Key Witness In Mobster Whitey Bulger's Trial Found Dead

Stephen Rakes Whitey Bulger TrialStephen Rakes smiles after greeting an acquaintance outside the liquor store he once owned in the South Boston neighbourhood of Boston, Thursday, June 6, 2013.

A key witness who was expected to testify against notorious Boston mobster Whitey Bulger has been found dead on a road in Lincoln, Mass., ABC News reports.

Police are calling the death of Stephen “Stippo” Rakes a suicide, but friends of his are sceptical.

A source close to Rakes’ family told ABC that “he had no phone, no wallet, and police are still looking for his car.”

Rakes was going to testify that in 1984, Bulger threatened Rakes’ daughter and forced him to turn over his liquor store, which Bulger then used as his headquarters.

Bulger was found in California two years ago and is now standing trial for his crimes in Boston federal court.

Last month, Rakes gave this quote to The Boston Globe: “30 years ago I’d never look at [Bulger], and now I can’t wait to look him right in the eyes. Now his day has come. It took a long time, but the theory is good will triumph over evil and that’s why we’re all here today. Let’s put an end to this craziness.”

Steve Davis, a friend of Rakes who met him for breakfast every day before court, told ABC: “Stippo would not kill himself. Absolutely not. He was looking forward to taking the stand. He told me over and over he had a big bombshell to drop. He had everything to live for and was looking forward to his day in court.”

Rakes was in his 50s.

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