Why I get upset thinking about the case is that the theory behind the case is so flawed it is hard to believe it resulted in a prosecution. I’m not talking about the charge on which he was convicted which is murder by gun. That too has no validity. Connolly had no presence in Florida for months or even years prior to the murder nor did he have any connection with the gun used in the shooting. The state argued that because Connolly was an FBI agent and carried a gun then that gun, the gun he perhaps had on his person in Massachusetts, implicated him in the crime murder by gun. To think an appeals court would seriously consider this as a legitimate interpretation of a criminal statute boggles the mind.
As bad as that is, it pales in significance to the government’s theory as to why the murder took place. The victim of the murder is John Callahan a Boston accountant. He liked to hang around with the wise guys including Johnny Martorano and his brother Jimmy, who is said to be a member of the Mafia.
Callahan is not a good guy. He wanted to take over the business of another guy named Roger Wheeler who lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He paid $50,000 to John Martorano who was hiding out in Florida to do the murder. Martorano and another guy flew to Tulsa and murdered Wheeler. There is absolutely no connection of Connolly with the Wheeler murder.
Martorano wrote a book bragging about the twenty murders he had committed over the years. In it he tells how he murdered some people who he thought might be cooperating with the law. No one had to tell him to murder those people; he knew in his heart (however small that is) that he or his friends may be in jeopardy from a certain person so the person was eliminated.
Martorano said he would not have murdered Wheeler if his “partners” in Boston, Whitey Bulger and Stevie Flemmi, did not approve it. Both of those men were listed as top echelon informants in the FBI’s books and Connolly was their handler. Martorano said he spoke on the phone with Stevie who said it was all right. Why he had to get their approval to murder Callahan is not explained? He never needed anyone’s approval for his other murders. Hardly would you expect these hardened criminals to be discussing the matter over the telephone.
After Wheeler is murdered an investigation is started by the Tulsa police along with the Tulsa FBI. Chasing down leads they eventually end up in Boston. The only reason they are there is that they have learned that Brian Halloran mentioned Callahan had some involvement in Wheeler’s murder. They knew of Callahan’s fondness for gangsters.
John Martorano is the only guy who dealt with Callahan to set up the murder of Wheeler. Callahan could implicate no one else. What do you think he thought when he learned the law had focused on Callahan in its investigation of the Wheeler homicide? Do you think he figured he could be in deep trouble? You would not be far from wrong. He knew Callahan was the only one who could connect him to the murder.
Do you think he would have to be told by other people that he was at risk? Do you think he would need instructions from his “partners” in Boston as to what to do? Obviously not, his history as told by himself condemns him. He knew he had a problem. He knew who it was. He knew how to make it go away.
You may ask how does John Connolly fit into all of this? The government said he passed the word on to Martorano that Callahan was being looked at by the FBI and he may not stand up. How did the government know this?
Martorano told them when he was trying to get a deal for himself. There is no proof other than that. But it is not that Martorano said he talked to Connolly for he never met or talked with him. Martorano says another guy (Stevie Flemmi) looking for a deal told him that Connolly told him to pass the word on.
To implicate Connolly in Callahan’s murder you have to believe that Martorano had to be told by Connolly through a third person that he was at risk. That’s a bridge too far for me; Martorano knew he was at risk as soon as the inquiry into Weeler’s homicide shifted toward Boston.
The problem with all this is that it is so easy to add someone into a crime. Here Connolly is jammed in by a murderer who he never met. What is grossly missing from this episode is Connolly had nothing to gain through Callahan’s death. What did Callahan have on him? Nothing. Why then was he brought into the matter at all? It was because Martorano needed a deal and without a bigger fish he could not have made a deal to get 12 years in prison for 20 murders.
That’s why I get upset thinking of Connolly. His job was to handle gangsters. Without anything more than the words of gangsters he gets indicted and convicted. There is not one bit of evidence outside of that which keeps him locked up in Florida while the gangsters who did the murders are free on the streets.