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Posted

Stephen "Stippo" Rakes, a possible witness in the murder trial of alleged crime boss James "Whitey" Bulger, has been found dead, authorities said.

The body of Rakes, 59, had "no obvious signs of trauma" and an autopsy is being performed to determine the cause of death, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Lincoln, Mass., Police Chief Kevin Mooney announced today.

The corpse was found on Mill Street in Lincoln yesterday at 1:30 p.m., police said.

 Rakes had been on the witness list and had been eager to testify that Bulger threatened his family at gunpoint and forced him to turn his liquor store into a front for the Winter Hill Gang. But earlier this week prosecutors informed Rakes he would not be called to testify, a decision that left Rakes "despondent," a source close to his family told ABC News.

The judge overseeing the Bulger case hunkered down with lawyers in a confidential conference at the South Boston courthouse today where the trial is being held. Bulger, alleged to be a notorious and murderous crime boss and federal informant, is standing trial after being found on the lam in California two years ago.

Federal prosecutors said Rakes was supposed to testify that Bulger and associate Stephen Flemmi threatened his daughter at gunpoint, and took over his South Boston liquor store for Bulger's headquarters. Bulger sidekick Kevin Weeks testified last week Rakes' contention that Bulger's gang put a gun to his daughter's head was bogus.

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Posted

One of Bulger's buddies?

No sign of violence means zip, mob hitters will sometimes overdose marks with insulin or an anesthesia agent like succinylcholine in an effort to disguise a hit.

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Posted

It was definitely just a food allergy.... nothing to see here. Move along everyone. :laugh:

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Posted

Damn, I was half expecting concrete shoes

^ not to be taken seriously

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Posted

oh, another rat died? what a shame

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Posted

He probably had an allergic reaction to bullets.

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Posted

He probably had an allergic reaction to bullets.

I hear that is a common allergy in the crime world

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Posted

pure coincidence :whistle:

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Posted

oh, another rat died? what a shame

 

Huh? I couldn't find where it said he was in the mob, it looked like he was just a business owner and they tried to steal it from him.

 

Edit: Although he has a nickname, and I'm tired.

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Posted

now they are saying he was found 20 miles from where he was last seen...

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Posted

They'll probably decide it was a heart attack --- natural or not.

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