FOX UNDERCOVER - Stephen "Stippo" Rakes was passionate about the Whitey Bulger case, regularly attending the trial and often repeating his story of how the crime boss terrorized him and his family over the extortion of the liquor store he and his now ex-wife opened.
"They came and they told me we're buying the liquor store. Flemmi, Bulger and Weeks sat at my kitchen table and said we're buying the liquor store. We'll just take it. We'll kill ya. We'll take it and kill ya. I'm like, ‘Oh my God,'" Rakes told FOX Undercover last year.
Rakes said they gave him a bag of cash, $67,000, and promised more to come. Fearing for his life, Rakes said he had no choice but to let them take over. The additional money never came, either.
"They scared me to death. They were going to kill me or kill my children. Kill us all. Blow the place up," Rakes told investigative reporter Mike Beaudet.
Rakes was looking forward to telling his story of extortion on the witness stand during Bulger's trial, especially after Bulger associate Kevin Weeks testified last week that Rakes willingly sold the men the liquor store.
But earlier this week, Rakes learned he would not be called to testify after all. Rakes, one of Bulger's most outspoken alleged victims, was almost always at federal court and willing to speak with reporters.
Last year he told FOX Undercover that he wanted to pursue a 2003 default judgment he obtained in federal court ordering Bulger to pay Rakes and his now ex-wife $28.5 million. He wanted to renew his claim and to get a piece of the cash that Bulger had stashed in his Santa Monica hideout.
"Do you believe you're entitled to that money?" Beaudet asked him.
"I got a federal judge to give me a judgment. Now you receive funds, so service the judgment," Rakes said. "This was a nightmare that started back in 1983. And it's not going to be over until justice is served. Until Bulger's away forever."