Tag: Whitey Bulger

MartoranoThe film “Black Mass” featuring Johnny Depp as the notorious Boston criminal James “Whitey” Bulger, took us inside the old Boston underworld and the power struggle between the Irish and Italian organized crime organizations that turned the city into a battle zone.  Bulger’s story, due in part to documentaries, media coverage and books, is well-known. But what isn’t widely known, is the story of the Winter Hill gang’s most efficient and feared killer, Johnny Martorano.  In the film, Martorano is played by actor W. Earl Brown. Howie Carr presents us with this chilling account of Martorano’s early life, his descent into the crime world, affiliation with Bulger, arrest and decision to become a testifying witness against the Winter Hill gang and numerous individuals targeted in law enforcement investigations.  And what he reveals is a gritty underworld full of corruption, drugs, sex, money and murder.  All of the infamous Boston gangsters make an appearance including, Donald Killeen, Indian Al, Wimpy Bennett, Gennaro “Jerry” Angiulo and Tommy King.

Martorano’s life reads like a story straight out of “GoodFellas” or “The Departed” except that this isn’t fiction.   This is the city of Boston, in the 1960s and 1970s and the mayhem that ensued.  The murders are brutal, the crime heinous and nothing is spared in the book bringing home the reality of the streets of Boston during those times.  At some points in the book you may feel as if you’re sitting next to Martorano and the crew at Basin Street South or Chandler’s as they plot their next crime.  As a father of several children by different women, husband, hitman,  loan shark and enforcer, Martorano is a man of many faces able to change from one to the other when necessary and in an instant.  At the time of the publication of this book, Bulger was still at large.  Since then, he has been captured and is currently incarcerated and will spend the rest of his life in prison.  Martorano served 12 years in prison, was released and currently resides in Milford, MA.  His days with the Winter Hill gang are long gone but his reputation and past actions continue to live on as Bulger and the gang continue to be examined in books, films and documentaries.

ISBN-10: 0765332396
ISBN-13: 978-0765332394

Assassinations Crime

JamBulgeres “Whitey” Bulger is currently incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary, Coleman in Sumter County, Florida. The former gangster who once ruled the streets of Boston is now 86 years of age and will spend the rest of his life behind bars.   The manhunt to capture him spanned 16 years and for several of those years, he was on the FBI’s list of most wanted criminals.  His capture is one of the biggest in U.S. history and also brought down many of the people connected to him, including both known associates and family members.   His trial resulted in numerous lawsuits brought against the U.S. government for the FBI’s complicity in facilitating Bulger’s criminal enterprise.

Recently, Johnny Depp has appeared in ‘Black Mass’ a semi-biopic about the notorious Bulger.  Depp is an outstanding actor and his portrayal of Bulger is nothing short of chilling.   Hollywood is known to take certain liberties when producing films and the true story is often more interesting and far more complex.  I began to search for a book on Bulger after watching the film and picked up this New York Times bestseller by Kevin Cullen and Shelley Murphy.  The authors have done an outstanding job of putting together this semi-biography and semi-investigative report into Bulger’s life, organization and the crimes that were committed.  This book is a great addition for movie goers who’ve seen the film and are looking for more background information on the main characters and the story line in general.   All of it is covered here, including the murders, racketeering, affairs, the FBI’s complicity, Bulger’s run from the law, his capture and conviction.  The city of Boston today is far different from the one in which Bulger made his fortune.  Most of the bars and after hour spots where criminal plans were created are gone, replaced by trendy coffee shops and other commercial establishments.   But at one time, the city was controlled by the most notorious criminal in Boston’s history.

ASIN: B00B0WHTJW

Organized Crime