Lem Satterfield

Investigators conclude Gatti’s death was a homicide

Investigators examining the death of former boxer Arturo Gatti will announce next week their conclusion that his demise was a homicide and not a suicide, a source with intimate knowledge of the details of the case has informed RingTV.com.

Their findings following a nearly 11-month investigation will be revealed at a press conference on Aug. 30 at the Global Boxing Gym in North Bergen, N.J.

"At the press conference, there will be six experts. They are six of the most preeminent experts in the country who have been involved in homicide investigations," said the source. "Suicide has been ruled out by all of the experts, and the criminal profiler and crime scene expert has absolutely determined that Arturo Gatti's death is not a suicide, and that it's a homicide."

The source would not reveal whether investigators have identified a suspect or determined exactly how Gatti was killed.

Gatti, 37, was found dead on July 11, 2009 in his hotel room in the Brazilian seaside resort of Porto de Galihnas. He was vacationing with his wife, Amanda Rodrigues, who was arrested and charged with his murder but later released.

Brazilian police eventually concluded after an autopsy that Gatti hanged himself from a wooden staircase column using a handbag strap.

A second autopsy in Canada in 2009 was observed by Michael Baden, former police pathologist and host of the HBO show "Autopsy," at the request of Gatti's family. Baden said coroners didn’t rule out homicide as a cause of death.

The refusal of Gatti's manager, Pat Lynch, to believe his friend and former fighter took his own life led him to hire the Chicago-based investigator Paul Ciolino and his partner, Joe Moura.

"Ciolino even worked on the Amanda Knox case, so this is a guy who has a great reputation," said Lynch, referring to Ciolino's work as a consultant examining the Amanda Knox murder case for CBS’ "48 Hours."

"I just can't thank Paul Ciolino and Joe Moura enough for the extensive hours and time and effort that they have put into this investigation, making it their top priority. I can't thank them enough for all that they've done for us. I've said it before that they're a gift from God for us. They really have been."

According to the source, Ciolino gathered "two of the biggest names in forensic pathology, an expert in forensic animation, an expert in human movements, a retired FBI agent, a doctor who is an injury and causation medical doctor and an expert in injuries, and a criminal profiler and crime scene expert."

"The human movement expert will disprove that it was a suicide, and the pathology experts who reviewed the autopsy that was done in Brazil also determined that this was not a suicide," said the source.

The forensic animation expert "has created a detailed animation and examination of the crime scene that we will be playing at the press conference," said the source.

"He [animation expert] went out and measured the crime scene to the millionth of an inch. He's disproved a lot of the fairy tales that were out there."

Gatti, nicknamed "Thunder," was known for his blood-and-guts approach to boxing. He was as fierce and resilient as any fighter.

Gatti will forever be remembered for his riveting trilogy with Micky Ward but Lynch said the fighter's biggest victory was over Tracy Harris Patterson in December 1995, which earned him his first of two world titles.

Gatti was Atlantic City's biggest draw, often packing Boardwalk Hall, where he lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr. by fifth-round knockout in his first big-time pay-per-view bout in in June 2005.

 

Lem Satterfield can be reached at lem.satterfield@gmail.com

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