Boston Mobster Agrees to Plead Guilty for Killing Wheeler 18 Years Ago

Friday, September 10th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Investigators say the 18-year-old murder case of Tulsa millionaire Roger Wheeler is moving forward. A Boston mobster has agreed to talk and plead guilty to the murder. The downside though is that the alleged hit man will pay for his crime by spending only 11 years, at the most, behind bars. Wheeler's son says it may be the only chance to catch the men who ordered the killing.

Roger Wheeler was one of Tulsa's most prominent citizens when he was gunned down at the Southern Hills Country Club in 1981. Prosecutors and Wheeler's family call alleged hit man John Martorano's plea agreement, the major break the case needed. Wheeler's son, David, says this is just the first step to greater things to come. "For me personally, it's not the end of what has been an 18-year-old ordeal, it's just the beginning," he said.

Martorano is already behind bars in Massachusetts on racketeering charges.
He's agreed to plead guilty in twelve murder cases throughout the U.S., including the Wheeler case. For his confession, he'll only be spending another eight to 11 years in jail.
He claims he can bring down mob bosses Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi and James "Whitey" Bulgar. "We have an opportunity finally to go after the people that ordered my father's murder," said Wheeler.

Wheeler was killed soon after he suspected some employees were embezzling from his international sports organization known as World Jai Alai. Police believe Wheeler never knew his company was infiltrated with the mob.