The Two Johns – Martorano and Connolly

Evil Like Moss Permeates The Trial
Evil Like Moss Permeates The Trial

The case of John Connolly being so intricately interconnected in events surrounding James “Whitey” Bulger inveigles me into involving myself in it. This lures me away from continuing my review of Whitey’s life. I must return to that. Yet before doing so I’ll directly facing the inanity of Connolly’s Florida conviction for murder on a factual basis, rather than discuss the legal issues.

Connolly likely will die in prison. He’s already served as much time as John Martorano a man born four months after Connolly in 1940. In 1990 Connolly retired honorably from the FBI where he had served since 1968 running Top Echelon informants. In 1990 Martorano had notched in his belt twenty murders by his own hand, and brought about others. He was hiding out in Florida fearful of going to prison.

In 1995 Martorano had just been arrested in Florida. He was held on bail pending his racketeering charge for which he faced 20 years in prison. That year, Connolly would be into the 5th year of a cushy six-figure job with a public utility.

In 1998 Steven Flemmi, an associate of Martorano and an informant for Connolly, admitted in hearings before Judge Wolf that he had been an FBI informant. Flemmi, who probably noses Martorano out as the most evil person who ever lived in Boston, testified about his doings with Connolly. Martorano sat in court listening to him.

These murderers, Martorano and Flemmi, had no trouble taking other lives but neither on could tolerate being in prison. Martorano said of Flemmi that prior to his 1995 arrest among all the “organized-crime types in Plymouth [jail]” he “had never done any time.” Martorano pretends he was a hardened veteran at doing time. He did three months in 1978 at Plymouth for gaming.  In 1979 being charged in the Race Fixing case, he fled for 16 years until his capture even though he’d only have to have done about 2 years.

Martorano wrote of Flemmi that “at the age of sixty, he was not doing “good time”” and he was “waiting for someone — anyone — to ride to his rescue.” He began “attending religious services of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.” Knowing his weakness and seeing him testify, Martorano decided he was going to save himself. He’d become a federal witness. He, Johnny, was not going to spend the rest of his life in prison. He’d do whatever was necessary to work out a deal before Flemmi did the same. He knew if Flemmi got to the altar first, he’d be sunk since Flemmi knew of his murders.

He got himself a good attorney to work with. I figured their conversation went something like this. Lawyer: “Johnny, to get a deal you’ll have to come clean on what you’ve done.” Martorano: “Yah mean, tell them everything. Don’t hold nothing back?” Lawyer: “That’s how it is, Johnny. It’s like jumping in a pool. You can’t stop after you get wet to the ankles.” Martorano: “You don’t know what I’ve done — you ain’t got no idea. No one will deal with me.” Lawyer: “Look Johnny, no matter what you’ve done, they don’t want you, they want Whitey and Stevie and that FBI agent.”

Martorano: “You sure?” Lawyer: “I’m sure. But Johnny, listen, the more you can tell them about them, the better off you will be.” Martorano: “I can’t. I’ve murdered dozens of people. They’ll never deal with me.” Lawyer: “They will Johnny. You tell them everything. If they won’t give us what we want, nothing you say can be used against you. This is your chance to clear the deck and put everything behind you. I’ll protect you.”

Like Connolly’s job was to protect his TE’s, Martorano’s lawyers job was to protect him. Martorano and his lawyer laid it on thick for the prosecutors over the next year. He saw the juicier he made his tales and the more he involved the others who the prosecutors had targeted in what he had done, the happier the prosecution team became. Chief prosecutor Wyshak would sing his praises at how accurate his recollection of events were.

He’d eventually bind well with them to the point they’d consider him an ally and a good guy. They even came up with a scheme according to Martorano where to make his deal look better he’d agreed to testify against people he didn’t know. They liked pulling that little con on the public. They laughed at his jokes when he testified in court.

In appreciation of his work they gave him $20,000 upon his release from prison in 2007. A $1,000 for each of his murders. Martorano probably wished he confessed to more murders.

Martorano, a man who murdered more people than almost anyone else in America, was a free man. He had money in his pocket. Connolly, a man who brought down the Mafia and never fired a gun at a person, was in his fifth year in prison of a ten year sentence.

Connolly had been convicted of one offense which occurred during his career as an FBI agent, giving a case of wine with $1,000 to John Morris, his corrupt supervisor. Morris admitted he had tried to get Whitey killed by telling the Boston Globe he was an FBI informant.. Connolly had been acquitted of the nine other charges relating to his time working as an FBI agent.

He was also convicted of other charges that related to what he had done four or so years after he left the FBI. I’ve never argued he was unfairly convicted of two of the charges. I admit his sentence was harsh.

In 2008 Connolly was convicted of murdering John Callahan by means of a gun in Florida. Tomorrow I’ll talk about Martorano’s and that murder.


8 thoughts on “The Two Johns – Martorano and Connolly

  1. just wanted to intergect for a moment and say a prayer for those involved in todays terror attacks in boston. really unbelievable tragedy……

  2. quick question does whiteys conspiracy end somewhere from after say 9/11 till he got caught, thats almost 10yrs of no known communication with any criminals charged in the rico indictment? all them yrs in cali he wasn’t in charge of any criminal org.

    1. Pat Mac:
      There are no charges against Whitey during that period. All the crimes relate to charges between 1973 and 1985.

    1. Ernie:
      Don’t mind at all. It’s hard getting people interested in this. There’s been an accepted wisdom for years which has never been closely examined. People are buy in their own lives to worry about other things. No one sees the slow encroachment of government which our founders worried about slowly stripping away the rights of the people. This case is an example of so many things that are wrong that most people don’t want to get involved. But it doesn’t hurt to try and I appreciate anything you can do to keep the people apprised of the other side of the story. Thanks.

  3. I just can’t figure out why Connolly was a more valuable target than Morris to Wyshak etc, He was higher up the ladder. Wouldn’t they rather have convicted a rogue supervisor then a rogue agent? …..”Morris admitted he had tried to get Whitey killed….” WOW….the gravity of that statement…… how did that one slip by Wyshak?

    1. RAther Not:
      The targets were Billy and Whitey Bulger. Morris tried to help the Globe undermine Billy by leaking information about the State Street investigations to it and anything else he could get his hands on like something about Eddie McCormack. Gerry O’Neill of the Globe and Morris were friends, according to Morris so he could have played a role with Wyshak in putting in a good word for his friend.
      That’s what makes this case so wrong: the supervisor admits taking at least $5,000 from two TEs; he disclosed the identity of an FBI informant; he lied several times to FBI agents investigating the leaks; he planted a bomb on a guys gas tank trying to scare the guy into becoming an informant; he went out of his way to tell Connolly of a wiretap being done by another FBI unit telling Connolly to tell Flemmi but Connolly refused and said: “you tell him yourself” yet because the prosecutor is trying to squeeze Connolly to get something, anything on Billy Bulger, and probably bring a RICO charge against him he lets Morris walk with his pension and jams up Connolly. He loses the first time and then takes a second shot at him. Sadly, as Connolly said to me during his trial, “Billy Bulger is a man of integrity. I have nothing I can give them on him.”
      This is a pattern that plays out with the feds. If you do your crimes alone you get it tucked to you; if you’re involved in a conspiracy you can trade away someone else and get a slap on the hands.

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