Whitey Bulger’s Lawyer J.W. Carney Will Use Johnny Martorano To Start Destroying the Government’s Case

Before talking about the murders Whitey stands indicted for, I want to set the stage upon which the evidence will be heard. It is in the courtroom where the battle will take place. Fred Wyshak will be leading the government’s case; J.W.Carney for the defense. I will assume that you have a jury where none of the members have heard of Whitey Bulger. The jury will see that Carney is defending an elderly 83 year-old slimmed down, harmless, Santa Clause-looking guy in a nice suit and tie sitting benignly at counsel table next to him. Looking at them, they could very well be father and son. Keep that picture in your mind as I discuss the evidence of the murders.

The only witness the feds have to the first seven murders charged against Whitey is Johnny Martorano. Johnny looks like the idea we all have of a heartless murderer: pasta puffed belly, $900 Gucci alligator loafers, silk wise-guy shirt and tie, Mafia-type pin stripe suit, greasy swept died-back hair, sun glasses, fat hands, hardness to his face, his aspect reflects the prototypical Hollywood gangster reeking of corruption, .

According to Howie Carr in his book the lawyer representing FBI Agent John Connolly in Florida said he was intimidated by him. He whispered, “It feels scary when you are close to him.” You can take the gangster off the street but you can’t take the gangster out of a gangster. Before he opens his mouth each juror who’s heard he’s a gangster will have no doubt about it.

They will have heard the governments opening statement telling how evil that old man sitting next to Carney is but their eyes will tell a different story. They’ll hear about Martorano in J.W. Carney’s opening. To fix what he says in their minds, I expect Carney will be waving in his hand the book Hitman. He’ll tell the jury the government’s top witness against his man calls himself the Hitman. He’ll quote from the sub-title where it is written, “the most feared gangster in the underworld.” He might read a quote or two from the book. He’ll say, “the government case depends on the worst of the worst. You can’t sink any lower. You might as well be listening to Charles Manson.”

Wyshak will speed Martorano through his direct testimony. He’ll talk quickly about the people he killed before he met Whitey — he won’t be able to blame Whitey for those. He’ll tell about those he killed when Whitey was with him, and those he killed when he says Whitey asked him to kill them. Martorano will do this in a matter of fact way. He could just as well be talking about last week’s Patriot’s game for all it affects him. What’s one life or the other, after all, I’m the Hitman. I can kill whoever I can sneak up on. The jurors will look at him with disgust as he recites the litany of his murders.

Then they will hear about the deal he got. They’ll hear for each of the murders he did about six months in an easy prison in Florida and received money from the feds whenever he wanted it; they’ll hear he forfeited nothing and hid everything; that he agreed to testify against people he didn’t know which he passes off in his book as a big joke; they’ll hear how he said his lawyer outsmarted the feds; they’ll look and see this man with all the blood on his hands dressed to the nines without one ounce of remorse. And they’ll hear the government attorney tell them they should believe what he says when deep inside all they will want to do is to get away from him as fast as they can, not so much because of fear, but because he makes them ill.

They’ll feel sick to their stomachs before the cross-examination starts when  J.W. Carney holds up the book and says, “Is this your book?” Martorano will start to dissemble and put the blame on Howie who’ll be a defense witness. Dodging won’t work too well with Carney, he’s been in these fights before. He’ll get him to own it. He’ll get him to accept that he thinks he’s the most feared gangster in the underworld. He’ll get him to name the people in the crimes with him who he tried to hide in his books.

Unlike the other lawyers who had Martorano on cross-examination, Carney has Martorano’s book. He’ll have him explain why he shot Bobby Pallidino in the back of the head. Johnny in his book said Bobby shot at the driver of his car first and missed but that won’t last long with Carney. He knows at the John Connolly trial he said Pallidino showed up to talk to him and pulled a gun but he wasn’t as quick as he was. Nothing about the car. The car story was probably thrown in because Pallidino was shot in the back of the head not like he said at the Connolly trial story where he pulled the gun in front of him.

Next Carney will talk to him about how Tony Veranis got shot in the back of the head when he allegedly was standing in front of him and pulled a gun on him. Johnny will also be asked about his testimony at the trial of John Connolly where he said Tony was bragging about beating up his brother.  He went to see him and at an after-hours club Tony pulled a gun on him but “Tony was another guy I was faster than.”

(The trial testimony of the Connolly case is in my book Don’t Embarrass The Family just released by Amazon.)

Johnny in his book has a different story. Johnny’s out with his friend around 3:00 a.m. and Tony “loaded, blind drunk” came up to him and said, “I’m Tony Veranis. . .I just had a beef with your friend.  I kicked him outta Southie with his tail between his legs. . . .” (Pretty silly talk for a hood, “tail between his legs”, oh, well)  Tony then pulls a gun but Johnny beat him to it. Howie writes, “Taller than Veranis, he fired down, into the ex-boxer’s skull.” The big problem with the story is Johnny wasn’t taller than Tony and the bullet is in the back of Tony’s head when says Tony pulled a gun in front of him.

Martorano’s in his first two killings changes the story, has people pulling guns on him, yet they’re shot in the back of the head. What do you think J.W. Carney is going to do just with these two stories where he tells one story at Connolly’s trial, another in his book, and who knows how many others in the discovery the feds gave him.

Connolly’s lawyer in Florida may have been intimidated by Martorano and thrown in the towel. But this isn’t Florida. Tracy Miner in Boston wasn’t intimidated. The little that I’ve heard about J.W. Carney you can bet he won’t be. And Carney has ten times the ammunition of Miner who had no trouble convincing her jury that Martorano is a cowardly liar.  Within the first fifteen minutes of cross-examination by Carney, the jurors will absolutely hate Martorano and probably the government for making such a low life part of its team.

Tomorrow the individual murders.




  1. “Whitey” must have a lot of information that could send Matorano back to Prison, I.E. The manuscript they found in Santa Monica that’s about 100 pages long, in which in the opening on page 2 says “…I am writing this for the above reasons and I’ve been driven to this by the lies of J M and seeing his insane interview on 60 minutes was the last straw.

    He must see through the gangster type b.s. answers that got him his deal and will challenge these answers in court. That statement seems that he has it out for him in particular. As he does probably Morris as well. (Side question out of curiosity) Does Matorano have to contact his lawyers that got him his previous deal for this upcoming trial? In regards to rehearsing answers or for any reason pertinent to Whitey’s trial? I reckon he had probably the best defense lawyers in Boston.

    • http://www1.whdh.com/pdf/catherine-greig/Catherine-Greig-Exhibit-99-102

      Don’t know if you’ve ever gotten a chance to see these documents, Exhibit 102 in particular is where they go over what is in the 302 from the statements he made right after his arrest.

      • Jim:
        Thanks for that information. I enjoyed reading it. Whitey was always clever. I don’t think much of what he said was true. I wonder how that guy he got the license from died. I know for sure he must have other money in the country, why else didn’t Greig cooperate.

    • Jim:
      Whitey has a ton of information on all this. No matter what he says, though, the prosecutors are not going to follow up on especially if it relates to guys they have already teamed up with like Martorano. The prosecutors are intent on protecting Martorano so even if he’s back in the rackets and shooting people in the back of the head they’re going to let it slide That’s what happens when you make deals with those guys.
      Whitey knows the truth of all these things but no one will believe him, well, I should say no indictments will ever come from it.
      When I was at Agent Connolly’s trial Martorano’s lawyer sat through all his testimony. At each break he hustled off to talk to him. His lawyer is one of the top three criminal defense lawyers in the city, Frank DiMento. I worked with DiMento for almost ten years. He and his partner JJ Sullivan were my mentors in the defense work I did before becoming a prosecutor.

  2. Looking forward to reading your book. Your take on Martorano’s credibility is correct. It is a dream come true for a defense lawyer to have an obvious liar as a government witness.Better still a mass murderer and perjurer. what will the jury think of the deal he was given? Standard co operating witness deals require one to disclose everything. The witness can’t hide, omit or minimize. Yet gucci was permitted to do all these things. Could Carney file a motion to exclude his testimony based on the highly irregular witness deal? The arrangement fell outside of the guidelines.2. WilL Carney be able to question the ethics and credibility of the entire case against whitey just based on the use of Martorano ? Can’t he ask the simple question of whether the Government is vouching for Martorano’s truthfulness or are they conceeding he is a liar? 3.Over 30 years ago a Boston Police detective asked me what kind of case I had in Superior Court. I told him it was a drug case with the DCU and Linskey. He said you can win those cases by just calling all the members of that unit as witnesses.Each will tell a different story. How many different stories will the jury hear IN whitey’s case and which ones will the Government vouch for? Should Carney call the laughing policemen(DEA and State cops who handled Martorano) as witnesses? Do they still think 20 murders are funny?

    • Good comments. You are using your trial skills to analyzed the case. Martorano wrote his book full of lies which show him some type of hero figure because he never figured Whitey would be caught and his lies promulgated through Howie Carr, who’ll be used by Carney to impeach Martorano, would be the last word. He’s now caught in the trap of his own making. Carney should file a motion to the effect: “Motion To Disqualify Witness” pointing out nothing he says can possibly be believed beyond a reasonable doubt and to have a jury guessing at what lie may come closest to the truth is not what our system of justice is about. Or, he should have the judge take judicial notice that Martorano is a serial killer and liar and the US government can not be put in a position to vouch for such a person which it does when he is put on the stand. When you put a witness on you are saying he’s on my team which turns the government into partnering with the worst of the worst.
      2. Carney should be able put the stench of using a gangster as a partner onto the whole case. He has to bring it out over and over again that Martorano is the government’s main witness and is the core part of the government’s case, its star witness, and if that’s who the government is using, then the jury should reject all the government’s witnesses. 3. The cop who told you about Linskey and the DCU would tell you today with respect to the government’s case you don’t have to call anyone other than Martorano because the jury will be hearing about ten different stories from him. 4. I’m sure Carney will have to call Martorano’s handlers and ask them about the deals they made and the money they gave Martorano and their close relationship with him. I’m sure if he looks deep enough he’ll find these guys have become Johnny’s buddies rather than impartial government agents. You gave me an idea. I looked at Tom Foley’s book. He and three others debriefed Martorano. He said he took notes and would “write out everything of value afterward”. Carney will have him to ask him about how he decided what’s of value. He does say, as I posted, the unlike what Martorano says in his book, “He popped a bruising South Boston fighter, Tony Veranis, after Veranis beat up his brother Jimmy over a loan shark debt.” I’ll have to re-read Foley to compare him to Martorano. It should be interesting.
      I like this line from Martorano when he’s asked by Foley if he feels any remorse. “Of course I do. . . . I’ll never forget the things I did. But that doesn’t change anything. I can’t bring anybody back. But do I feel remorse? Yeah, I do. Every single day. . . .But there is nothing I can do about it now.” Foley writes it as if he believes it. How the hell can someone feel remorse if he kills a person, then another, then another. Remorse, as defined in the Oxford English Dictionary is: “Deep regret or guilt for doing something morally wrong; the fact or state of feeling sorrow for committing a sin; repentance, compunction” Merriam-Webster defines it as: “a gnawing distress arising from a sense of guilt for past wrongs (as injuries done to others)” Simple question: Does a person who labels himself as a hitman have remorse. Does the best dressed person in a courtroom have remorse? Does a gangster who ends his book saying “I’m back” have remorse.
      I’ll tell you when he will have remorse. It’ll be after he is through cross-examination and the state of Florida indicts him for the other murder he was involved in down there of the DA in Norfolk indicts him for killing Veranis in the Blue Hills.