Gatti's death ruled homicide
NORTH BERGEN, N.J. - A 10-month investigation into the death of former championship boxer Arturo Gatti suggests he was murdered and did not commit suicide as was previously ruled.
Several medical experts voiced their opinion at a news conference Wednesday, saying Gatti was murdered in July of 2009.
"This was not a suicidal hanging," said Dr. Cyril Wecht, one of the country's leading forensic pathologists. "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. That is what we call homicide."
Gatti was found dead on July 11 and a day later, his wife, Amanda Rodrigues, was arrested on suspicion of murder. Police had initially indicated that Rodrigues used the strap of her purse to strangle Gatti while he slept inside a beach apartment in northeast Brazil. Instead, Brazilian police concluded Gatti used a purse strap to hang himself from a staircase in the condo.
"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 during the press conference. "Why did he fall sideways?"
"The first thing I noticed from this case is it was not evidence-driven," retired FBI special agent Stephen Moore said. "In this case we found towels with blood on them that were never tested. That's inexcusable."
Gatti, who finished with a record of 40-9 with 31 knockouts, was 37. He was born in Italy but was raised in Montreal and became a world champion in two weight divisions over a 16-year career. Gatti retired in 2007 after losing his last two fights -- to Carlos Baldomir and Alfonso Gomez.
Noted for his classic three-fight epic series against Micky Ward in 2002-03, Gatti won his first title in 1995 by beating Tracy Harris Patterson for the IBF super featherweight title. He captured the vacant WBC light welterweight title in 2004 with a win over Gianluca Branco.
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