Huffpost Crime
Michael McLaughlin Headshot

Stephen Rakes Dead: Key 'Witness' In Bulger Trial Found Dead In Lincoln, Massachusetts

Posted: Updated:
Stephen Rakes
Stephen Rakes

A key witness in the trial of alleged Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger has been found dead, authorities confirmed Thursday.

The body of Stephen “Stippo” Rakes, who accused Bulger of extorting him out of his liquor store, was discovered in Lincoln, Mass.

"There were no obvious signs of trauma," according to a statement from the Middlesex district attorney's office. "The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is conducting an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death."

As one of Bulger's alleged victims, Rakes was a fixture at the aging gangster's trial. Bulger is accused of 19 murders and an assortment of other charges.

Rakes had waited decades for the opportunity to testify against Bulger. The 59-year-old said that he lost his South Boston liquor store in 1984 when Bulger and Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi barged into his home, placed a gun on his kitchen table and demanded he sell them the business.

"One of my daughters picked up the gun and that's when I called my wife to say we were selling the store," he told The Huffington Post last month.

Rakes said Bulger was an intimidating figure in Southie, the neighborhood where Rakes grew up. "People don't understand the fear that was on the streets," he recalled.

Also on HuffPost:

Who's Who In The Whitey Bulger Case
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

Whitey Bulger trial witness Stephen Rakes found dead

Alleged Bulger extortion victim is found dead

Authorities: Potential Bulger witness found dead

'Whitey' Bulger Witness Found Dead