Vermeer's The Concert

Vermeer's The Concert

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Stolen Art Watch, Whitey Bulger Trial, Secret Of Success Is Knowing Who To Blame

Pat Nee July 2013


'We were up to our necks in murders': Hitman implicates Whitey Bulger in nine killings as he describes brutal reign of terror at Boston mob trial

  • John 'The Executioner' Martorano has admitted to 20 murders
  • He worked for James 'Whitey' Bulger in for decades and is expected to reveal many details of Bulger's alleged crimes
  • Martorano, 72, served just 12 years in prison after striking a deal with the federal government
  • He currently lives on social security on a golf course outside Boston
  • Martorano was paid $250,000 for the movie rights to his life story, $80,000 more for a book and thousands by the federal government
A former Boston mob hitman has revealed even more chilling details in his second day of testimony at the trail of his long-time boss, James 'Whitey' Bulger.
John 'The Executioner' Martorano, who has admitted to killing 20 people, implicated Bulger in nine murders in less than two days on the witness stand. He is expected to tie the former organized crime kingpin to 11 killings from the 1970s to the early 2000s.
Martorano, a 72-year-old who lives a quiet life on a golf course, calmly described brutal executions of associates, cold-blooded betrayals of friends and mistaken hits on victims who weren't mixed up in organized crime at all - just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Turning: John Martorano, who has admitted to killing 20 people, claimed he was 'heartbroken' when he learned that his former boss has been supplying information to the government
Turning: John Martorano, who has admitted to killing 20 people, claimed he was 'heartbroken' when he learned that his former boss has been supplying information to the government
He admitted to gunning down six people who he hadn't meant to kill - including a bartender Michael Milano who had the misfortune of driving the same kind of car as one of Martorano's targets.

The Boston Globe reports Martorano portrayed himself as a 'man of honor' and claimed Monday he 'wasn't a hitman' because he never accepted money for the murders he committed.
He said he only killed people to help friends or family members. On Tuesday, though, he admitted that he had been paid $50,000 to murder an Oklahoma businessman in 1981.
Facing justice: James 'Whitey' Bulger is accused of murder, extortion and running a criminal enterprise
Facing justice: James 'Whitey' Bulger is accused of murder, extortion and running a criminal enterprise
The money was given to him by, John Callahan, who had been skimming profits off the businessman's Florida company. Martoano said he considered Callahan a good friend.

But in 1982, Bulger an the other leaders of Bulger's Winter Hill gang decided that Callahan had to go, too.

'I felt lousy. But these were my partners,' Martorano testified.

'We were up to our necks in murders already. If it had to be done, it had to be done.'
He subsequently went to Miami with an associate, Joe MacDonald, and set up a meeting with the unsuspecting Callahan. When Callahan met Martorano at a van he had rented, Martorano shot Callahan in the back of the head with a handgun wrapped in a towel.

Callahan's body was later found in the trunk of an abandoned car at Miami International Airport.
Another slaying he described seemed to come right out of a scene from a Martin Scorsese film.
Thomas King was a mobster with a rival gang that Bulger and his crew had been forced to work with. Bulger hated King, Martorano testified.
'Him and Tommy couldn’t get along, He wanted to get rid of Tommy,' he said.
Bulger decided to kill the dangerous King, but knew he would be wary of being lured into a trap. So, he had Martorano and his allies contact King and tell him they needed his help murdering another mobster. 
 John Martorano's youngest son, John Jr
Godfather: James 'Whitey' Bulger holds John Martorano's youngest son, John Jr., during his Christening ceremony in this undated handout photo provided by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Massachusetts
Winter Hill Gang:
Winter Hill Gang: A diagram showing the 'Winter Hill Gang' organization in the late 1970s was passed around jurors as John Martorano took the stand in the trial of accused mob boss Whitey Bulger
They gave king a bulletproof vest and then a gun. The gun had only blanks in it.
King got into the front passenger seat of a car he believed would take him to the bar where his target was. Martorano got in the back seat behind him.
'I shot Tommy,' Martorano told the court. 'Where did I shoot him? In the head.'
Martorano also said he witnessed Bulger kill mobster Edward Connors in 1975 because he had bragged about helping Bulger's gang murder a rival.
Bulger and his partner Stephen 'The Rifle' Flemmi lured Connors into a phone booth in Dorchester.
'They walked to the phone booth and shot Eddie,' Martorano testified.
Martorano, is a star witness in the Bulger trial. He has said he had a detailed knowledge of many of the 19 murders Bulger is accused of committing.
He described shooting dead rival mob member Alfred 'Indian Al' Notorangeli from a car in 1974 while Bulger rode behind him another car that was ready to block out anyone to tried to get in the way of the hit.
Before Martorano killed Notorangeli, he gunned down bartender Michael Milano, who had the misfortune of driving the same car as Notorangeli. Martorano called that murder 'a mistake,' because Milano wasn't the intended target.
Roger Wheeler
Deaths: The body of Roger Wheeler, the former owner of World Jai Alai, is shown in this undated handout photo. John Martorano said he killed Wheeler in 1981 under orders from Winter Hill Gang leaders Bulger and Stephen 'The Rifleman' Flemmi
Innocent bystander: This photo presented to jurors shows the bullet-riddled car of bartender Michael Milano. He was killed after being mistaken for a member of Bulger's rival gang
Innocent bystander: This photo presented to jurors shows the bullet-riddled car of bartender Michael Milano. He was killed after being mistaken for a member of Bulger's rival gang
Gruesome: The Buick was riddled with bullets in a hit on Albert Plummer, who worked for a rival mob boss
Gruesome: The Buick was riddled with bullets in a hit on Albert Plummer, who worked for a rival mob boss
A crime scene photo from the time reveals Milano's car riddled with bullet holes.
Martorano also said he killed one of Notorangeli's henchmen, Albert Plummer, in a hail of bullets.
He served just 12 years in prison after admitting to the killings under a plea deal. He now lives in a quiet suburb of Boston on a golf course. He testified that he collects Social Security.
However, he was also paid $250,000 for the film rights to his story and has made $80,000 off a 2012 book about his life titled 'Hitman.'
He has also been paid thousands by the U.S. government, including a check for $20,000 from the Drug Enforcement Agency gave him when he was released from prison.
Martorano worked closely with Bulger and Flemmi from the 1960s until the 1990s. On the witness stand on Monday, he called the men 'my partners in crime, my best friends, my children’s godfathers,' according to the Boston Globe.
'After I found out they were informants, it sort of broke my heart,' Martorano said on the witness stand. 'They broke all trust that we had, all loyalty.'
Martorano is, by his own admission, a brutal killer. He worked as the lead enforcer and hit man for Bulger's Winter Hill Gang, for whom he gunned down at least 20 people.

FBI surveillance photograph shows a meeting between Bulger (right) and his business partner Stephen Flemmi
FBI surveillance photograph shows a meeting between Bulger (right) and his business partner Stephen Flemmi
His victims include two businessmen who Bulger allegedly ordered killed because they had discovered that Bulger was skimming profits of a Connecticut company.
Martorano shot millionaire Roger Wheeler between the eyes in the parking lot of his Tulsa, Oklahoma, country club in 1981. The following year Wheeler's business partner, John Callahan, was found shot dead in the trunk of his car at Miami International Airport.
In 1968, he tracked down a black man who had beaten up Flemmi and found him in his car with a 19-year-old woman and a 17-year-old teen. He killed all three with close-range gunshots.
Bulger, 83, face 32 counts of a federal indictment alleging he committed murders, ordered others, extorted bookies, drug dealers and legitimate businessmen, laundered his profits and amassed an arsenal of weapons.
During much of his criminal career he was protected by a corrupt FBI agent, who designated him as a high-level informant.
When he was indicted in 1995, he skipped town and evaded police for 16 years. For much of the time, he lived a quiet life in Santa Monica, California. 
He has denied all charges.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Whitey Bulger Boston Trial Hits The Ground Running !!

Whitey Bulger Fast Facts

Here's a look at the life of longtime fugitive James "Whitey" Bulger, on trial for murder and racketeering charges.
Birth date: September 3, 1929
Birth place: Dorchester, Massachusetts
Birth name: James Joseph Bulger, Jr.
Father: James Joseph Bulger, Sr., a laborer
Mother: Jane Veronica "Jean" (McCarthy) Bulger
Children: with Lindsey Cyr: Douglas Glenn Cyr, 1967-1973
Military Service: U.S. Air Force, 1948-1952
Other Facts:
Nicknamed "Whitey" as a child because of his white-blond hair.
His son, Douglas Cyr, died at age six from Reye's Syndrome, an allergic reaction to aspirin.
Federal prosecutors say Bulger led south Boston's Winter Hill gang from the late 1970s through the mid-1990s.
1943 - Arrested for the first time, at age fourteen for larceny.
1956-1965 - Serves time in federal prison for armed robbery.
Early 1970s - Climbs the ranks of the Winter Hill gang, the preeminent Irish-American crime syndicate in the Boston area.
1975 - Agrees to become an FBI informant, providing information about the Italian Mafia in exchange for protection from prosecution.
1979 - Multiple Winter Hill gang members are arrested for race-fixing, including the leader Howie Winter, which allows Bulger to assume leadership.
January 1995 - Flees an impending racketeering indictment after former FBI handler John Connolly tips Bulger off to the charges, and event that helped inspire the Oscar-winning 2006 drama "The Departed."
1999 - Added to the FBI's Top 10 Most Wanted list, facing charges in 19 murders.
June 22, 2011 - After 16 years on the lam, is arrested in Santa Monica, California, along with his girlfriend Catherine Elizabeth Greig.
July 6, 2011 - Pleads not guilty to 32 counts, including 19 counts of murder. If convicted, he may face life in prison.
August 18, 2011 - Bulger's companion, Catherine Elizabeth Greig, pleads not guilty to charges of harboring and concealing Bulger.
March 14, 2012 - Catherine Greig pleads guilty to one charge of conspiracy to harbor a fugitive and two counts of identity theft.
June 12, 2012 - Greig is sentenced to eight years in federal prison for identity fraud and helping Bulger avoid capture.
March 4, 2013 - A federal judge rules that Bulger can be prosecuted for murders committed after agreeing to an immunity deal with the FBI in the 1970s. Bulger's attorneys were hoping to have the case dismissed because of the immunity agreement.
March 14, 2013 - Federal Judge Richard Stearns is removed from the Bulger case by the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston. Stearns had previously worked for the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston when Bulger's ran organized crime in the city. Bulger's defense had argued that Judge Stearns would not be impartial.
March 15, 2013 - U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper is named to replace Judge Richard Stearns.
May 2, 2013 - Judge Casper rules that Bulger cannot claim that federal law enforcement officials granted him immunity from prosecution at his upcoming trial.
May 17, 2013 - An appeals court upholds Catherine Greig's eight-year prison sentence.
June 4, 2013 - Jury selection begins in Bulger's trial on murder and racketeering charges.
June 12, 2013 - Opening statements begin.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Stolen Art Watch, General Thomas Slab Murphy Vindicated In Rancid, Sectarian Prosecution

'Slab' Murphy wins right to challenge criminal charges at Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has ruled that Thomas "Slab" Murphy has the necessary legal standing to challenge the constitutionality of a law under which tax charges against him are to be dealt with by the non-jury Special Criminal Court rather than the ordinary courts.

The 60 year-old from Ballybinaby, Hackballscross, Co Louth, is being prosecuted on nine charges of failing to furnish tax returns for the years from 1996/97 to 2004.

The charges, which the State accepted during the case were non-scheduled indictable offences, were brought in November 2007 following an investigation by the Criminal Assets Bureau.
In a High Court judgment of November 2011, Mr Justice Daniel Herbert ruled Mr Murphy had not established the necessary legal standing to bring the challenge.

When Mr Murphy's appeal against that finding came before the   Supreme Court today, Chief Justice Ms Justice Susan Denham said the court did not need to hear arguments on the legal standing point as it had a "clear view" Mr Murphy had the necessary legal standing.
The court found it "difficult to understand" why Mr Murphy would not have legal standing when he was charged with offences and the DPP had issued a certificate for his trial before the SCC.
The situation was "so manifest" the court was "totally satisfied" Mr Murphy had legal standing.
The Chief Justice stressed the court was anxious to deal with the substantive constitutional issue raised by Mr Murphy and fixed 29 July for hearing submissions on that.

When Remy Farrell SC, for Mr Murphy sought his costs of the appeal on the legal standing point, Ms Justice Denham said the court would reserve the issue of costs to the end of the appeal.
In his action, Mr Murphy claims the decision to try him before the SCC rather than before a jury in the ordinary courts breached his rights under the Constitution and European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), including to fair procedures, his good name and equality before the law.

The decision was taken by the DPP in secrecy with no explanation or reasons given, he argues.
When his lawyers wrote to the DPP in 2008 asking why the decision to certify a trial before the SCC was arrived at, they were told it was taken in accordance with relevant statutory provisions and case law and the DPP was not required to state reasons.

Mr Murphy argues the power conferred on the DPP to certify trial in a special court involves an excessive conferral of absolute power with no screening, transparency or accountability.
Nothing is known about how the DPP reaches that decision and, unlike other countries, there are no procedures here allowing that decision to be reviewed, it is argued.


Monday, June 03, 2013

Stolen Art Watch, Whitey Bulger Roadshow Ready To Roll !!

More than 600 people will be questioned this week as jury selection begins in the murder trial of accused Boston mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger, who spent much of his 16 years on the run on the FBI's "10 Most Wanted" list.
Potential jurors will fill out questionnaires today and Wednesday to be used to eliminate people with conflicts. After the pool is winnowed down, potential jurors will be questioned individually.
Bulger's name is one of the most well-known in Boston, so there is some concern that it will be difficult to seat an unbiased jury.
The judge has said she hopes to complete the jury-selection process by Friday, with opening statements from prosecutors and defense attorneys expected Monday. The trial is expected to last at least three months.
Bulger, 83, was arrested two years ago for his alleged role in 19 slayings in the 1970s and 1980s. Prosecutors say Bulger ran Boston's infamous Winter Hill Gang for nearly 30 years, which inspired many books and Jack Nicholson's character in the 2006 Oscar-winning film, "The Departed."
More than a dozen pretrial motions were heard Monday by U.S. District Court Judge Denise Casper. Among the pretrial motions, Bulger's defense lawyers had sought to limit testimony from relatives of the 19 people he and his associates are accused of killing. Family members will be allowed to testify against Bulger, but they will not be allowed to make victim-impact statements.
Authorities say Bulger committed crimes, including murder, while he was an FBI informant. Bulger was to be indicted in 1994 but fled Boston after being tipped off by his former FBI handler John Connolly. Connolly was convicted of racketeering and obstruction of justice and served 10 years in prison. He is serving a 40-year prison sentence for his connection to a murder.
Bulger successfully evaded authorities for nearly 16 years and appeared on the FBI's "10 Most Wanted" list. Finally, the FBI decided to change the focus of its search to his longtime girlfriend, Catherine Greig. After releasing an ad, investigators followed a tip that led to the couple's small, rent-controlled Santa Monica, Calif., apartment in 2011.
Greig was sentenced last year to eight years in prison for identity theft and conspiring to harbor a fugitive.
Bulger will come face to face with not only the families of victims prosecutors say he helped kill but his former mob associates, including former hit men who have admitted to taking part in dozens of killings.
The defense plans to call close to 80 witnesses to testify, including Bulger himself. The government's witness list includes a collection of notorious gangsters, including Bulger's former partner, Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi, who's serving a life sentence after pleading guilty in 10 murders.
Former hit man John Martorano, who admitted killing 20 people, also is expected to testify.