Possible witness in 'Whitey' Bulger trial found dead-local media

Reuters News

7/18/2013 10:53:11 AM - Reuters News

BOSTON (Reuters) - A man who was one of James "Whitey" Bulger's extortion victims and a possible government witness in the trial of the former mob boss was found dead in the suburb of Lincoln, Massachusetts, ABC News and The Boston Globe reported on Thursday.

The man, Steven Rakes, had owned a South Boston liquor store that Bulger's gang bought and used as a base of operations after threatening Rakes. He had been listed as a possible witness for the government in Bulger's trial on charges including 19 murders he is accused of committing or ordering in the 1970s and 1980s.

The Globe, citing two sources it did not name, said the cause of death was under investigation.

Officials with the Lincoln Police Department at the Massachusetts State Police referred calls to the Middlesex County District Attorney's office. A spokeswoman for the district attorney did not respond to calls seeking comment.

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Paul Thomasch)