Death of Bulger extortion victim is ruled a homicide

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has officially ruled the July death of Stephen “Stippo” Rakes a homicide, a spokeswoman for the Middlesex district attorney said Friday.

An autopsy determined that the 59-year-old Quincy man died of acute cyanide toxicity, said spokeswoman Stephanie Chelf Guyotte.

Authorities will now seek additional charges against William Camuti, Chelf Guyotte said. Camuti, 69, of Sudbury, is already charged with attempted murder, misleading police, and unlawful disposition of human remains after allegedly putting cyanide in Rakes’ iced coffee and discarding his body in Lincoln.


Rakes was an alleged extortion victim of James “Whitey” Bulger nearly three decades ago.

Haven Orecchio-Egresitz can be reached at