The trouble with gangster books is that you don’t know where the truth is hidden. We saw this with Murder Man Martorano’s description of the first two murders charged against Whitey, he won’t identify who was beside him firing a machine gun. Pat Nee changed the names of the murderers to only dead guys. He didn’t identify others. Kevin Weeks testified and wrote he didn’t know who was in the back seat of Whitey’s car firing at Halloran. That means he is still alive. ll of them protect their friends, incriminate the dead, and tell us what they infer the feds want us to hear.
Here’s another thing to keep in mind aside from the courtroom setting. It’s unethical for lawyers to pay their witnesses to testify. I can’t offer a woman a thousand dollars if she can “remember” seeing a taxi run a stop sign just before hitting my client’s car. Or, then bargain with her how much it will take for her to remember. There is one exception to that; a prosecutor can pay his witnesses to testify. All the important witnesses against Whitey (as well as those against Connolly) are paid witnesses. Murder Man spent a year negotiating a deal in which he proclaimed his lawyer outwitted the feds.
In my book on the Connolly trial, Don’t Embarrass The Family, I suggest that if the prosecutors are allowed to pay their witnesses as a quid pro quo for this privilege they have a higher obligation than others to be certain their witnesses are candid and truthful.
They fail in that obligation when they allow Martorano and Weeks, and as they did with Salemme, to only identify some people and not all the people with them. They fail when they allow their paid witnesses to play dodge ball with Connolly’s lawyer Tracy Miner during her cross-examination in the Connolly’s trial. When the prosecutor recited his questions to them they gave short answers right to the point; when Miner asked for a direct answer she had to chase them all over the ball park to get even a semblance of an answer. This should not be.
I’ve suggested the governments going to have great difficulty convincing a jury Whitey had any involvement in the first two murders charged against him. Here are the others Murder Man will testify about that he said he killed because Mafia boss Gerry Angiulo wanted them murdered. .
The third murder is that of William O’Brien who was killed five days after Al Plummer and 16 days after Michael Milarno. Martorano and Howie Winter were doing the murders for the Mafia and were to be paid $25,000 for these murders according to Martorano.
William O’Brien has picked up a birthday cake and is heading home to pick up his ten-year-old daughter Marie in his car and with him is Ralph DiMasi, who is part of Indian Al’s crew. They’re on Morrissey Boulevard heading for Southie when the car being driven by Jimmy Sims, with Martorano in the passenger seat and “the Somerville guy” in the back pull up beside the car O’Brien is driving and murder him, an innocent person. Whitey, of course, is not with them. He’s in the crash car. Here again the mystery man and Howie Winter are not charged with the murder. Is that part of Martorano’s deal to only name Whitey even though he may or may not have been there?
Eight months later on December 1, 1973, Spike O’Toole is killed. Martorano says he and Howie Winter never liked him and when he got drunk he’d threaten to kill Winter. So they decided to murder Spike. This time Whitey drives the car but he has no gun. Martorano and Winter have the motive. Martorano and Joe McDonald do the shooting. (This sort of eliminates Joe McDonald as the shooter in the first three murders because if he was Martorano would have named him like he did here.) McDonald has left the his earthly abode, as you may imagine. I find it difficult to think a jury will buy Whitey was involved in this.
Two and a half months after O’Toole they get their chance to kill Indian Al who fled after his mob started to get killed. He didn’t know Martorano and Winter were behind the killings but thought it was Angiulo. When he came back he arranged with them to have a sit down with Mafia boss Angiulo. They drove him into the North End. Indian Al gave Angiulo fifty thousand as a peace-offering. Angiulo gave Martorano and Winter half the money and told them to kill him. Shortly after that Martorano and Sal Sperlinga met Indian Al to drive him to another meeting with Angiulo that he requested. Martorano sat behind him in the car and shot him in the head twice. Whitey, of course, was in the crash car. It’s highly unusual to have crash cars in this type of murder but Martorano needed to get Whitey involved. This too the jury will have a hard time putting on Whitey. As expected, Sal has gone to see his Maker.
We’ve had five murders charged against Whitey, three being innocent victims, and none of them is he shown to have had a weapon, in four he is supposedly in another car. The man saying he was there is the murderer who fires the shots, received money for the killings, and a big sweetheart kiss of a deal from the feds. The other man who arranged the deal with Angiulo and got the money for it from Angiulo, Howie Winter, is never charged. One of the killers name is a secret; the others are all dead. I’d put these five in Whitey’s pocketbook. There’s no impartial jury that would believe he had anything to do with them.