§21: Re-Examining Whitey Bulger: The Learning Years: Martorano’s Hollywood Creation Of A Murder

Murderman Getting Ready
For A Day At The Office

I’ve told how I doubt Winter Hill was involved in killing Spike O’Toole. Others were after him for years. Two months or so before he was murdered he was gunned down by others. Murderman Martorano never mentioned that nor did he have him leaving the right barroom just before his murder.

Here how Murderman described the killing. He let him have it with a grease gun. Then Joe McDonald jumped out of the car “ran up to O’Toole, stood over his body, and lifted his ski mask,” because “he wanted Spike to know that he had been killed by Winter Hill . . . and fired twice into Spike’s head.”  It all sounds so Hollywood-like.

He went on that Whitey the driver saw a pedestrian approaching the car and “In the dark, Whitey reached for a gun, then he realized he didn’t have one. He settled for pointing his finger” at that person. He said later, according to Murderman, “Never again do I go  on a hit without a gun.” It sounds like one of those old time comedy routines. Don’t you like the touch “in the dark” as if that somehow contributed to misunderstand as if in the daytime or a light was on he would have known he didn’t have a gun but being dark he was confused. Oh, well.

Nothing Murderman wrote made sense outside of a sensational Hollywood script. The cops said Spike O’Keefe was shot at least four times in the chest by a burst of gunfire from a nearby parked car. Perhaps when Joe McDonald was standing over the prone O’Keefe when he fired into his face he missed. More likely it never happened.  

I suggest this because no one gets out of a car and goes over to a person at a busy intersection who just left a bar and is lying on the ground, takes off his mask to expose himself to gawkers, and pauses to shoot him in the head. The loud crackle of the machine gun would immediately draws a crowd. The bar Spike left would empty in seconds with witnesses; the pizza shop around the corner, the drug store opposite would send onlookers streaming outside to see what was happening. Even in Murderman’s story there’s a pedestrian standing right there.

Read about all of their other hits. When they fire at these guys they take off as soon as possible. A cop car could be cruising right down Dot Avenue into that intersection at any moment. When you gun down a person you immediately flee.

Even more ludicrous is the idea that Whitey is sitting in a car without a weapon but thinks he has one. That he reaches for it because a civilian is walking over to a car that just sprayed a clip of machine gun bullets at a guy. This is silly stuff. Civilians don’t walk over toward a car that has just finished spraying bullets. Then the idea of Whitey pointing his finger at the civilian is grammar school yard talk. 

The description given by Murderman of the event shows he wasn’t there but had put himself. Why? To add to his reputation? Doubt it. Then why?

Think. Remember how he and the prosecutors made up a list of witnesses he agreed to testify against even though he had no information against them.  The purpose was to put one over on us. Murderman’s a gangster, a con man.

He knew the prosecutors wanted evidence against Whitey. He gave it to them by putting Whitey with him in some murders and putting himself with Whitey on others he may have heard Whitey was involved in. Remember this, Murderman never expected Whitey to be caught. He figured he could say anything he wanted since there would be no blow black.

Same thing with his buddy Howie Carr, write anything he wanted since no one would look closely at what he wrote. If he’s so far off on what happened, his putting Whitey also at that scene is also has to be doubted.

Remember my post setting out Murderman reason for murdering Spike. In my book, Don’t Embarass The Family,  I noted that Murderman testified under oath in 2002 that Spike O’Toole was involved in a deal with him. Reading his book he never suggests that.

Remember, Murderman had two different versions of his murder of Tony Veranis. Both involved the typical High Noon type face-to-face shootout. In one as I mention in my book he testified Tony was bragging about beating up his brother, he went looking for him, met him in an after hour joint in Roxbury, as Tony went for his gun, he shot him.  “Tony was another guy I was faster than.”

In his book he’s going to the opening of an after hour joint in Roxbury.  There’s no mention of Tony beating up his brother. He has himself standing around and a drunk Tony Veranis, “a short, wiry youg guy suddenly got in Johnny’s face . . [h]e was loaded, blind drunk.” After a few words Tony, “reached for his gun but Johnny beat him to it with his .38. Taller than Veranis, he fired down, into the ex-boxer’s skull.”   

Ah, the old Western Spaghetti t, “I was faster than him on the draw” reason for murder. Here’s some flaws in Johnny’s tall tale:  Tony was shot in the back of the head and pistol whipped; Tony was taller than Murderman, and the two stories differ substantially.

But, as we’ve seen none of these tales by gangsters let the truth interfere with a good story, especially if that story helps you get a good deal from gullible prosecutors who’ve made up their minds to the result they wanted and accepted whatever story their gangsters witnesses told them which reaffirmed their preordained conclusions.



2 thoughts on “§21: Re-Examining Whitey Bulger: The Learning Years: Martorano’s Hollywood Creation Of A Murder

  1. Hello Matt,

    I look forward to every post and would like to say thank you for writing the blog. Your analysis and interpretation of the “Learning Years” murders is compelling. As a civilian, I wonder if there is any possibility of Murderman, Flemmi and/or others having to face any consequence, if it is found that the deals they worked out with the state turn out to be based off of lies? I think that most find it particularly egregious that Murderman is walking the streets a free man, not to mention bragging about his exploits in his book and on 60 Minutes. But add to that the fact that he made a mockery of our justice system? I couldn’t imagine that this would sit well with anyone that was a part of the deal, that has a shred of decency… that is, if the evidence is undeniable. Please tell us your thoughts on this.

    1. John:
      There are no consequences for all the people who have been spinning their lies. The only ones who can hold them to account are the federal prosecutors and they are on the same team and both are knotted tightly together in a death embrace. Even if the prosecutors had open and shut evidence, which I suggest they do, that their witnesses are lying if they took any action against them they would undermine their case. They could never do that. That is why the gangsters are in charge of the prosecution. That is why the prosecution of Whitey is as much of a government prosecution as it is a gangster prosecution. The really bad gangsters saw that the prosecutors believed that Whitey was the worst gangster ever and they just kept feeding the prosecutors pre-conceptions. Why the prosecutors felt that way was abetted by their idea that Billy Bulger had something to do with Whitey, which he didn’t, and that Connolly was a particularly evil FBI agent, which he wasn’t. They created this monster out of false and unsupportable beliefs and like most people they are afraid to admit their mistakes. That’s why Martorano can tell everyone, “I’m back.” He is now under the protection of the federal prosecutors.

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