NPR : News

Potential Whitey Bulger Witness Was Poisoned

Police in Massachusetts arrested a man they say poisoned Stephen "Stippo" Rakes, who was a potential witness in the case against notorious Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger.

The important detail: The Boston Globe reports Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan said they believe William Camuti, 69, "acted alone" and they did not believe the homicide was connected to the Bulger case.

As Mark reported, Rakes, 59, was eager to testify against Bulger. He alleged that in 1984, Bulger forced him — at gun point — to sell his liquor store.

NBC News reports authorities say Rakes was killed when Camuti allegedly slipped two teaspoons of cyanide into his iced coffee from McDonald's. NBC adds:

"Rakes agreed to meet Camuti the night of July 16 at a McDonald's in the Boston suburb of Waltham, the district attorney said. Camuti used the guise of a real estate deal to lure him, she said. The two men allegedly left the restaurant and drove around, with Camuti later dumping Rakes' body.

"His body was found July 17 in a wooded area of another Boston suburb."

As for motive: Ryan told the Globe they "developed evidence showing Mr. Camuti owed Mr. Rakes a significant amount of money."

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