Re-Examining Whitey Bulger: The Learning Years: The Real Johnny “Murderman” Martorano. Part 13

Bridge Leading To
Central Park Reservoir

I’ll always wonder if the prosecutors have second guessed their deal with Murderman Martorano. He held them up to ridicule when he openly admitted that he took them to the cleaners getting so little time for all the murders he confessed to having committed. What were his words: “I had good lawyers. I made a good deal, I don’t deny I made a good deal.”

When a gangster thinks he’s made a good deal that usually means the other side took a big hit. How was it he could publicly slap in the face the people who dealt with him in making the deal? Part of being a gangster is the braggadocio impulse along with the inability to have the slightest bit of gratitude or a minimal amount of discretion.  In his mind it’s all about him, no one else matters, and he deserves whatever he can get no matter how he comes about it.

Martorano knew that even though he hung the prosecutors out on the embarrassment line there was nothing they could do. The prosecutors needed him and had to persevere with a stiff upper lip. So he gave them a “thanks suckers.”

Murderman’s deal limited him to testifying against only three people: FBI Agent John Connolly, Stevie Flemmi and Whitey Bulger and specifically excluded his brother and Howie Winter. He smugly noted he and the prosecution team knew people would recoil if they knew those true facts. They came up with a list of other people who he knew nothing about. He agreed to testify against them even though he had no evidence to give. The prosecutors knew the deal was so bad, that if he is to be believed, he and the prosecutors conspired to scam the public. It sort of makes one’s skin crawl thinking of the prosecutors getting into bed with Murderman in order to dupe us.

I noted in my book, Don’t Embarrass The Familythe cops who worked this deal provided him with a cheering section when he testified against FBI Agent John Connolly. This was before he disclosed the deception. It will be interesting to see if they still cheer.

What makes things even worse is Murderman tells us that of all the depraved criminals surrounding Whitey he was the worst. He laughs noting that the person who is the worst of the litter got the best deal. Over and over he tells us how bad he is in the book he co-wrote with Howie Carr which says: “Johnny Martorano was an even more fearsome killer than [Whitey or Stevie]. Another part of that theme is repeated when we read that Murderman was “a life insurance policy of sorts for . . .  Bulger and Flemmi. The Mafia in Boston would never dare move against  . . .[Whitey and Stevie] as long as Johnny was still out there . . . somewhere, capable of avenging . . . .”

We are supposed to believe Whitey and Stevie are a couple of hoodlums hanging on by a string kept alive only by the fearsome and ferocious Murderman. It was his existence while hiding out in Florida that kept them alive. That hardly puts Whitey as the man in charge.

Yet, on the cover of the book he puts himself in a subservient position. He calls himself, “Whitey Bulger’s Enforcer . . . .”  But there is nothing that he writes that shows he ever took orders from Whitey. How could there be when Murderman in his mind is, as is also written on the cover, “the Most Feared Gangster in the Underworld.”  Hardly one to be in a lesser position.

But since Howie Carr  is co-author and he and others in the media have already posited Whitey as the top dog Murderman goes along. He doesn’t object to pretending that Whitey was his boss as long as nothing is written that shows it.

We are witnesses to a sorrowful spectacle where a man who confessed to 20 murders is allowed back into society and then permitted to brag about taking all these lives as if it all amounted to nothing. Add to that we are supposed to like the murderer. We have to read in Howie Carr’s adulatory book about Murderman that colleagues at the Boston Herald saying of him, “If only he wasn’t so damned likeable.” I can only echo to all those who have empowered Murderman Joe Welch’s statement that he made to Joe McCarthy during the Army-McCarthy, “Have you no sense of decency, sir?”