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Whitey Bulger case: Potential witness killed by cyanide

This courtroom sketch show James 'Whitey' Bulger during his racketeering trial in U.S. District Court in Boston.

October 20, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Massachusetts medical examiner's office has determined that cyanide poisoning killed an alleged extortion victim of Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger. The victim wanted to testify against him.

Stephen Rakes, 59, of Quincy was killed in July. His body was found in a wooded area of the Boston suburb of Lincoln, just a day after he learned he wouldn't be called as a witness against Bulger.

Rakes openly despised Bulger and blamed him for seizing control of his South Boston liquor store to use as headquarters for Boston's Irish mob in 1984.

Authorities said Rakes' death is not linked to Bulger's case.

Rakes' business associate, William Camuti, 69, of Sudbury, is charged with attempted murder and other crimes for allegedly poisoning Rakes' iced coffee. Camuti has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors plan to file additional charges against him based on the new findings.

Bulger is scheduled to be sentenced next month for 11 murders and dozens of other gangland crimes.