Six month after murdering Hicks, John Martorano would stab to death 35-year-old John “Jack” Banno. John referred to Banno as “Touch.” As expected, John attempts to justify the murder by claiming Touch was a pimp and a dope dealer, as if the murder statute makes these professions an exception. Not content with the pimp and drug dealer description, John also describes Touch as a dead-beat drunk who was stoned all of the time.
John’s book gets a little tiring as he continually portrays himself as some sort of golden warrior eradicating bad people from the earth, a real-life Batman. It’s especially tiring when you think about his description of himself when he testified, “I’ve gone with prostitutes. In my life, you were either a prostitute or singer or dancer, waitress or barmaid. That’s all the people I knew.”
John tells the story that he is at the Sugar Shack with a woman classmate who he knew from high school. He is on a first date with her which I assume was also the last. He sees Banno.
Banno appears to be staring at him. There is a Boston Police report that has John there from 10:30 to 11:00 p.m.
John decides to leave with the woman around eleven. For some reason, he and the woman leave through the back door into an alley. Do you do that on a first date?
John says Banno jumped him with a knife. We are supposed to believe Banno expected him to come out through the alley and had been waiting for him. No motive is given.
Keep in mind, John claims that he never met Banno yet he seems to know many details about him. We are to believe that this total stranger comes at John with a knife when John is minding his own business while walking with a woman on a first date?
Fortunately, according to John, he, “out of habit, was carrying a blade” as he was when Sylvester was slain. John stabs Banno. John tells his woman friend to get the car and bring it to the alley. He and the woman allegedly put bleeding Banno in the back seat. John sees an alley behind the Diplomat Hotel and dumps Banno there.
Then, suddenly, Banno springs back to life and lunges at John. John fortunately still has his knife. He stabs Banno again.
Talk about a first date to remember!
To complete the story, John claims that this stranger, Banno, coincidentally, had evidence against the third guy in prison with the Campbell brothers, Deke Chandler. Apparently Banno was there when Deke threatened a drug dealer named Rat with a .45 caliber pistol. Banno felt Deke would want to kill him because he saw him with the .45. John knows a lot about a guy he never met.
It’s hard to see how one thing related to the other. However, knowing John’s history, perhaps Deke did hire John. Maybe he thought that knowing what Martorano did to Hicks, he could pay him to do the same to Banno. When John saw Banno at the Sugar Shack, he took his opportunity to take out Banno, first date be dammed. After all, she was most likely, “either a prostitute or singer or dancer, waitress or barmaid.”
John asked Banno to step into the alley where John stabbed him. The only reason he admitted doing it was because there was a witness to the murder.
When Banno’s widow, Marion Govini, heard of the light sentence John was to receive for his twenty murders, she said the “no good bum” left her two daughters without a father. She called the plea bargain “outrageous” and added “[h]e should get life for cold-blooded murder. I don’t care how much info he gave the court.” A voice crying in the wilderness because not only had this craven murderer charmed the prosecutors and the police, he was doing the same to the judge.
John had no problem murdering people. Like Tommy Sperrazza, a notorious low-life hoodlum in Boston, John found “once you kill the first person the rest are easy.” The sentiment exactly fits John Martorano in spades. He murdered people he thought may be witnesses, those who he felt slighted him, and others to make a little cash.
John committed at least nine murders by his own hands where his victims were unarmed and defenseless. At this time, he had yet to meet James “Whitey” Bulger. The idea that he had any connection with Bulger up to this time, as some suggest does not hold water. The idea he was Whitey Bulger’s hitman is laughable.
Martorano tells us about his meeting with Whitey Bulger for the first time.
John wrote that he was sitting in Duffy’s Tavern a spring night in 1972. There is better evidence that if this meeting happened, it would have been in the fall. John said a guy in his early forties, blond hair, and blue eyes came in. He walked up to John. He introduced himself as Jimmy Bulger. Martorano said he vaguely remembered meeting him once before. He thought, though, on that prior occasion he introduced himself as Whitey.
John said Whitey wanted to meet Howie Winter. He said he had a problem in Town that he wanted to resolve. Martorano went on, “[t]hat was what they all called Southie – “the Town.” I grew up in Southie for ten years and never heard it refer to as that. I asked my cousins who lived there all their lives and knew all the hoodlums from there. They never heard it called that either. The expression “in town” referred to the Mafia. The gangs from Charlestown were called the Townies. But John never bothered with the truth so what does it matter him spinning another story. His murderous exploits do not end here but are carried on in connection with another group that we will learn about later.