Despite the fact that police announced nearly immediately that Arturo Gatti was strangled to death by his wife last weekend, a report in a Brazilian newspaper claims that the circumstance of Gatti’s death are anything but clear. The JORNAL DE COMERCIO acquired an autospy report that indicates he very well could have killed himself while his wife slept, as she has contended all along.
According to the findings in the report, Gatti’s injuries were consistent with someone who was “suspended and hanged,” indicating that he may have actually committed suicide. Gatti’s wife, Amanda Rodrigues, insists that she found him dead when she woke up in the apartment the couple was renting. Could the authorities really be getting this all wrong? Have we all been showing a little too much faith in the Brazilian justice system?
The AP’s Stan Lehman has the latest developments:
In the state capital of Recife, JORNAL DO COMERCIO reported the autopsy findings said Gatti’s body was “suspended and hanged, indicating he may have committed suicide.”
The autopsy report also said that “murder or accidental death” could not be ruled out. There was no explanation for “accidental death.”
Paula Cysneiros, the spokeswoman for the medical examiners office that performed the autopsy, would not confirm the newspaper’s report.
Rodrigues is being held in prison, but she hasn’t been charged with anything. Police cite a number of reasons that they believe she’s the killer: there was no sign of forced entry, that there was a knife wound in the back of Gatti’s head, his neck had marks consistent with strangling, and that a bloody purse strap was found at the scene.
But the autopsy also claims that it’s possible that Gatti could have suffered the head wound while falling to the floor if he in fact committed suicide. Rodrigues’ sister and lawyer have said it’s silly to suggest that she could have actually killed her husband:
Rodrigues’ sister, Flavia, told the newspaper FOLHA DE S. PAULO this week that there was “no way she could have strangled a man of that size.”
Rodrigues’ attorney, Celio Avelino, told The Associated Press he agreed with Flavia’s conclusion.
“She is fragile, young and skinny — how could she kill a boxing champion?” Avelino said. “When she awoke, she presumed he had committed suicide. But she had nothing to do with it.”
Still, the report says that murder cannot be ruled out, nor could accidental death. Police have until Wednesday to make their case to prosecutors, at which time Rodrigues will either be charged or let go.