Bensonhurst Revisited

Sonny returns to Bensonhurst and faces the demons from his past. 2011.

Sonny endured a traumatic childhood of severe physical and verbal abuse. His stepfather Deke was a cop who drank heavily and beat Sonny and his mother. Sonny was routinely locked in a closet as punishment as well as severely beaten. Sonny was never able to recover from the abuse and continues to suffer from nightmares, claustrophobia, anger, and pain.

Sonny's life in Bensonhurst.


Deke Woods was a brutal police officer. He was considered an upstanding citizen and was respected in the neighborhood. But at home, he drank and violently abused both Sonny and Adela.

Sonny and Adela never told anyone about the abuse they suffered. Friends and neighbors suspected that something was not right, but Sonny always denied anything was going on in his home.

Sonny stayed away from his house as much as he could. He would always stay in the neighborhood, sitting on his stoop, or staying at the Cerullo home.

The Cerullo family treated Sonny like family. They knew Sonny and Deke didn't get along, but the abuse was never acknowledged.

Sonny was locked in a closet by his drunken stepfather. Sonny could hear Deke beating his mother, but could not do anything to help her. After she was beaten, Deke would come get Sonny and beat him as well.

Whenever anyone questioned Sonny's cuts and bruises, he would say he fell. Sonny would never take his shirt off at school PE, because he didn't want anyone to see his bruises.

When they were children, Lois Cerullo found Sonny in her brother's room with his shirt off. He had bruises all over his back. Sonny told her he fell down the stairs. Lois didn't believe him, but Sonny made her swear to never tell anyone what she just saw.

Mike never knew that Sonny and Adela were abused by Deke. He thought Deke was an upstanding citizen who took care of his wife and son. He didn't find out about the abuse until Sonny was an adult living in Port Charles.

Sonny learned early on that if he got in enough trouble, Deke would focus on him and not his mother. So Sonny started getting in trouble. He would get in fights at school. He was considered the bad boy of Bensonhurst. As a result, he got the wrath of Deke's violence. Sonny felt it was the only way to protect his mother, who was not able to defend herself against Deke's abuse.

Sonny and Adela would say the rosary together, praying that Deke's abuse would stop. When Sonny asked his mother what good was praying, she told him that he had to keep faith that God would protect them.

Deke killed Sonny's dog.

When Sonny got older, he started fighting back. Sonny and Deke would get into vicious physical altercations. One time, Sonny was so violent with Deke that Adela asked Sonny to leave home. She told him she couldn't have them fighting anymore. So at 16 years old, Sonny left home.

Sonny roamed the streets, getting into trouble, eating out of garbage cans, and trying to survive. He hot-wired a car and took it for a joyride. The car happened to belong to Joe Scully, the neighborhood crime boss. Instead of getting into trouble, Joe took a liking to Sonny. Joe thought Sonny had a lot of potential.

Joe Scully treated Sonny like a son. Sonny finally found a home. Joe offered Sonny a life of power, something that Sonny had yearned for from his years of being a victim of Deke's abuse.

Sonny would go home to visit his mother when Deke was at work. He would take her out to lunch and buy her gifts.

When Sonny left home, Deke went back to beating Adela. One day, Sonny found Adela severely beaten. He took her to the hospital. Deke told everyone in the neighborhood that it was Sonny that was the one that beat his own mother.

Sonny was very shaken by his mother being so savagely beaten. When Joe asked Sonny what was wrong, Sonny revealed his long held secret: Sonny and his mother were violently abused by Deke for years. Sonny had never told anyone before. Joe said he would take care of everything.

Joe Scully made sure Sonny went to a Cerullo Sunday barbecue, so he would have an alibi. Joe had Deke Woods killed. He had him shot in an alley. Deke was shot in the head and heart, the symbol of a corrupt cop.

When Joe told Sonny what happened to Deke, Sonny was relieved that his nightmare was finally over. He thought it was justice.

Sonny buys his old home.
We first see Sonny back in Bensonhurst right after Brenda leaves town. He is sitting on the steps of his old home looking distraught and disheveled. It is revealed that Sonny bought his old home. The house is run down and full of graffiti.

Sonny carries the key.
Sonny returns to Port Charles. He runs into Olivia and they talk about the old neighborhood. Sonny tells how he went in a rage, tore down the closet door where Deke locked him in, and made a key chain with a piece of the door. He explains that he want to keep the key as a reminder that Deke has no power over him anymore.

Sonny talks about his past.
Sonny is on the roof of the hospital waiting for word on Dante. Kate comes to see how he is doing. Sonny tells her how much he loves Dante, how he will never forgive himself for shooting his own son, and how much he hates what his world does to his children. Sonny and Kate talk about Bensonhurst and how he hated Deke, but that Kate gave him something to live for.

Sonny tries to enter his old home.

Sonny and Kate go to New York City. The go to Sonny's old home, but Sonny is not ready to go inside. Instead, Sonny and Kate spend time together as they tour NYC. Kate continues to gently coax Sonny that he needs to face his past with Deke. Sonny argues that he doesn't need to, but Kate tells him that Deke follows him like a dark shadow. She always sees Sonny restless and haunted by his past.

Sonny finally returns to his home again, but he again hesitates and cannot enter the house. He explains that he was able to enter the first time because he was angry about Brenda and he used his rage to block out all of the pain. It's what he has done his whole life. Kate says she wished she could have protected him when they were growing up. Sonny says it never would have happened. He tells Kate that Deke was viewed as an angel and pillar of society. Deke went to church every Sunday and was a cop. Sonny was always the bad boy. No one would have ever believed him.

Sonny says he will go into the house, but he needs to do it alone. Kate agrees and tells him she will meet him back at the hotel. Sonny goes to the door and slowly enters the house full of apprehension and caution.

Sonny faces his demons.

Sonny enters his childhood home. He is cautious and apprehensive. He looks around the house and then walks towards the closet. A cop barges in the room and wants to know what Sonny is doing. Sonny explains that he bought the property. The cop begins to tell Sonny the history of the home. That little Sonny Corinthos used to beat his mother and had his stepfather killed.

Sonny shows the cop his ID. The cop is surprised that it is Sonny Corinthos. Sonny remembers "Jimmy" from the neighborhood. The cop gives Sonny some more attitude, but Sonny gives it right back and tells him to get the hell out. As the cop is leaving, Sonny tells him Deke was a bad man, not the hero everyone thinks he was.

Sonny walks over to the closet again. He yells out at Deke in anger. He says he isn't begging anymore and it's over. He glances back at the closet and sees himself as a small boy crying in the closet. Sonny covers his face and starts to cry.

Sonny sees himself as a little boy.

Sonny starts talking to the little boy. The boy tells Sonny he is him. Sonny starts getting upset because he never wants to be that little boy again. That boy was weak and powerless. Sonny runs and empire and is now feared and respected. Sonny wants the boy to go away. Kate enters the house and Sonny goes to her and holds on to her, trying to gain his composure. Kate says they can come back later if he needs to. Sonny says he's never coming back. He turns around and looks toward the closet. The boy tells Sonny he will be back because "You need me."

Sonny talks about Christmas past.

Kate: "Christmas didn't come to this house, did it?"

Sonny: "Nope. No Christmas, no reindeer and if God came, his eyes were closed."

Kate finds Sonny sitting on the stoop of his old home. They talk about some funny Christmas memories from the old neighborhood. Kate asks Sonny about his Christmas memories. Sonny says she doesn't really want to know. But Kate says she does. Sonny begins to tell her the horror of living with Deke, who was always drunk and terrorized Sonny and his mother. One year, Sonny asked for a Christmas tree. Sonny's mother put one up and they decorated it. Deke was furious. Deke beat up Adela. After that, Sonny never asked for anything. He just took what he wanted. Kate tells Sonny he doesn't have to take things anymore. He can just ask. Sonny asks Kate if she will spend Christmas with him.

Sonny celebrates a real Christmas in old Bensonhurst home.

Sonny and Kate are standing outside Sonny's old Bensonhurst home. Kate tells Sonny she lost her earring inside. Sonny tells her he will go in and find it. When Sonny enters the house, he is stunned to find the whole place decorated for Christmas. There is a Christmas tree, presents, lights, and food. Kate tells Sonny she wanted to give him the Christmas he never had as a child. Sonny smiles. He starts to feel relaxed as they open some presents, eat, and reminisce. Kate suggest that they put the home to good use. They should make it into a shelter for abused women and children. Sonny is open to the idea and wants to do it. He thinks it's a great idea. Sonny and Kate start to dance under the mistletoe. When Sonny glances at the closet, he sees the little boy again. He closes his eyes. When he opens his eyes, the little boy is gone. Sonny finally feels some peace.