Revere beach in the early 90s wasn't exactly an inviting place lol But I have heard it has been cleaned up pretty nice now. Not sure if it was criminals that made it uninviting or the human waste being dumped into the ocean though .
You are correct that it was not so much criminals but the water being dirty as all hell. The water has cleaned up though, but even so it's not a beach I frequent. They also told me when I was a kid that the Charles River which ran through my town was cleaned up, I have yet to smell another river that smells like the Charles.