DA: Death of Witness Unrelated to Whitey Bulger Trial

Friday, 02 Aug 2013 08:19 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Cyanide-laced iced coffee led to the death of a man who'd just found out he wouldn't get to testify against reputed Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger, authorities said Friday, but linked the man's death to a business associate who owed him money, not to Bulger.

The body of 59-year-old Stephen Rakes of Quincy was found in the woods July 17, just a day after he learned he wouldn't take the witness stand against Bulger — a man he'd openly despised and blamed for seizing control of his business to use as headquarters for Boston's Irish mob decades ago.

Bulger ran the city's feared Winter Hill Gang before fleeing in 1994 after a corrupt FBI agent tipped him off he was about to be arrested. He was captured in California two years ago and is on trial, accused of participating in 19 murders.

But authorities believe the suspect in Rakes' death, 69-year-old William Camuti, acted alone on the afternoon of July 16 when he lured Rakes to his death by arranging a meeting at a McDonald's in Waltham to pitch him a fake real estate deal, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said.

Camuti, of Sudbury, pleaded not guilty Friday after his arrest on charges including attempted murder. Authorities said the medical examiner still is awaiting toxicology test results to determine Rakes' exact cause of death, and prosecutors could file a murder charge later.

Authorities say Camuti bought two iced coffees and added two teaspoons of potassium cyanide to the one he gave to Rakes to drink. Investigators found out later that Camuti had made inquiries online about buying cyanide, Ryan said.

She said Rakes drank the poisoned drink and Camuti drove him around for hours before dumping his body in Lincoln, outside Boston between Lexington and Concord.

The prosecutor said Camuti and Rakes were business associates who had known each other for years and had done multiple deals. She said Camuti also owed Rakes a significant amount of money.

Camuti also faces charges of misleading police and unlawfully disposing of human remains. A judge ordered him held without bail until a Tuesday hearing, and his attorney didn't return a message.

Surveillance video from the federal courthouse where Bulger is being tried showed Rakes leaving July 16 after attending the trial, something he'd been doing every day, Ryan said. She said Rakes was wearing the same clothing when found dead the next day without a wallet, identification, keys or a cellphone.

There was no sign of trauma to his body and authorities said following his autopsy that they'd have to await test results before they could say more about how he died.

Federal authorities have said Bulger forced Rakes and his former wife to sell him their South Boston liquor store in 1984.

Steve Davis, the brother of one of Bulger's alleged murder victims, called Rakes' death a sad situation. They became good friends and sat through many court hearings together after the FBI caught Bulger in California and crossed him off the agency's most-wanted list.

"The guy was full of life," Davis said of Rakes. "He was happy. He had two grandchildren who he always talked about."

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Family of Executed Man's Victims: 'He Laughed at Us'

Friday, 25 Jul 2014 07:20 AM

Jeanne Brown, whose sister and father were murdered in 1989 by Joseph Rudolph Wood, denied reports that Wood suffered du . . .

Joe Scarborough Denies Lobbying Hard for 'Meet the Press' Job

Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 23:07 PM

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough denied reports Thursday that he and his Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski have been "aggress . . .

Laura Ingraham: Rand Paul Closest to Americans on Foreign Policy

Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 21:43 PM

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, accused of being an isolationist by some fellow Republicans, is actually more in step with the  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved