Society

Completely Tattooed Criminal Changes His Ways (Photos)

| by Brendan Kelly
John KenneyJohn Kenney

A reformed Australian gangster and former homeless criminal who has since straightened his life out has covered his entire body, including his eyeballs, in colorful tattoos.

John Kenney, 60, has his entire body covered in tattoos to remind himself of his turbulent life.

Kenny fled his family's violent home at the age of seven, collecting cans for money. 

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At the age of 10, he was sent to a juvenile detention center for the first time after assaulting a man who raped him, nearly killing him.

By age 12, he said he was tempted by "every drug except [the one] they use now, the ice." He began breaking into people's homes and eventually even became a pimp.

"Yes, you could call me a gangster, I ran drugs, imported them, sold them... they couldn't control me," Kenney told the Daily Mail.

Kenny said he was never given treatment for his drug problems or criminal behavior, he was just thrown into juvenile detention. He says that his teen years served as a "training ground" for the life of crime that was ahead of him.

In his teens, Kenney even got a part-time job, at which he chopped off one of his fingers with a meat cleaver to claim his compensation. He was given $12,000.

Kenney first became interested in tattoos at age 18, though he contracted Hepatitis C from being tattooed with dirty needles. 

"I have them on every part of my body. My psychologist thinks it is self-loathing but I just love it; have them up my nose, my tongue, eyeballs, maybe I've gone a bit too far, it is starting to look like I am inflicting pain on purpose," he said. "I regret half of my life, from the day I was born until I straightened myself ... I think about the victims I left behind I feel sorry for, especially the house break ins."

Eventually, John became tired of living his dramatic and dangerous ways and decided to turn his life around.

He bought a truck and started a business moving furniture. However, after his truck's engine died, he was without a job and a home once again. He was forced to put his cat down and move into the back of the truck, according to ABC.

John said he was "getting to the stage where I was too old for the streets," and eventually moved into an apartment owned by Wintringham Housing in Melbourne, Australia, an organization that seeks to house elderly people at risk of being homeless.

Kenny now spends his time volunteering on the streets, giving food and coffee to the homeless. He also speaks to students about the dangers of drug use.

John says that he is not proud of much of what he has done in his life, but now vows to live the remainder of his life differently.

"I want to have a happy life, even if it's short," John told ABC.

Sources: Daily MailABC / Photo credit: Margaret Burin/ABC News

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