The “peace” gave Whitey what he needed a way out of Southie; a way to keep his hand in Southie; time and protection. He’d start hanging around in Somerville with the guys at Marshall Motors (the Hill) because Southie was still too hot. He knew the Mullens did not particularly like him so he kept his distance. He dealt mostly with Pat Nee who was born in Ireland, raised in South Boston, fought in Vietnam, and was one of the Mullen leaders.
In Somerville he was a minor player. The Winters gang of Jimmy Sims and Joe McDonald didn’t particularly like him but they tolerated him because he made no trouble and they respected him because he had done time in the Big House. They thought he talked a little too much but Howie was able to keep the peace. The Roxbury guys, at this time the Martorano brothers with George Kaufman, had their own businesses to attend to in Roxbury, Dorchester and Quincy so they tolerated him because Whitey was an earner bringing in more money than he was taking out.
Things were quiet after Whitey first joined back in 1972 and he fell in line under the leaders of the two disparate desperado groups on the Hill, John Martorno from Roxbury, Howie Winter from Somerville, both hardened and capable criminals who unlike Whitey had murdered others. The group controlled the gaming and other rackets outside of the Mafia controlled areas and they coordinated their work with the Mafia. There was plenty of business for all to enjoy.
The gang war of the Sixties had brought too much heat and hindered profits. In part, it was said that was why Gerry Angiulo gave Joe Russo the OK to make peace in Southie with Howie Winter. Both sides knew a war would serve no one’s purpose since each side had capable killers; and, although killer for killer the Hill might have had the most brutal guys, the Mafia was always capable of calling in the cavalry from other families.
As 1973, the year the draft would be abolished, rolled in Whitey still is not known or alleged to have murdered anyone. He is 44 years old. The others would have given Murder Inc. a run for its money. Between this time and 1985, a period of 12 years is the time when it is said Whitey was most active in his killings.
The murders attributed to him can be divided into groups. The first group of four murders is the Contract Group which were done pursuant to a contract given out by Gerry Angiulo to Howie Winter and John Martorano. Al “Indian Al” Notarangelli had been starting up his own gaming business by intruding on that of Angiulo. He murdered one of Gerry Angiulo’s workers so Gerry turned to the Hill to help him out. They made some financial arrangements. These murders occurred in the 1973 to 1974 time frame: they were of: Michael Milano, Al Plummer, and William O’Brien all who were innocent of any involvement in the dispute; and Indian Al.
The next group of three murders is the Kill or Be Killed Group where three Mullens in South Boston were wiped out because it was believed they presented a threat to Whitey. These occurred in 1974 and 1975 and the victims were Paulie McGonagle, Tommy King, and Buddy Leonard. The latter two were like peas in a pod and hard as nails – if one was taken out you had to make sure to get the other.
Then there were the four murders in the Hill Group between 1973 and 1976. Each of these men were murdered for different reasons: James “Spike” O’Toole because he was a member of the McLaughlin group and had shot up one of the Roxbury guys quite badly and generally disliked; Edward “Eddie” Connors, another wise guy who as they say in the movies “knew too much” some of which could have hurt guys on the Hill; next was James Sousa who got involved in a scam that ended putting Joe McDonald in the jackpot; and finally there was Richard Castucci who was murdered so that the Hill guys could rip off the New York Mafia guys of money which they owed.
The above eleven murders all occurred between 1973 and 1976. In most of them Whitey played a minor role. The men doing the killing of the Contract Group was John Martorano and Howie Winter, the latter even though implicated by Martorano in them has never been charged. Martorano put a gun to the head of two of the Hill Group, Sousa and Castucci as well as one of the Kill-or be- Killed Group, Tommy King.
In perhaps three of the murders, two of who were rivals to Whitey you would think he would have taken the lead role. That is not necessarily so. With respect to Eddie Connors he murdered him along with Stevie Flemmi to gain his creds with the Hill.
Then there were his rivals for power in Southie: Paul McGonagle and Buddy Leonard. Martorano tells us Tommy King shot McGonagle while Whitey was there; as for Buddy Leonard, Martorano tells us the “Whitey and his crew” got him. Strange as it seems no one puts a gun in Whitey’s hand and he is depending on others, even in Southie, to do his dirty work.