A 10-month investigation into the death of former world champion boxer Arturo Gatti suggest that he was almost certainly murdered and did not commit suicide as was previously ruled.
Several medical experts revealed their opinions at a press conference on Wednesday, saying Gatti was murdered in July of 2009.
"This was not a suicidal hanging," said Dr. Cyril Wecht, a leading forensic pathologist, talking to the Toronto Sun.
"This is a homicide, this is homicidal strangulation. This is someone who was rendered unconscious, immobilized by a strong blow to the head. That was followed then by the act which had been intended, which was designed to take his life.”
Gatti was found dead in a hotel room in Brazil on July 11 and a day later, his wife, Amanda Rodrigues, was arrested on suspicion of murder. Brazilian police initially said that Rodrigues used the strap of her purse to strangle Gatti while he slept but later concluded Gatti used a purse strap to hang himself from a staircase.
"It’s incredible to me to even suggest that if he hung himself he wouldn’t have fallen forward," medical expert Dr. Stanley M. Zydlo Jr. said. "Why did he fall sideways?"
"The first thing I noticed from this case is it was not evidence-driven," added retired FBI special agent Stephen Moore. "In this case we found towels with blood on them that were never tested. That’s inexcusable."
The independent investigation has now prompted the Brazilian authorities to reportedly re open the investigation to Gatti’s death.
A spokesman with the Pernambuco state prosecutor’s office is said to have told The Associated Press the case will be opened again.
September 8, 2011