Stephen “Stippo” Rakes may have been killed before his testimony against James “Whitey” Bulger. Bulger, an infamous leader of the Winter Hill Gang in Boston, is currently on trial in a case that has shaken up the tough city since it began.
Stephen “Stippo” Rakes Killed Before Testifying
While an autopsy of Stephen Rakes found no sign of trauma, investigators are still awaiting the toxicology report to determine Rakes’ cause of death. “Stippo” was found dead at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday in Lincoln, Massachusetts. He did not have a wallet or any other form of identification on his person at the time he was found, which attributes to the police treating his death as suspicious.
Being on the list of the prosecution’s witnesses, 59-year-old Rakes planned to testify against the 83-year-old Bulger who is currently being charged with numerous counts of racketeering and murder after spending 16 years as one of the most wanted fugitives in America. However, reports surfaced stating that the prosecution informed Rakes on Tuesday that he would not be called up to the stand. It is unclear at this time why the prosecution dropped Rakes’ testimony.
Shortly before his death, Stephen “Strippo” Rakes told reporters,
“The day I see [James Bulger] in a box, not breathing, will be better…I’m not afraid of him anymore. I can’t wait to get on the stand and look him right in the eyes. I come here to represent the victims that are afraid to come here.”
Ironically, Rakes also added,
“At least I’m still alive. I’m alive and I’m grateful for that.”
Stephen “Stippo” Rakes Killed Before Testifying Against James “Whitey” Bulger.