BOSTON (CBS/AP) — An ex-gangster who admitted killing 20 people was unemotional Monday when describing his line of work at the trial of his former partner, James “Whitey” Bulger, but called himself heartbroken when he learned that Bulger had become an FBI informant.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports
John Martorano gave short, matter-of-fact answers when questioned by a prosecutor about a string of murders he committed while he, Bulger and Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi were members of the Winter Hill Gang.
The only flash of sentiment came early in his testimony, when he was asked to describe his relationship with Bulger and Flemmi.
“They were my partners in crime, they were my best friends, they were my children’s godfathers,” Martorano said. He said he named his youngest son James Stephen after Bulger and Flemmi.
Martorano said he was stunned to learn years later that Bulger and Flemmi had been providing information to the FBI at the same time they were committing crimes for the gang.
“After I heard that they were informants, it sort of broke my heart,” he said.
Martorano, 72, served 12 years in prison after striking a cooperation deal with prosecutors.
Bulger, now 83, is charged in a broad racketeering indictment that accuses him of participating in 19 murders in the 1970s and ’80s. He is also charged with extorting bookmakers, drug dealers and others running illegal businesses.
On Monday night, Bulger’s lawyer filed a motion asking the judge to remind jurors that they should be cautious about Martorano’s testimony because of his deal with the government.
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