many times I lost count. Finally I was there, locked up with the kind of guys I’d always wanted to be like. Now I’d earned my stripes and I was just like them and I realized it wasn’t what I wanted at all. I’d ended up in the worst place I could possibly imagine and I never wanted to go back.”  He started his turn-around by reaching out to his parish priest for guidance and support, as well as leaving the gang he was a member of.

Mark Wahlberg’s big break came thanks to his older brother, Donnie.  Donnie Wahlberg was already famous at this point with his success as a member of The New Kids on the Block, a band Mark had initially been a member of at the age of 13, but quit before the group became famous.  Mark had been working as a bricklayer after serving time when Donnie helped him form Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, including helping him get a record contract and producing the first record the group made.  The debut album Music for the People, released in 1991 when Mark Wahlberg was 19 years old, ended up going Platinum thanks largely to the hit single Good Vibrations and the follow up single Wildside.

After his music career started to hit the tank a couple years later, Wahlberg dropped his Marky Mark persona and decided to take up acting.  Despite early skepticism by critics, he made the switch successfully, with his first critical success coming from appearing in The Basketball Diaries, though he had a few roles before this, most notably opposite Danny DeVito in Renaissance Man.  Since then, he has become one of the bigger stars in Hollywood, reportedly commanding around $12-$15 million per movie today.

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Bonus Facts:

  • During his “Marky Mark” fame period, Wahlberg famously worked for Calvin Klein as an underwear model.  Somewhat more humorously, he also put out a workout video: Form… Focus… Fitness
  • Mark Wahlberg’s siblings are: Arthur, James, Debbie, Michelle, Paul, Tracey, Robert, and Donnie.  He also has half siblings Scott, Buddy, and Donna who are children of his dad by another woman.
  • Though all in all Wahlberg has turned his life around quite nicely, especially in recent years where he’s been involved in numerous charitable endeavors, particularly benefiting underprivileged youth, he still had several instances of violence in his post-prison, younger years (around the “Marky Mark” period).  For instance, when he was 21 years old, he “viciously and repeatedly kicked the plaintiff, Robert D. Crehan, in the face and jaw” while a friend of his, Derk McCall, held Crehan down on the ground.  This resulted in Crehan’s jaw being broken, as well as a claimed decrease in learning ability.  Wahlberg also famous had a fight with certain members of Madonna’s entourage (which he states Madonna still owes him an apology over).  He also attacked a security guard, which resulted in him having to appear in several anti-bias advertisements.  Wahlberg states about his early life: “I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life and I’ve done bad things. But I never blamed my upbringing for that. I never behaved like a victim so that I would have a convenient reason for victimizing others. Everything I did wrong was my own fault. I was taught the difference between right and wrong at an early age. I take full responsibility.”
  • Wahlberg was originally cast in both Ocean’s Eleven and Brokeback Mountain, but turned both roles down.  In Ocean’s Eleven, he was cast as Linus Caldwell, but withdrew and Matt Damon was cast instead.  In Brokeback Mountain he states he withdrew due to being uncomfortable with the sex scenes.
  • Wahlberg and several friends originally had tickets to fly on United 93, one of the planes hijacked by terrorists on September 11, 2001.  However, they ended up deciding to instead charter a plane to go attend a film festival in Canada before returning to Los Angeles.  Wahlberg has since stated that “If I was on that plane with my kids, it wouldn’t have went down like it did. There would have been a lot of blood in that first-class cabin and then me saying, ‘OK, we’re going to land somewhere safely, don’t worry.'”  Obviously this didn’t go over very well with people who lost loved ones on that plane, nor with the general public.  Given Wahlberg’s apparent propensity towards violence, even when unprovoked, the first part of his claim isn’t really that far-fetched.  However, the passengers of United 93 did revolt once they realized the bomb threat the terrorists were using to control them wasn’t likely true.  They learned this after several passengers heard of the planes that hit the twin towers from talking to loved ones on their cell phones.  Unfortunately for the passengers, though, the terrorists at this point were obviously the ones flying the plane.  Once the passengers had nearly broken into the cockpit, the hijackers made the decision to simply crash the plane, with one recorded as saying “Is that it? I mean, shall we put it down?” and another responding, “Yes, pull it down.”  The pilot then rolled the plane over and began chanting “Allāhu Akbar”, while the passengers continued to fight.  The official report states that at the time of impact, the passengers were just seconds from taking complete control.  So obviously Wahlberg with his temper and fighting ability being there or not would have made no difference as the hijackers would have put the plane down all the same the second it was apparent a passenger or group of passengers were about to retake the aircraft.
  • Wahlberg never returned to High School after dropping out at the age of 14, but did eventually get his GED.
  • Since New Kids on the Block, Donnie Wahlberg also took up acting, appearing in such works as Band of Brothers, the Saw films, and The Sixth Sense.  For the latter role in The Sixth Sense as “Vincent Grey”, he had to lose 43 pounds.
  • New Kids on the Block was formed by Maurice Starr who held auditions in Boston with over 500 boys turning out.  The first member selected was Donnie Wahlberg, who subsequently convinced Starr to also add Mark to the group, along with some friends of his.
  • New Kids on the Block actually almost never were, as far as becoming famous.  Their debut album was a flop and their second album initially didn’t do any better.  After their first album, the group could only get gigs at school dances and the like.  When their second album was released, it also initially flopped with little interest in their first single Please Don’t Go Girl.  Finally, the label had decided to drop the group, but at this same time a single radio station in Florida had been playing the song steadily, with it becoming one of the most requested songs at that station.  When Columbia Records learned of this, they decided to promote the song more and things took off from there. Interestingly, due to their later success, their debut album ultimately ended up selling four million copies, despite the initial flop.  All total, New Kids on the Block sold over 70 million albums.
  • The original name of New Kids on the Block was “NYNUK”, but upon signing the group, the label, Columbia Records, told them they needed to come up with a different name.
  • Donnie Wahlberg also has had his share of trouble with the law, such as being charged with first degree arson for setting fire to a hotel hallway in Kentucky (The Seelbach Hotel).  The charges were later lowered and he simply had to make a series of public service ads about fire safety, as well as anti-drug and anti-drunk driving ads.
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  • Thug Life

    • Life of a thug.

      Yet they take thugs and turn them into movie stars and heros.
      Blows my mind what society is coming to.
      Its reality tv but on a higher level
      Its the wrappers moto, when they shoot someone or get the criminal record. It is then their career launches to the next level

  • What a guy!! ♥

  • Thanks to Mark Wahlberg i won 2 State Championships and opened 2 stores,! His Inspiration gave me the drive to be a better person and stop with the drugs and hanging out with bad people in witch i learned were never my friends!! I would love to met Mark and shake his hand and say thank you!!!

  • Wow so he really was and is a douche..

    • Wow…jealous much

      • Jealous that he made someone permeantly blind or that he punched someone so hard for no reason that gave the person learning disabilities? I e never even heard him talk about those instances. If i did that and had hundreds of millions of dollars id send them money for ever.

        • Think about it real long & hard , before you just jump in and make accusations.
          So the bottom line is , he turned his life around !!!! Period !!!! He has finished his education , & does charity work. How do you know he hasn’t helped the person he blinded , & as you said , it is not talked about , so you DON’T know. He has said on many interviews that his life was off to a bad start in his early teens , but he chose to turn it around.. And does not blame the fact that his parents had 9 children to support , he takes full & sole responsibility..You say these unkind things as though your an expert , & you don’t want people to do better. And his life eventually went in the direction he aimed it , so deal with good life changes.
          People would not get a second chance if they depended on opinions like yours for moral support. You must be perfect !!!!
          Congratulations, your a RARE breed !

  • obviously this pig should have done more time for original (caught) crimes. He just went on to harm others later.

  • he is soo hot and i think that yes he did bad things but he turned his life around very well bc its hard to come out of those kind of things and he should be thanking his brother all the time

  • Sounds like a violent, racist arsehole.

  • Sounds like a man who made a few mistakes in his day and is now turning that around.

  • Mark is the real hero..he never let his life to end up like a criminal..he turned his life in a totally opposite direction and hit the top..after being such a convicted criminal,it’s nearly impossible to become such a big personality..i salute Mr.Mark Wahlberg..he is a hero indeed.

    • People who run into burning buildings to save strangers are Heroes by definition. But to claim former violent street thugs who now make millions entertaining the sheep are Heroic shows how ignorant you are.

  • While I appreciate the fact that he straightened himself up, I have a problem with a person who cannot own a gun due to his own criminal history not only using them in movies bu telling me that I should not have one either, when I have broken no laws.

    • You’re reachin’ there, pardner.

      First, guns in movies don’t have real bullets. They are fake guns. Don’t be silly.

      Second, he does not tell you that you cannot have one. He did say that he would like them to be illegal, but, “Unfortunately, you can’t [take away guns], so you hope that good people in the world have them to protect the people who can’t protect themselves.”

      You’re not the fastest draw are ya, buddy?

  • It’s a good thing the attempted murder charge was reduced. I definitely wouldn’t consider what he did to be an attempted murder, he could have also been under the influence of cocaine. Maybe the words “attempted murder” make for a good headline but I believe it to be unjustly demonizing to defame him by saying he attempted to kill someone in the past when that is clearly not the case.

    • Are you nuts I’m from Boston I was in that jail where he did 45 days on a 2 year sentence he was as racist as he could be
      Punk he was lucky he even made it out of there.

  • I wonder if he ever shared his “well earned” wealth with the guy and family who he blinded in the attack. “Well earned” meaning he’s a poor excuse for a performer, music and acting. The guy has been extremely lucky in his life. Undeservedly from what I’ve seen.

    • gman, to answer your question…, I saw an interview where MW was asked the same question and the answer is yes. I don’t know how much the victim was compensated, but I would not take the money. I’d ask MW to do some more time. The ONLY reason for why MW is one of the biggest names in Hollywood is because that poor Asian man did not die. I also found out that MW gave several hundreds of thousands of dollars to a church in his old neighborhood. I guess he’s the type of guy that believes in throwing money at something can fix things. It never does.

      • Things you do like that in life can’t be taken back, there is no correct thing he can do to make up for what he did. There is only what he can do, and helping them with money, while it does not clear his guilt, is what he can do. It doesn’t make things right, it doesn’t erase what he did, but he still needed to at least try.

  • I met him back in 1993 while volunteering as a security guard at Dwyer HS in Palm Beach Gardens Fl. I was his shadow all night long. As he finished his rap show I said, “that was a great show man.” We shook hands and he said, “thanks man!”

  • Saying that it “can’t be taken back” is essentially saying to the poor Asian guy who lost his sight thanks to MW “suck it up princess.” Maybe he can’t give the guy his sight back but he could serve a proper sentence so that justice can be seen to be done. Throwing money at the blinded Asian guy isn’t compensation; it’s just a condescending kiss-off.

    • How does serving more time solve anything at this point? All it does is cost the state money to incarcerate him for a longer period. If he showed better behavior in prison that’s generally what they go by to release people earlier because it costs money to keep people there. And the fact that he gives money to try to help other people now? How terrible he should think that absolves him. He should just keep his millions and mind his own guilty business.

    • Being blind is expensive in so many ways. While giving him money may not bring his sight back or might be a “kiss off”, it sure would help the guy live better.

  • Wow, he did some hard time. 45 days in juvie for blinding a man and nearly killing another. what is wrong with this country?

    • I’ll tell you what’s wrong. The prisons are so full and the courts are so jammed that they actually beg criminals to just plead guilty and give them severely reduced charges if they do. That is the system we have.

  • I like this dude……

  • He’s ugly, inside and out and no matter how much money he has or how famous he is, he will never be able to shake off the ugly; it’s who he is.
    Sorry, stardom doesn’t change anyone’s core. They just get very good at acting and fooling starstruck people.

    • Pot calling the kettle black? Stop assuming you know things about someone you’ve never met even if their lives are in the tabloids. We all have our issues we have to deal with

  • Just how hard could it be to track down the blinded Asian victim? I’m surprised TMZ isn’t all over it. Poor man. The real Lone Survivor.

  • MW is a piece of shit d-bag… C’mon if you beat someone to the point of blindness cuz they are a “gook” that is not something that goes away… He oughta find the family and pay their medical bills for life- at the VERY least….. Pffft but he never will…………

  • Everyone needs to stop hating on the dude… Everyone is racist in one way or another in their own way… That don’t take away from the fact he is a good actor… And obviusaly he is otherwise he wouldn’t be making 12 to 15 mil a movie… Don’t b mad he made it and y’all didn’t…lol…

    • You must be white. Only racist white ppl would say something like that especially when most of the time theyre not targets of racism.

  • I’m a 60 year old woman, who happens to love the Walberg family saga. And as far as Mark’s bad choices, weve all made them, most just sit on their high-horses and don’t admit them. Quit hating others for their past errs….and be thankful that MOST outgrow it. Worry about those who don’t.

  • He’s a dirtbag that never would have “made it big” if there was any justice in the world. He is a convicted felon that is not permitted to possess (touch or have in his hand) a firearm, whether or not it has live ammo in it, and every time he appears anywhere, film or movie set, holding an actual firearm, he should receive 5 years for that offense like any “regular person”. Being a movie star or celebrity does not, or should not exempt you from the law! Money does not fix everything no matter how much of it he has. Would he have given the amount he has if he had a regular job like most people have? HELL NO! He’s not special no matter what you celebrity-loving fools think. Wake up! They’re just people, like you and me. Quit putting them on a damned pedestal!!!!!!

    • You do realise they don’t use actual firearms in movies right? It’s all fake… Sorry to disappoint but Transformers isn’t real either.

    • He served the time he needed to serve. Its happened , its over. There is no reason why his career has to be ruined because of something that happened 30 years ago.

  • Kanal, You know this for a FACT, right? If it is capable of firing a BLANK, IT’S A REAL FIREARM!!! Never saw Transformers cause I’m not twelve. You are a star-struck idiot that can’t see past the pixie-dust. He is a criminal!!!

    • Daven Hiskey

      @Papaw57: To be fair, a criminal who served his time, and did so before he was famous, so wasn’t getting any sort of leniency for that reason.

      • As always when commenting on mistakes people have made in their young lives. We have others here verbally assaulting one another here. So are we any different from Mark?? No. Remember Saul, later Saint Paul was a Roman soldier who ordered the murder of St. Stephen. We will all need mercy and Forgiveness someday. If we don’t give forgiveness. We won’t get Forgiveness!!

    • I’m hardly star struck, I don’t really rate him as an actor, I just wanted to point out that the majority of films use props. They don’t fire blanks, they don’t fire anything, the trigger gets pulled and nothing happens, the effects are added in after filming. I’m not the idiot here Papaw.

    • Also how you managedto misspell my username when it was right in front of your face is beyond me.

    • Also how you managed to misspell my username when it was right in front of your face is beyond me.

  • Seems to me that everyone has way to much time on their hands these days (and apparently I do as well) to have nothing better to do but attack other people who had lost their way in life @ one point and had successfully turned it all back around again and saw the errors of his ways. Like the good book say’s…”Let thee without sins cast the first stone”….. And if you’ve noticed in most of his movies, they are for the most part fictional and based on real life people that have all suffered a great deal in life as I’m sure he has as well……..give the man a break already!!

  • Mark Wahlberg is scum for doing what he did to the Vietnamese men. He got a away with it. 45 days is nothing. And he got rewarded in life big time. It just makes no that this piece of shit gets rewarded when so many good ppl struggle.

  • I met.him.SEVERAL times because I was.a fan of.New.Kids and met all of them,in NYC wherenI lived at the time.He was extreemly rude to my friend and I. It.was actually quite funny because neither of us were interested in him,we just wanted to chill.He said really nasty things,and we just left and.laughed. bottom line..hes an asshole

  • It seems to me that a lot of people in this world of electronics have nothing better to do then bash people that hmmmm, maybe ur just jealous of his fame. He paid his dues and if anyone should have anything to say… should be the man who lost vision in one eye.
    If he doesn’t have anything to say…then why the hell should anyone else??

  • Just a “Thug” that got lucky,there’s a law abiding honest people that will never get this guys fame or $$$ support.

    I will look at this “Thug” different now, its just funny how A&E gave them a tv show about there restaurants. I will never eat there now after what I found out about him and his family.

  • It’s funny to read all this felony stuff, because a lot of states allow felonys to be sealed after a sertain amount of time, wake up, couple dollars and some fame u can do anything

  • Just a thug. Take away his celebrity and he will be the same guy. Attempting murder again. Nobody changes.

  • I don’t believe any of the negative comments here are fair or right. I am a 45 year old man who grew up in Chicago and have done a lot of things I personally now to this day being a the age I am cannot believe that I have done. I at one time was looking at a mandatory nine year sentence maximum of 30 and was blessed enough not to do any time.That’s just one thing out of the numerous other things I have done. You should never beat down someone else’s back door until you have checked your own. There are a lot of good people out there that make bad choices. sounds like to me he did turn his life around, noticed what it was and what it was not that he wanted. Good for him.

  • Did you mention that he was a minor at the time (16 years old) and tried as an adult, and I don’t think a small quantity of marijuana proves he was a drug dealer. I know you didn’t mention that he is now dedicated to righting his wrongs by giving to charities such as the Red Cross; also a place that provides food and shelter called, St. Francis Food Pantries and Shelter and has his own non-profit organization called the Mark Walhberg Youth Foundation which provides help to troubled children.

    And no I didn’t bother reading your article. It reminded me too much of the chatter that goes on in the girls bathrooms in junior high school.

    Some people do grow up and change, apparently Mark Walhberg is one of those people.

    • Daven Hiskey

      @Gina Judd: “And no I didn’t bother reading your article…” That is obvious.

    • go gina well done

    • People do change as they grow up, that is a truth that will always be ignored by those who love to dig up the mistakes people make when they are young. For those trash diggers, they get a kick out of making others think that “no tiger ever changes their stripes”. Too many people love to read the trash of celebrities lives.

  • That Vietnamese guy in an interview said that he was already blinded from the war and that Mark did no permanent damage …

  • And he was a racist. Why not post that? Mark Wahlberg – At 15, a civil action was filed against Wahlberg for his involvement in two separate incidents of harassing African-American school children, by throwing rocks and shouting racial slurs.

  • Did he do steroids to look as pumped-up as he did, back in the day of Marky Mark fame? It seems a given that’s the real deal. Would be nice, and maybe he even has, if he’d send the guy he blinded a few bucks as restitution, and search out the Black children he tried to stone to death, and maybe aplogize and hand them a couple bucks too.

  • lmao idfc if this guy made a million and four different amazing movies in his lifetime he did not deserve the pardon from prison that he got. y’all know that if it was a black man or an asian man who got caught up in those crimes, they would still be in fucking prison and not off filming Ted 45.

  • I find it that no one here realizes that Mark didn’t blind the man. The man admitted at first he though it was from Marks assault he found out that his eye was already blind from a grenade that he suffered from in war.

  • He turned his life around which is good enough for me.

  • mr. Wahlberg is/was a predator, a thug and convicted felon [jailbird, too!]. the term ‘white trash’ comes to mind; applicable to his entire family.

  • He actually didn’t blind the second man. There was an interview and the man said that not only does he think that Mark should be pardoned for the mistakes he made as a kid, but that the blindness (in only the left eye BTW) came from a grenade attack in the Vietnam War. And I did hear (although it is a rumor so don’t take it as a definite thing) that he sends the man or his family money. Idk much about the first man that he attacked. But you should remember that he was 16, and addicted to Cocaine. Not everyone has a good past. That being said, the things he did were extremely wrong and he did do time. It may not have been enough in some people’s eyes, but he did realize what he was doing was wrong.

    If you aren’t going to at least do some kind of research on someone, don’t post ignorant and rude comments. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know the facts that are placed out there.

  • A thug is always a thug! This guy should had stayed in prison for a longer time for hitting people. Why didn’t he pick the guys with his own size? Movie star my #$@..

  • I have been been quickly reading through these posts. & it seems as though Roder , has a fantastic. 2 or 3 word vocabulary….
    Anger issues much ?