Steve Rakes: Alleged Bulger victim poisoned by business associate

bulger boston steven rakes steve
Steve Rakes talks to reporters outside the federal courthouse after a day of testimony in the Bulger trial.
Credit: Michael Naughton/Metro

A man who was on the witness list to testify against alleged mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger was poisoned by a business associate who owed him money, authorities said Friday. 

Stephen Rakes, 59, of Quincy was found dead on a walking trail in Lincoln July 17.

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said that William Camuti, 69, of Sudbury, faces charges including attempted murder for Rakes’ death. Camuti was expected to be arraigned late Friday afternoon. He did not yet face a murder charge as authorities are still waiting for toxicology results from the medical examiner’s office.

Asked about a motive, Ryan said that Camuti owed Rakes “a significant amount of money.”

When asked if there was a connection to the Bulger case, Ryan said Camuti acted alone.

“Our evidence indicates that Mr. Camuti acted alone and a business transaction was the basis of the contact,” Ryan said.

Saying that investigators had developed various pieces of evidence, Ryan said that Camuti lured Rakes to a McDonalds to discuss a real estate transaction. He then bought ice coffees, laced Rakes’ drink with potassium cyanide, drove around for a few hours and then dumped the body in Lincoln, Ryan said.

At the time of the death, authorities said there were no signs of trauma and that investigators had to wait for toxicology results.

Rakes was on the prosecution’s witness list to testify against Bulger, but as the trial went on government attorneys eventually said they believe they didn’t need to have him testify. He was found dead days later.

Rakes owned a liquor store in South Boston that he said Bulger and his gang forced him to sell to them so they could use it as a front. Confessed Winter Hill Gang member Kevin Weeks testified earlier that Rakes’ sister came to them and said he was looking to sell the store.

Camuti was arrested Friday in Boston.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.