Poisoning ruled cause of death of 'Whitey' Bulger extortion victim

Sun Oct 20, 2013 5:23pm EDT

Stephen Rakes (L) and Stephen Davis arrive for the first day of the trial of accused mob boss James ''Whitey'' Bulger at the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Boston, Massachusetts June 12, 2013. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Stephen Rakes (L) and Stephen Davis arrive for the first day of the trial of accused mob boss James ''Whitey'' Bulger at the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Boston, Massachusetts June 12, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder

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(Reuters) - An alleged extortion victim of Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger, who was found dead while Bulger was on trial, died from cyanide poisoning, officials in Massachusetts said on Sunday.

Stephen Rakes, 59, had wanted to testify at Bulger's trial that the mob boss had forced him at gunpoint to sell a liquor store for pennies on the dollar.

His body was found in July in a Boston suburb, with no obvious signs of trauma.

Authorities said in the summer that his death was not related to the case against Bulger, who was found guilty in August of murder and racketeering.

The Massachusetts Office of the Chief Medical Examiner found that Rakes, of Quincy, was killed by acute cyanide toxicity, said a spokeswoman for the Middlesex (County) District Attorney's Office.

The death was ruled a homicide, the spokeswoman said.

One of Rakes's business associates, 69-year-old William Camuti of Sudbury, was arrested in August on charges that he gave Rakes a coffee laced with cyanide.

Prosecutors have said that they believe Camuti acted alone.

The District Attorney's Office said on Sunday that it would seek additional charges.

(Reporting by Noreen O'Donnell; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Leslie Adler)

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Comments (1)
EmirSmith wrote:
Right… cyanide poisoning has been used to quiet ppl since the 60′s.
Theres no way to pinpoint with proof who did it..

Oct 20, 2013 6:03pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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