Whitey Bulger Trial Blog
Rakes found dead, Davis, Whitey reunion
Posted by Jonathan Hall 07/18/13, 7:11pm
A Blockbuster day in this trial. Period.
We got word a potential witness, who had been dropped by the prosecution earlier this week, was found dead by a jogger Wednesday in the town of Lincoln.
There was no immediate sign of trauma. Stephen Rakes was 59. He told me many times he couldn’t wait to testify, to refute testimony from former Whitey Bulger associate Kevin Weeks. Rakes and Weeks made no secret of the fact they do not like one another. An investigation is underway. Some family members are spooked by this. Steve Davis, who had breakfast with Rakes before court several times a week, told us he has the sneaking suspicious Rakes was murdered. A coroner’s report will help us understand the circumstances.
The we got to the main event. The reunion in court of 83-year-old James Bulger, and 79-year-old Stephen “the rifleman” Flemmi.
20-30 years ago, they were thick as thieves. Whitey and Steve--but that was then. This is now. Flemmi testified for only a short time, and as the jury was ushered out for the day, Flemmi and Bulger appeared to exchange gangster insults.
You could see Flemmi mouth the words, you mother (expletive).
The moment of truth came when U.S. Marshalls brought Flemmi in-- duringa break from some earlier testimony by the first witness of the day.
Flemmi showed no fear. He stared Whitey down for several minutes. A cold, hard star. Bulger tried to ignore him, but then look up once, briefly-- Flemmi kept his eyes on Whitey.
The 79-year-old testified Bulger was dominant in their many meetings with FBI agent John Connolly, a kid who grew up in the Southie projects like Whitey.
Prosecutor Fred Wyshak asked Flemmi to describe Bulger’s personality.
“Overbearing, forceful” came the response.
Then Wyshak pushed the button Bulger most despises right away.
“Was Mr. Bulger an FBI informant?” he asked.
“Yes.” Flemmi answered.
He later added Whitey fed information to John Connolly “hundreds of times” during a 15 to 20 year span.
Also today, Steve Davis signed during Jay Carney’s lengthy cross examination of former drug dealer, David Lindholm. It appeared he might be stalling until the end of the day.
Our 7News legal analyst, Tom Hoopes, told us that might have been a bit of gamesmanship-- let the jury go home remembering his cross examination of Lindholm, without being swayed by a damaging star witness.