Martarano Murders – RONALD HICKS

In March 1969, John murders his fifth African-American victim, Ronald Hicks. John said he was asked by Roberta Campbell, the wife of Alvin Campbell, to help her husband who was in jail. Alvin Campbell, along with his brother and another guy named Deke Chandler, were charged with murdering three guys. John said he liked Roberta and that he did not know her husband or the other people in jail.

He goes on to say he wanted to meet the guy who was going to be a witness against Roberta’s husband and associates. The witness was Ronald Hicks. As usual John defames his victims. I guess John thinks that we will hold him in high esteem for murdering bad people. It is just another thing a good man would do, another one of his good deeds.

John said he learned Hicks was a drug dealer and a pimp, as if after spending his working life in their company in and around the Combat Zone these were traits he found repulsive. John lived in the world of drug dealers and pimps. I suppose we are not supposed to know about John’s relationship with them.

John, without telling us why said he felt bad for the Campbell brothers, setts out to murder. He had no concern regarding their guilt. He tells us he thought about how he could have been in the shoes of the  Campbell brothers in jail and awaiting trial.  He would not like that someone might be a witness against him. His conscience was telling him to murder Hicks. John offered another reason for killing Hicks by calling him a liar.

It was nothing new for John to murder people, especially black people. We saw how he murdered others who were going to be witnesses for the government. Later,  John John Callahan, the main witness against him in his murder of Roger Wheeler.  John could not defame Wheeler so, incredibly, John blamed others for having him do that murder.

John scoured the South End looking for Hick’s car. He spotted him in the Fenway. John honked. Hicks pulled over. John walked over to his car and got in. Hicks did a line of cocaine. Hicks asked John if he wanted one. John shot him in the head.

When he testified at the trial of FBI Agent John Connolly, John simply said that Hicks came in the restaurant, they had a few drinks, he didn’t like him, and that he took Hicks out by shooting him in the head.

John told a nice tale. But, it makes no sense.  He didn’t know the guys in jail.  Who kills a guy who’s going to be a witness against people you don’t know because you like the wife of one of the accused?  Nonsense.  Closer to the truth and our experience is that Roberta came to John with a paper bag full of cash and hired John to murder Hicks.  John made good money murdering people, Gerry Angiulo gave him $50,000 to go after the Notorangelli gang, as did John Callahan give him $50,000 to murder Roger Wheeler. No conscience was involved, John does not have one.

A purported friend of John’s was asked by an author if he felt John slept well at night after all the lives he had taken. The friend responded, “I’ve known Johnny a long time, and I don’t think he’s lost a minute’s sleep over the murders. I don’t think it bothers him one bit.”  The author who told about meeting with him said: ”The most disconcerting about Johnny Martorano was that, after a lifetime of mayhem and killing, he didn’t seem the least bit disconcerted at all.”

By the time he just turned 29, it appeared probable that Martorano had murdered at least eight people, five unarmed African-Americans shot in the head, a woman knifed to death, and another two men who Martorano claims were armed but were more likely unarmed.