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Apr 29, 2007
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I've been reading this book by Boston Herald journalist Howie Carr, called "Hitman," the story of Whitey Bulger and The Winter Hill Gang's notorious hitman Johnny Marturano. This guy, who went to Catholic school and was an altar boy, grew up to become one of the most dangerous men in the history of the Boston mob. If you like mob books, this is for you.

It's loaded with interesting stories, some pretty sick and some very funny. Here's just one:

Marturano and others owned a bar in the Roxbury section of Boston, called Basin Street South (I think). There, they would party and drink all hours of the night with friends and other thugs. Some players on the Boston Red Sox often drank there, too, one in particular being Earl Wilson (the first black pitcher on the team), Sox pitcher from the late 50s thru the early 60s. Sox players did a lot of drinking back then, as they did also in 2004, when they won the world series. One day Wilson was totally smashed, as was Marturano. He walked up to Marturano and told him that he had to get a ride to Fenway Park, as he was pitching that day. Johnny was like, "You're shitting me!" Anyway, he drove him to the park, dropped him off at the clubhouse door, knocked, and then took off. Someone opened the door and Wilson fell right to the floor.

Laughing, Marturano went straight to his bookie to bet on the Angels to win the game, knowing Wilson was tanked. As it turned out, Wilson pitched a no-hitter! He even hit a home run! The next time they were at the club, Marturano confessed to Wilson that he bet a ton of money on the Angels that day, and lost his shirt. Wilson was shocked, and said, "If I had known that, Johnny, I'd have thrown the game for ya."

Very funny stuff. The book is loaded with stories like that. The Boston underworld was loaded with these shady characters. All part of it's interesting persona. Again, great, if you're interested in Mafia type books.

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