Whitey Bulger trial: Cyanide is ruled in death of would-be prosecution witness (+video)(Read article summary)
An official autopsy determined that Stephen Rakes was killed by cyanide that was slipped into his iced coffee. A friend of convicted mobster Whitey Bulger was charged in Mr. Rakes's death.
The death of a potential witness against James “Whitey” Bulger trial who had hoped to testify in the mobster's trial this summer was caused by cyanide poisoning, the Massachusetts Medical Examiner’s Office has concluded in an official autopsy report.
Prosecutors allege that William Camuti, a longtime friend and associate of Mr. Bulger's, slipped cyanide into a cup of iced coffee he gave to Stephen “Stippo” Rakes when the two met up at a McDonald’s parking lot in July.
Mr. Camuti, who allegedly owed Mr. Rakes money and lured him to the meeting where he gave Rakes the poison beverage, then drove his body around for several hours before finally depositing him in a wooded area in a Boston suburb, prosecutors say.
Camuti, who according to law enforcement officials previously had admitted to the cyanide poisoning, had previously been charged with attempted murder, misleading police, and unlawful disposition of human remains, connected to his alleged role in Rakes’s death.
MaryBeth Long, a spokeswoman for the Middlesex District Attorney’s office, said prosecutors now intend to file additional charges against Camuti based on the official report.
In September, The Boston Globe reported that Camuti admitted his guilt in Rakes's murder after he attempted to commit suicide.
The prosecution has a detailed case against Camuti that includes GPS records that place his car in the woods where Rakes’s body was found. Prosecutors also say they found evidence of Camuti inquiring about the purchase of potassium cyanide in his e-mail account.