Matthew McConaughey attends a special screening of "White Boy Rick"
Movies - TV
The True Story That Inspired Matthew McConaughey’s White Boy Rick
Matthew McConaughey’s film “White Boy Rick” was based on the true story of Richard Wershe Jr., who, at 14 years of age, became the youngest FBI informant ever.
Richard Wershe Sr. offered his services as well as those of his 14-year-old son to the FBI in exchange for help getting his daughter Dawn back, who had gone missing.
The FBI accepted the Wershes’ help because they had ties to the Curry Brothers, a drug dealer family whose leader, Johnny, was the fiance of the mayor’s niece.
Wershe Jr. was a valuable informant, but things got tricky when he uncovered the Detroit Police Department committing obstruction of justice to try and spare the mayor’s niece.
The FBI couldn’t take action against the local police without admitting that they had an underaged informant, so they eventually stopped working with Wershe Jr.
Both corrupt police and drug dealers made various attempts to kill Wershe Jr., and he was shot and nearly killed by a drug “associate” at 15 years old.
In 1987, when Wershe Jr. was 17, he was arrested for cocaine possession, and after serving 32 years of his life sentence, he was released July 20th, 2020.
Wershe Jr. became known as “White Boy Rick” by the press, and in 2021 he sued the FBI, claiming that their use of him as an informant pushed him to a life of drugs and crime.
Today, Wershe Jr. sells marijuana legally under his own brand, “The 8th,” and advocates for those who are sentenced for non-violent drug offenses.