Ex-convict set up confession helpline and received calls from rapists and killer
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An ex-convict who set up a "confession" helpline has been bombarded by calls from rapists and even a serial killer.
Allan Bridge posted flyers around the city after feeling the need to atone for his own crimes.
In 1980, the ex-criminal decided to set up the "apology" phone line in Manhattan.
Flyers for the service read: "Attention all amateurs, professionals, criminals.
"You have wronged people, it is to people that you must apologise, not to the state, not to God.
"Get your misdeeds off your chest."
The service was a call to ask people to get their crimes off their chest.
It started after Bridge was convicted of shoplifting after struggling to make ends meet after moving to New York in 1977.
However, he later repented his crimes and thought of an idea to help others who wish to apologise, reports The Sun.
The system instructs callers to stay anonymous and call from a pay phone to avoid being traced.
The New York Post reports the flyers clearly state there is no association to the police, government or religious organisations.
But after receiving calls from those letting out their secrets, his life unravelled as he got calls from rapists, a killer and cheaters, said his wife.
Bridge's wife, Marissa, has spoken about the project in a podcast "The Apology Line."
She said he received bizarre calls with some even threatening to kill him.
The service became so popular there was eventually an extension added to direct the calls according to their nature.
By the early 1990s, eventually it got too much for Bridge, Marissa said: "Allan was ‘unraveling’. It took up his whole life.
“He slept very little and worked minimally at carpentry. Keeping up with everything was a Sisyphean task. Calls got dark.”
Bridge tragically died in a hit and run in 1995 at the age of 50.
- In the News
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