Was Arturo Gatti Murdered? A New Investigation Into His Death Says Yes

When undertalented and overtough boxer Arturo Gatti was found dead in a Brazilian hotel in July 2009, police initially charged his stripper-wife Amanda Rodrigues with murder. Rodrigues, it was suspected, had strangled her husband with the strap of her purse as he slept. Three weeks later, the Brazilian cops let Rodrigues walk out of jail and changed the cause of death to suicide (hanging by purse strap).

Suicide seemed like a stretch. So Gatti's manager, Pat Lynch, commissioned pathologists to conduct an independent forensic investigation. On Wendesday, Lynch held a press conference at a New Jersey gym to reveal a result that everyone knew was coming: Gatti was indeed murdered.

From the Associated Press:

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Experts said Wednesday Gatti suffered a head injury before being strangled. They also said the strap he allegedly used wasn't strong enough to hold up his body.

Noted forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht says the position of the body and other evidence shows Gatti was the victim of strangulation.

Not coincidentally, the announcement comes as a civil trial is underway in Montreal over the dead boxer's estate. A few weeks before his trip to Brazil, Gatti drew up a will that left everything to Rodrigues. A few weeks after that, Gatti was dead. Motive? Established. History of violent behavior? Being established. On Tuesday, witnesses in the trial told the court that Rodrigues had once given Gatti a black eye. Today, more damning information came out:

Just months before champion boxer Arturo Gatti was found dead in Brazil, his wife vowed to friends that she would show him what kind of bitch she could be and kill him, witnesses told Quebec Superior Court, where a battle over the dead man's multimillion dollar estate is playing out.

Two friends of the Gatti family - Marisa and Gisela Minero - told court Wednesday that after having dinner with Amanada Rodrigues in November, 2008, the three women returned to the Jarry St. penthouse that Rodrigues, 23 at the time, shared with her husband Gatti, then 37.

Rodrigues received a text from Gatti and "snapped," Gisela Minero testified.

"She said ‘If he thinks his exes were bitches, I'll show him. I'm going to be the biggest bitch. I'm going to kill him,'" she said, adding that she didn't think Rodrigues was really going to kill Gatti.

Gatti's wife snapped: witness [Montreal Gazette]