Where’s Whitey: The Interrogation of John Martorano

They were in a typical government conference room. John Martorano was seated at the desk and next to him was his lawyers. On the opposite side of the table were the agents for the government, the prosecutors and the investigators. John was telling of his many depredations throwing in a joke or two for the entertainment of all present. He enjoyed being the center of attention.

Prosecutor: (P) “All right, Mr. Martorano, you  . . .”

John Martorano: (J) “Call me Johnnie, will yah!”  (Laughter among investigators – John smiles.)

P:  “Mr Martorano, you told us of the murders of Margaret Sylvester, Robert Pallidino, John Jackson, Herbert Smith, Elizabeth Dickson, Douglas Barrett, Anthony Veranis, Ronald Hicks, and John Banno, all which occurred between November 1964 and September 1969, which you admitted committing.”

J: “Wait a minute, I did not admit killing Sylvester, so don’t, that’s wrong.”

P: “I stand corrected, other than Margaret Sylvester you admit the others.”

J: “That’s right but I had good reason to do them.”

P: “So up to 1969, leaving out the woman, you murdered eight people, five of whom were African-American, is that what you are telling us?”

J: “That’s what I said and hey, if I killed that Sylvester woman I’d admit to it but I didn’t. I didn’t kill no woman, you understand.”

P: “Now how many of these murders was James “Whitey” Bulger involved in?”

J:  “None, I didn’t hardly know him at the time. He was from the Town, I wasn’t”

P: “What do you mean the Town?”

J: “That’s what everyone calls where he comes from, the Town. It’s the Town, the name the guys from South Boston give South Boston.”

P: “When did you first meet Whitey Bulger?”

J: “Sometime in 1972 – as I said I don’t hardly know the guy – he comes up to me and asks me to set him up with a meeting with Howie Winter in Somerville.”

P: “What did you do?”

J: “What do you think? I set him up.” (John looks around for approval.)

P:  “Between September 1969 when you murdered Mr. Banno and March 1973 when you murdered Michael Milano you say  you murdered no one else?”

J: “Yeah, I told you that – if I did I’d tell you as I said.”

P: “How was it you murdered Mr. Milano?”

J: ” I was over with Howie Winter at the time. We gets a call Jerry Angiulo. He wants to see us. Howie and I go over to the Dog House – that’s Jerry’s office – and he tells us his guy named Paulie was killed by Al Angeli and he wants us to kill Angeli and his gang.”

P: “What happened after that?”

J: “What do you think? We killed them all.” (John looks around with a smile.)

P: “Could you explain how it was done.?”

J:  “Sure – we kill Milano because we think he’s Angeli – stupid mistake – but what can you do?” (John looks around at the investigating officers who nod in approval.)

P: Can you describe in greater detail how you did it?”

J: “Yeah, Milano, Plummer, O’Brien we killed by mistake. Jimmy Sims was driving the car, Howie and I had the grease guns. We pulled up besides them and Howie and I blast away. Then we go to Florida – not me but Joe Mac and Jimmy Sims – murder John Leary. I then do a beautiful set up of Al Angeli’s brother Indian Joe Notarangeli at the Pewter Pot restaurant – he’s in a telephone booth and I go in and let him have it. Meanwhile Al Angeli is still out there – he took off but came back – he offers Jerry Angiulo 50 grand to straighten things out – Jerry takes the 50, gives us 25 and tells us to murder him – we then set him up – me and Howie’s friend Sal  Sperlinga and put a  bullet in his head.”

P: “So you were personally the trigger man in all the murders along with Howie Winter.”

J: “Yeah – all of them – oh  not the guy in Florida – Leary that was Joe Mac.

P: “The description of that murderer fit you, not Joe Mac.”

J: “It wasn’t me I tell you. I don’t care what anyone says. Not me. that was in Florida, it wasn’t me. I gotta go take a leak. Let’s have a break!”

P: “We’re back. Now these murders for Angiulo, we want to have Whitey involved in them because he was  with you and Howie at the time so he could have been there.”

J:   “Yes, he was involved in all of them – he was in another car – you know a crash car – he was waiting to help us out if we needed to have help.”

P: “So you’ll testify Whitey was in a crash car for the Milano, Plummer, O’Brien, Notarangeli, Leary and Angeli murders?”

J:  “No, I can’t say it on Leary, that was in Florida; and Angeli there was no crash car situation there – it was in Sal’s car – I shot him from behind.” So yeah, the others I’ll put him in the crash car.”

P:  “Are you sure he wasn’t in the car when you murdered Angeli? You might have forgotten who was there?

J: “I’ll see if I remember if he was but I can’t put him in Florida, you know.”

P:  “All right, think it over, remember the more you jam Whitey into your murders  the better the deal for you. Think if there is anyway you could remember if he killed that Margaret Sylvester woman?

J: “You know come to think of it, I do remember that he . . . ”

P: “Hold on Johnnie, I was just told Whitey was in prison at the the time she was murdered so let’s skip that. We’ll go with what you said for now.”





11 thoughts on “Where’s Whitey: The Interrogation of John Martorano

  1. What corruption. Didn’t they do the same with Salemme? Tell him what to say and contrive his testimony. These prosecutors and investigators suborned perjury and should be in prison. Did Connolly get this exculpatory evidence before his trials in Florida and Boston? All the exculpatory evidence was withheld from Connolly. The Deep State is dishonest to it’s core. Who was the prosecutor? 2. Did CIA Director Brennan in 2016 make a criminal referral to the FBI asserting that Hillary was falsely claiming Trump had a connection to Russia? A Russian spy was the source of the Steele dossier. Putin was trying to injure Trump and help Hillary. The DNC colluded with Russia.

  2. https://apnews.com/article/80182423bc7a738bde2714580b1ba911

    Hoffa Lawyer: Jimmy Recruited Mob for JFK Hit
    January 14, 1992


    The J.F.K. Files and the Problem of Trust
    By Jeffrey Frank
    November 1, 2017


    Contract Killer: The Explosive Story of the Mafia’s Most Notorious Hitman Donald “Tony the Greek” Frankos Hardcover – January 1, 1993
    by William Hoffman (Author), Lake Headley (Author)

    Donald “Tony the Greek” Frankos says he killed Jimmy Hoffa and knows where the body is buried. Now in prison, he casually confesses to scores of murders, although only a few are detailed here. His story is told as a first-person narrative, a style that tends to encourage the reader’s empathy. Frankos does not deserve it, but his tale is nonetheless chilling and revealing. Hoffman and private investigator Headley say they verified Frankos’s allegations, the most startling being that he bribed prison officials to grant him illegal “furloughs” and used the time to carry out “hits.” (Including Hoffa’s)

    1. MS:

      I think the FBI had a dozen or so guys willing to say they murdered Hoffa. They were all doing big time and this was their one chance to walk across the stage. There’s also a dozen guys who can be called the Mafia’s most notorious hit men. And speaking of JFK, there are dozens of people who know of different conspiracies that led up to his assassination. I will look into Tony the Greek a little more since his story sounds interesting. The guy who was called the most dangerous assassin for the Mafia that I did read about was Harold K.O. Konisberg. Then you have Murder Inc. and it leader Louis “Lepke” Buchalter who J. Edgar Hoover called the most dangerous criminal in the United States

      1. The back story is Tony Frankos was given a vicious
        beating in prison from which he never fully recovered
        after the release of his book.
        FBI agents have been doing damage control ever since.
        See this essay about Frankos.


        In other news…

        FBI solves another crime it created.
        Using informants, FBI agents instigate another terrorist event.
        It always works and keeps them funded.


        Six people charged in plot to kidnap Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer


        Trevor Aaronson
        Trevor Aaronson is a contributing writer for The Intercept and a 2020 ASU Future Security Fellow at New America. He is also executive director of the nonprofit Florida Center for Investigative Reporting and author of “The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI’s Manufactured War on Terrorism.” His 2015 TED Talk, “How this FBI strategy is actually creating U.S.-based terrorists,” has been viewed more than 1 million times and translated into more than 20 languages. A two-time finalist for the Livingston Awards, Aaronson has won the Molly National Journalism Prize, the international Data Journalism Award, and the John Jay College/Harry Frank Guggenheim Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting Award. His work for The Intercept has won honors from the Online Journalism Awards for investigative data journalism and feature writing.



        Long term – Dr. John Campbell

        1. MS:

          I thought the Intercept was a product of Soviet Russia. I see that it continues to be that.

  3. I have no surprise they said it but on tape? “the more you jam Whitey into your murders the better the deal for you.” Did the defense have the tape?

    1. Brian:

      Not on tape. The conversation was what I imagined the whole deal came down to with Martorano. The more he included Whitey in his crimes the better off it would be for him.

  4. Hi Matt and thanks for a realistic take on the conversation between Martorano and the prosecutors

    1. If Whitey had not been revealed as an informant during the Wolf Hearings, and the informants who were revealed were Flemmi, Frank Salemme, Frank jr and Mercurio. Would Martorano, Deluca have chosen to jam up Flemmi and the Salemmes instead in their crimes?

    2. What is your understanding of William Kelley and wasn’t he convicted of a murder in Florida under orders from Walter Bennett?

    3. What was the relationship between Stevie Flemmi and Joe Barboza?

    1. David:

      1. The Wolf hearings as you note disclosed both Whitey and Flemmi as informants for the FBI . I do not know much about DeLuca so I’ll talk Martorano. He did three months in the house in the middle seventies. He really did not like it so when the Race Fixing indictments came down he fled for 16 years. When he was captured he faced racketeering charges, the race fixing charges, and charges relating to his flight. The could easily have put him in prison for 20 or more years so he was highly motivated to cooperate. I don’t think Martorano would have had much on Salemme. He did on Flemmi so under his theory (you can’t rat on a rat) he could have tried to make a deal to rat out Flemmi. The problem he would face is the federal prosecutors were not interested in Flemmi. They were only willing to deal with people who would give them Whitey Bulger. That is shown by their making a deal with Flemmi when they did not have to do it but he would tie Bulger into the murder of Debbie Davis which he did not do. Salemme said that when Martorano came to him to say he was going to turn state’s evidence that he did not want to listen to his reasoning because the people he was turning on were good to him so he saw no justification for it.

      2. According to Billy Geraway he was at Walter’s Lounge on Dudley Street off Uphams Corner when he was approached by Walter Bennett and offered him five thousand dollars to do a hit on a guy named Maxcy (Charles Von Maxcy) in Florida. Maxcy’s wife had a relationship with John Sweet (who we interviewed at one point and ended up calling him John Notso Sweet”) who was a friend of Water’s and they were anxious to get rid of Maxcy so that they could get his money. Geraway declined. He said he told him he was a checkpasser, not a killer. Later Walter told him the whole thing was off and Maxcy and his wife had gone on a trip to Europe. But rather than it being off, Billy Kelly and Andrew Von Etter were lined up to do the job. Kelly would be arrested after being charged in 1983 after Sweet turned state’s evidence. Von Etter would be murdered a short time after Maxcy. As I may have mentioned we had information that Kelly may have been involved in the murder of George Hamilton the owner of Hamilton Furniture. That was the reason we spoke with Sweet but it was decided he could not help. I forget why we made that decision whether he had no information on it or that he would not be a credible witness.

      3. Joe Barboza and Jimmy Flemmi (true name Vincent – Steve’s brother) had a close relationship because both were a little crazy. Martorano hung around with Barboza and his crew for a bit. Steve pretty much stayed away from him as best I can tell. Salemme told him to stay away from him and his area.

    1. Hutch:

      Hoffa was trying to get back on the good side of the government and was told by Jackie Presser who was an FBI informant that if he gave someone up the FBI would put him in the Top Echelon Informant Program and protect him as long as he gave their kids summer jobs sitting aside the drivers. Jimmy Hoffa didn’t want to give up any Teamsters so along with a Boston Teamster local he planned to say that Whitey Bulger admitted to him that he murdered Kathryn Murphy back in June 1968. Whitey somehow got that information from the FBI where he apparently had a source. He then flew out to Detroit and you know the rest of the story. The FBI is still waiting for Hoffa to come in and testify.

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