Alleged Victim In 'Whitey' Bulger Racketeering Trial Found Dead - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Alleged Victim In 'Whitey' Bulger Racketeering Trial Found Dead

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James "Whitey" Bulger is on trial in Boston for a long list of crimes. James "Whitey" Bulger is on trial in Boston for a long list of crimes.
Stephen Rakes in an undated photo. / Chris Gobeille via CBS Boston Stephen Rakes in an undated photo. / Chris Gobeille via CBS Boston
BOSTON -

Stephen Rakes, a former South Boston liquor store owner who claimed reputed mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger muscled him out of business, was found dead Wednesday afternoon, CBS Boston reports.

Rakes, 59, of Quincy, had been attending Bulger's racketeering trial in Boston and, at one point, was expected to be called as a witness for the prosecution.

Rake's body was found around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in the area of Mill Street in Lincoln, Mass., according to Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan.

While the cause of death is unknown, Ryan says "there were no obvious signs of trauma." The medical examiner is expected to conduct an autopsy.

CBS Boston reports Rakes was in court for Bulger's racketeering trial almost every day. On Tuesday afternoon, he reportedly learned he was not going to testify and did not come to court Wednesday.

7/17/2013 Related Story: Daughter Of Slain Tulsa Businessman Testifies Against 'Whitey' Bulger

Rakes and his wife spent $100,000 to open Stippo's Liquor Store in Boston in 1984. But a short time later, according to Rakes, Bulger, Stephen Flemmi and Kevin Weeks threatened to kill him if he didn't turn over the store to them.

Investigators say Bulger wanted to use the store as the new headquarters for his criminal enterprise.

Rakes said that Bulger put $67,000 in cash on his table in exchange for the store.

"They gave me a bag of money and said we own the store and started laughing," he told the station in April 2012. "I'm pretty angry still about what happened close to thirty years ago, and I want to make sure Bulger gets justice. I'll be satisfied when he's in jail and never coming out."

Rakes continued, "I feel terrible about what happened and feel sick about it, and I feel shame because I couldn't fight them back because they were so powerful I didn't know what to do."

In 2003, a judge ordered Bulger to pay Rakes $28 million. Rakes wanted the government to go after what he believes is Bulger's hidden fortune.

Bulger spent 16 years on the run until he was captured in Santa Monica, Calif. in June 2011. Bulger, now 83, is currently on trial and is accused of participating in 19 killings during the 1970s and '80s, including the murder of Tulsa businessman Roger Wheeler, in 1981.

4/28/2009 Related Story: Investigator Speaks Out On Roger Wheeler Hit

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