Whitey Bulger trial: Ex-hit man describes more killings to jury

BOSTON — Former hit man John Martorano has described more killings as he testifies for a second day Tuesday in the racketeering trial of James “Whitey” Bulger in Boston.

On Tuesday, Martorano gave chilling details about murders he committed after they were ordered by Bulger and his partner, Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi. He also described a 1975 killing he said Bulger and Flemmi did themselves.

Martorano, who served 12 years in prison after he admitted killing 20 people, said Bulger and Flemmi shot Edward Connors in a phone booth because they were afraid he would tie them to the 1973 killing of a Bulger rival.


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The 83-year-old Bulger is charged in a racketeering indictment with participating in 19 killings.

On Monday, Martorano first took the stand to testify against Bulger, a man with whom he was once so close he named his youngest son after him.

He said he was heartbroken when he learned in the late 1990s that Bulger and Flemmi had been working as FBI informants. That’s when he decided to cooperate with prosecutors and testify against Bulger and others in exchange for a reduced sentence, he said.

In opening statements last week, Bulger’s lead attorney, J.W. Carney Jr., told the jury that prosecutors were so desperate to get Martorano to testify that “they basically threw their hands up in the air and said, ‘Take anything you want.’”

Martorano spoke nonchalantly Monday when describing a string of murders he committed while he was a member of the notorious Winter Hill Gang in the ‘70s. “After I heard that they were informants, it sort of broke my heart,” said Martorano.

Martorano is the first of three former Bulger cohorts who have agreed to testify against Bulger.

“They were my partners in crime, they were my best friends, they were my children’s godfathers,” Martorano said of Bulger and Flemmi.


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