Special sectionThe Search for 'Whitey' Bulger
Photo galleryThe men involved with 'Whitey'
A notorious hitman, John Martorano was at the center of much of the Winter Hill Gang's dirty work in the 1970s. The Milton native has admitted to committing 20 murders between 1965 and 1982, some allegedly at the direction of "Whitey" Bulger and Stephen Flemmi -- or with the gangsters' direct participtation.
Martorano was among the Winter Hill gangsters charged with fixing horse races in 1979 -- an indictment that left out the names of Bulger and Flemmi, thanks allegedly to the FBI's maneuverings.
Martorano fled Boston and spent 16 years on the run. He was finally arrested in Florida in 1995 and indicted on additional charges of money laundering and extortion. After it was revealed in court in 1997 that Bulger and Flemmi were longtime informants who had betrayed their friends, including Martorano, by telling the FBI about their exploits, an infuriated Martorano cut a deal with prosecutors. He confessed to 20 murders and implicated Bulger and Flemmi in many of them. Thanks in part to Martorano's testimony about John J. Connolly Jr.'s corrupt relationship with Bulger and Flemmi, Connolly was convicted of federal racketeering and obstruction of justice in 2002.
In exchange for his cooperation, Martorano served only 12 years and two months in prison for the murders and became a free man in March 2007.