Gangster Thursday is a good day to talk about Howard Carr’s big buddy John Martorano. Martorano is walking the street after having murdered twenty persons. People who kill that many people usually are called serial murderers and locked up for life. In Texas and Florida people are executed for killing one or two people.
We like to be different in Massachusetts. We extol serial murderers. Carr the afternoon radio talk host who has nothing good to say about most people in the public sector writes a hymn of praise to Martorano suggesting that the man is brave and virtuous.
How is it that a serial murderer walks around like nothing happened? The Justice Department attorneys indicate that Martorano deserved special treatment because he told how he killed the people and this was something we would not have known. We are supposed to be thankful because he did this?
With Martorano, everything is turned upside down. Normally if a person tells the cops how he killed someone it is called confessing; in Martorano’s case it is called cooperating. I wonder if a precedent has been set that in th future a person who murders another person can hide her body and a few years later go the the government and offer to talk about his murder if he can get a good deal on a sentence. Then when he gets the deal try to have it sweetened up by offering to reveal the location of the body.
As part of the deal to serve no more than 12 years for 20 bodies Martorano agreed to testify against against Whitey Bulger, Stevie Flemmi, Dick Schneiderhan, Paul Rico and some others. Martorano said the government “knew how bad it would look, if I admitted to twenty murders, and I only had to testify against four people.” Everyone was concerned with public perception. Catherine Greig got 8 years for being with Whitey. Martorano 12 for 20 murders. The government had to do something to make the deal look better but Martorano would not budge.
How did they break the logjam? The government came up with a way to scam the public if Martorano is to be believed. Martorano said the government went back and returned to him with a list of people he would have to testify against. Martorano said, “I loved that list, because I’d never known any of those guys, let alone committed any crimes with them. So I was glad to say I’d tell the government the truth about anything I did with them, which was nothing.” Do you get the sense of the wise guy gangster here?
Here’s what you have to know about Martorano and his ilk, once a wise guy always a wise guy. He knows nothing but crime and scams. In dealing with him the government becomes more like him. It was aware he didn’t know the people on the list. Martorano said the list was the South Boston crew in the ’70s and ’80s when he wasn’t in town. (One person who comments to the blog alleges a bias by the government toward Southie.) The government had to know that when it made the list — but it needed cover for its six-months-for-a-murder deal so it phonied up Martorano’s deal hoping the public would buy it.
When he testified Martorano was asked by a lawyer, “Why did you agree to testify against somebody you didn’t know.” Wise guy Martorano shot back, “That’s the best way to agree.”
I had a chance to see Martorano testify in Boston at the trial of retired FBI agent John Connolly. I wrote about it in a book I hope to publish shortly called “Don’t Embarrass The Family”. He testified like the gangster he is. In Boston he acted like he was a stand up comedian at some seedy night club. He had an audience of friends that he was playing to. These were the cops who had been dealing with him over the years. They were his new friends. When he’d arrive in court or leave he’d wave to them with a big smile and they’d respond. He’d look over to them for approval when he made what he though was a clever remark.
I noted how he was asked by counsel what business he was in. He said “I guess you could say the monkey business.” The cops all broke out in laughter and he looked over grinning. I looked at Judge Tauro. He found no humor in the remark and was decidedly unhappy. I looked at the jury. All their faces showed disgust at this serial murderer being a wise guy. I felt a little sick to my stomach seeing this macabre performance of a gangster with the blood of twenty people on his hands making like a clown in the court. The jurors contempt for him was shown in its verdict. Nothing he said was believed by them and they acquitted Connolly on the indictments that depended on his evidence.
I’ve noted before how the government when it makes a deal with a person accepts the person as part of the government’s team. The daily proximity to a cooperating witness produces a friendship. This is seen in Martorano’s case where the government investigators no longer see Martorano as a serial murderer but as a member of their team, he’s now become a good guy. That’s why the investigators can find gangster humor in a highly serious matter where the average person or impartial observer is repelled by it.
When Martorano was sentence, the wife of one of his victims said, wait a minute, let me tell you first what Martorano said about the people he killed, “remember a lot of the guys I killed were rats. A lot of the guys I killed had killed a lot of other guys and probably would have gone on killing if I hadn’t killed them.” In his twisted mind, Martorano was doing our society a service by killing these people. I hope to examine each individual Martorano killed to give lie to this fabrication.
At his sentencing hearing the survivors had a chance to speak. Barbara Sousa, the widow of James Sousa who by the way never killed or ratted on on anyone, spoke: “It is very hard to understand how a man who has admitted to killing twenty people can be regarded as giving ‘valuable assistance’ to anyone.” Their are many next of kin and friends of the other survivors who feel the same way.
It is not enough that these people lost a loved one to Martorano. Now they have the sad spectacle of him freely walking on the streets in their city and flaunting his actions in a braggadocio book and making money for himself and others by telling of his despicable life. It’s bad enough he murdered their kin but now he gets to rub it in their faces.