‘Bosco’ True Story & Ending Explained: Did Bosco Surrender Himself?


Directed by Nicholas Manuel Pino, Bosco tells the story of a young boy caught in an unfortunate situation at an age when he didn’t know what the ramifications of his actions could be. Bosco’s mother always knew what the end result would be if he kept walking on the same path, but even she wasn’t able to stop him. Bosco is a story of unwavering hope, and it teaches us that it is never too late to make amends and start afresh. So, let’s find out how much of the story is based on real-life events and what happened to Bosco in the end.

Spoiler Alert

What Is Adams’ True Story?

Bosco is inspired by real events, though there are places where the makers have taken certain creative liberties to make the narrative more interesting and entertaining. Quawntay Adams, aka Bosco, was just 14 years old when he was put behind bars in the California Youth Authority. From there Bosco was sent to Saint Clair, Illinois from where he tried to escape two times, but failed both times. Sometime after that in 2004 Bosco tried taking a van that, according to the authorities, was stashed with 1400 pounds of marijuana. After this incident the authorities decided that he should be placed in the maximum security cell, as shown in the film. That’s when he was shifted to the Alton City jail. Taking into consideration his past offenses, the authorities decided to take some strict action against him, and that’s how they sentenced him to 35 years in prison. There is no evidence of the fact that he was there to collect the van with his father, and that is one place where the makers have taken some creative liberty. 

Bosco always knew that if he had the proper resources to hire a good lawyer, then he wouldn’t have to spend 35 years in jail for possession marijuana. He knew there were others who had gotten way worse sentences for doing much less, but still, that didn’t make life easier for him. It is true that Bosco had a pen-friend whom he used to call on a regular basis and who helped him escape from the Alton prison. As shown in the film, Bosco had found a way to make an undetected phone call from the prison, and that’s how he used to contact this woman. He used a hacksaw blade to cut the ceiling and enter the air duct, through which he escaped in the end. The story about how he got that hacksaw blade has two versions: according to the police, he had it on him when he entered the prison, but then some say that it was smuggled into the prison at a much later stage through that woman he used to talk to over the phone. Bosco escaped the prison, and he stayed free for about 6 hours before being caught by the authorities. That woman told the authorities where he was, though we are not sure if it was something Bosco wanted, as shown in the film, or if he was just outplayed by the authorities. When asked about why he escaped from prison, he gave the reason that he wanted to hold his daughter in his hands, as he hadn’t seen her since she was born. Bosco did find loopholes in the legal system, and he fought his own case, after which the court decided to release him on July 24, 2020.

How was Bosco’s childhood?

Alton Prison had probably the best security setup, and for a prisoner who had tried to escape from the clutches of the law twice, that was the best place. Bosco had a very tough childhood, and though he hated how his father treated him and the kind of life he gave him, he followed his path and also ended up like him. Bosco’s mother always told him that a man’s destiny was determined by his choices. She told him to stay away from the criminal world if he didn’t want to meet a fate similar to his father’s. But probably in search of a better life or because he didn’t know what else to do, Bosco started indulging in all sorts of illicit activities. He dropped out of school in the 8th grade, and he did things that were under the radar of the law enforcement authorities. In a flashback sequence, we saw how his father ill-treated him and cursed him for being a mama’s boy and not taking responsibility. Bosco’s childhood innocence was lost in oblivion the day he had to run from his house because the police had come to arrest his father. After that day, he just couldn’t stop running. He spoiled his life the day he was caught with a van full of marijuana, and he got 35 years in federal court. The prison warden, Hunt, had eyes on him, and he made sure that Bosco stayed disciplined and didn’t try to plan another escape operation. Bosco got to know that he had become a father, but his wife told him early on that she didn’t want his shadow anywhere near her kid. She wanted to give her kid a good future, and she didn’t know if that would be possible if Bosco was around.

Why Did Bosco Surrender Himself?

Bosco had found a way to call people from the phone that was installed in his cell. He started talking to a woman named Tammy, and he was quite surprised to find that she was ready to help him in any manner he wanted. She gave him money, and she also sent a ceramic blade hidden inside one of the books. Bosco used that blade to cut a hole in the ceiling. It was slow and excruciating work, but Bosco kept at it, and he finally was able to go inside the air duct. Even after that, it took him quite some time to find a way out of the air duct. In between, he kept having arguments and fights with the warden and Ramos, his associate. Hunt made sure that Bosco was devoid of all hope, but the latter somehow managed to keep that flame alive. It deeply affected him when he saw the inmate in front of his cell succumb to his injuries after he was brutally thrashed by Hunt and Ramos. Police brutality was normalized, and it wasn’t like the inmates hadn’t been victims of it, but still, somebody losing their life because of it was rare. Bosco did manage to escape from that hole in the ceiling, and Tammy, as promised, came to pick him up. They went to a motel named Wentzville, and Bosco realized that his escape had become national news. Probably, that’s when Bosco had a change of heart. He wanted freedom, but he knew that his entire life, the authorities would hound him and wouldn’t let him live in peace.

How Did Bosco get acquitted of his charges?

Tammy wanted to live with Bosco, but the latter decided that it was imperative that he surrender to the authorities. He knew that if he wanted to get rid of the ghost of his past and start afresh, he would have to do things in the right manner. He told Tammy to go tell the authorities that she didn’t have anything to do with his escape and that she was actually under the impression that he was being released. Tammy did go and inform the authorities, and the police came and caught Bosco. For about a decade after that, Bosco studied criminal law, and then he fought his own case after he found certain loopholes that he could take advantage of. In the year 2020, Bosco was released, and he was no longer that boy who ran on the streets of Compton in the 1980s. He had seen so much that his perspective on life had changed, and he didn’t want anybody else, be it somebody he knew or a stranger, to commit the mistakes that he did. Today, the real-life Quawntay Adams runs a nonprofit organization called Chasin’ Freedum, and he helps the cause of those people who are stuck in a similar situation.

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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