Stephen Rakes, a Boston man with a long-standing grudge against Boston mobster Whitey Bulger, was found dead yesterday, just one day after being told he wouldn't get his chance to testify against his nemesis in court. The body was found on Wednesday, near a walking path in the town of Lincoln, Massachusetts, with "no obvious signs" of foul play, though the cause of death has not been officially determined.
According to ABC News, police told the Rakes family that the death appears to be a suicide, a theory that was initially disputed by friends and family who said he was eager to testify against Bulger in court. However, The Boston Globe reported that on Tuesday of this week, prosecutors told Rakes he would not be testifying, robbing him of the chance to take his revenge on the man who he says ruined his life. Rakes had reportedly been a constant presence in the courtroom since the trial began on June 12.
Rakes has claimed for several years that Bulger and two of his associates stole his successful liquor store away from him nearly 30 years ago, by forcing Rakes to sell it to them at gunpoint, in front of his infant daughter. Here's how he described the incident to The Boston Globe in 2001.