Former Hitman Now Calls Milford, Mass. Home

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    NEWSLETTERS

    John Martorano, a witness in James 'Whitey' Bulger's trial, is a stranger to most Milford residents

    (NECN: Greg Wayland) -  Milford, Mass., where from the section they call The Plains to Main Street, they welcome the newcomer. Italian, Irish, Portuguese.

    "You name it, they live here," says one resident.

    We went down the the first annual Milford Senior Hot Dog Social to see if the name John Martorano rang a bell. After all, Martorano is a senior himself. But we got many folks just repeating the name back to us, as if wondering if he might be an old neighbor or someone they'd met in passing.

    "I may know him by sight," said one man.

    But gradually people began to realize we were talking about the guy connected to the trial of James "Whitey" Bulger - and then we told them he lives in town.

    "Really?" said one woman.

    Yes, really. He has lived in town for at least two years, according to Police Chief Tom O'Loughlin, and the chief says he's not been a problem. There was a minor traffic accident last April, for which he was issued a written warning. The chief says while he's seen Martorano walking around downtown, he hasn't met him personally.

    We went to talk to neighbors at Martorano's condominium block nestled among trees, with flowers growing out front. He, of course, was not home, being busy with testimony at federal court in Boston. His neighbors were not home, either. We understand he has two dogs and a small dog was giving us a barking greeting through the glass at the back door.

    One woman at the senior center, finishing up her hot dog lunch, was in a forgiving mood, saying this should be a case of "live and let live" -- until she realized we were talking about the man who's admitted to 20 murders on behalf of the Boston mob.

    "Oh, that's the one," she said, then added with a laugh, "hang the bastard!"

    "How'd he ever get in here?" said another woman.

    But a placid looking fellow in reflector sunglasses temporized, "You gotta live someplace."
         
    Chief O'Loughlin agrees.

    "We've had no issues, " he said.  

    One woman lamented that it's always the criminals who get the publicity and that we should be doing a story about the pair of nuns that help out so generously at the senior center.
         
    We did, at least, ask the sisters about John Martorano.

    "Long as he's not causing any problems, I say it's okay," said Sister Claire.
        
    "Everyone deserves a second chance," said Sister Estelle.

    So, ultimately in Milford, it does seem to come down to that old adage, "live and let live," though that's not a philosophy the mob was known to live by.