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Hitman: The Untold Story of Johnny Martorano: Whitey Bulger's Enforcer and the Most Feared Gangster in the Underworld Hardcover – April 26, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Howie Carr weaves a frightening tale of unlawful conduct, and it's all true." --Bill O'Reilly
 
"The indictments of mobster-mangled Boston continue to rain down in Howie Carr's superb new true-crime book, Hitman. It's horrifying, it's deadpan shocking, it's a brilliant treatise on criminal psychopathy and a portrait of a city defined and subverted by hoodlums run amok. Read this book--it will grab you, garrotte you, and leave you gasping for breath." --James Ellroy, bestselling author of American Tabloid and L.A. Confidential 

About the Author

Howie Carr is a columnist for the Boston Herald and author of The Brothers Bulger, which spent 11 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, and Hitman: The Untold Story of Johnny Martorano:  Whitey Bulger’s Enforcer and the Most Feared Gangster in the Underworld. He also hosts a daily four-hour radio talk show syndicated throughout New England. In 1985, Carr won a National Magazine Award, and in 2008 he was elected to the National Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago. Carr lives in suburban Boston with his wife and their three daughters.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books; 1St Edition edition (April 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765326396
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765326393
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.6 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #711,304 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Howie Carr is the New York Times best-selling author of The Brothers Bulger and Hitman, in addition to several other Boston organized-crime books and two novels. He is the host of a New England-wide radio talk-show syndicated to more than 20 stations, and is a member of the Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago. He is also a columnist for the Boston Herald, and has won a National Magazine Award for Boston Magazine. He is also a contributor to Breitbart.com.

Boston organized-crime boss Whitey Bulger was so infuriated by Carr's groundbreaking reporting that he once put out a murder contract on Carr, a story detailed on 60 Minutes. At his 2013 trial on murder and racketeering charges, Bulger tried to have Carr banned from the courtroom by calling him as a defense witness. Now imprisoned for life in Arizona, the crime czar still says his greatest regret was not murdering Carr when he had the chance. Carr once taught a course at Harvard, where he had to cross a picket line against himself to get to his class.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 44 people found the following review helpful By FilmFan on May 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
An ambitious book, basically a history of organized crime in Boston during the 20th century & beyond, mainly (but not exclusively) as seen through the eyes of the notorious Jimmy "Whitey" Bulger's murderous enforcer, Johnny Martarano. Martarano is obviously charming, almost charismatic company & tries to make a strong case that the people he killed eminently deserved it, but he does self-servingly avoid the fact that he also took out several innocent bystanders along the way. It IS sort of jaw-dropping that the feds let him out on the steets again after he admitted killing 20 people. (Although God knows how many there actually were.) But the feds were willing to pretty much let that go if they could get him to testify against Whitey, His partner-in-crime Stevie Flemmi, & most important, the deeply-dirty-&-corrupt-to-the-bone, FBI Agent John "Zip" Connolly. The murders of countless fairly low-level hoods do tend to blur after awhile at midpoint in the book, but things pick up at the end, as (relatively) clean feds close in to round up this pack of sociopaths/psychopaths. Well worth a thorough read.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By tom on June 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As horrifying as criminal activity that thrived in Boston, more horrifying is the corruption of the Boston bureau of the FBI.
Written with no-holds-barred style, Carr gives a frightening portrait of murder, thuggery, drug dealing and mayhem all under the watchful eye of politicians and the FBI.
A page-turner!
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By rocket21 on May 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed Howie Carr's first book, The Brothers Bulger, both in terms of the subject matter and the writing style. His second book, Hitman, explores some of the subject matter of the first book in more depth, as well as a bunch of other stuff (before Whitey Bulger became a powerful player).

The only issue I had with the book was the large quantity of names in the first two hundred pages - it was hard to keep up with all of the gangsters mentioned! Fortunately or not, most of them where knocked off, making the last two hundred pages easier to follow.

Once again, an enjoyable read for Howie Carr.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Joanie O on July 25, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book if you like this type of subject matter. Living in the Boston area I remember when a lot of these things happened. It was shocking then and even more shocking now. It's a shame that Whitey won't get the punishment that he deserves. Even though he's in jail, he'll probably be dead before he even goes to trial. His girlfriend is trying to get out of jail on house arrest. She doesn't deserve any breaks. She knew what she was getting into when she took off with him. As for Zip, hopefully he'll rot in jail. At least he's getting what he deserves. It's unbelievable how cold and calculating Martorano is. To kill all those people and justify it by saying they deserved it is crazy. Howie Carr did a great job on this book. No surprise though, if you've ever read his articles in the Herald you'd expect nothing less. He's lucky he's still alive after what he's written about these guys over the years.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lynne on July 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Growing up in the Boston area in the 1970's, I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book and I was not disappointed. Howie Carr's writing style puts you in the places where these gruesome acts took place. It's shocking to think that these NUMEROUS murders took place and were covered up by the law. The book contains many, many facts...and requires concentration to keep up with the many names involved. I actually made notes on my bookmark! As another reviewer wrote, most of the characters depicted in the first few hundred pages are killed, so the second half of the book becomes a little easier to keep the characters straight. The fact that this is not fiction is astounding. Why read a crime "thriller" when you can read a true, really amazing story like "Hitman"?
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By BunnyDee on July 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
A true, vividly told tale of decades of unchecked corruption, rackets and murder. The Winter Hill Gang, once headed by Whitey Bulger, operated for decades with impunity with FBI cooperation. Unbeknownst to their cohorts, Steve Flemmi,and eventually Whitey Bulger-- horrifically violent, raping, drug peddling murders--, were feeding information to the FBI on all of their friends as well as their enemies since the mid-1960s. As informants to bring down the "Mafia" in Boston, they basically blamed on their crimes on them and got away with it for years. Worse still, the FBI agents profited from the crimes personally.
Years later, when their "enforcer" Johnny Martorano found out of their treachery, he decided to work with the government himself, claiming "you can't rat on a rat." Unfortunately for the newly captured Whitey Bulger and his enabler, brother Billy, but fortunate for readers, Mr. Martorano has a delightfully long memory.
`
Howie Carr has put this book together in such a way that you get the whole picture, not just the actions of a "hitman," and the four vicious, lying, two-faced criminals he worked for, (two of whom worked in the Boston office of the FBI). Carr puts Johnny Martorano, who spent 16 years in hiding but had his name used to intimidate people for most of that time by the others,into perspective. He starts from the beginning, did not gloss over or glorify the ugly middle, and the reader comes out on the other side with the truth.

Howie Carr has been covering the disgusting corruption (while the rest of the Boston media was intimidated by death threats and having their presses shot up)of William and James"Whitey" Bulger for years.
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