Canadian Authorities Re-Open Gatti Murder Case

Our justice system is far from perfect. It’s overworked, understaffed, and too often those with the means to pay high-priced lawyers end up seeing a very different version of justice than their poorer counterparts. Mistakes get made and details overlooked. But compared to much of the rest of the world, the vast majority of our country’s law enforcement professionals are just that - professional.

Arturo Gatti David Caruso

(This was one fight that….Gatti couldn’t win. YEAAAAHHHH)

From the frontline patrol officers to the top criminal investigators, we almost take it for granted that for the most part, our system runs the way it’s supposed to, and the people running it know what they’re doing. The same can’t be said of other countries…like Brazil. Only days after Brazilian investigators surprisingly ruled Canadian boxer Arturo Gatti’s death-by-purse-strap a suicide, a second autopsy performed by authorities from Gatti’s home province of Quebec raised questions about the competency of Brazilian authorities and led investigators to re-open the murder investigation. Duh.

The Brazilian authorities somehow ruled Gatti’s death a suicide despite missing obvious injuries to his body and without waiting for results of a toxicology report, according to the ASSOCIATED PRESS (via ESPN.COM):

Until Thursday, police in the northeastern Brazilian city of Recife considered Gatti’s death a homicide and held his wife Amanda Rodrigues as the prime suspect. Now, police say Gatti hanged himself with a handbag strap from a staircase column more than seven feet off the ground.

Gatti’s family has rejected the conclusion that he committed suicide at an upscale resort in Brazil on July 11.

Following the autopsy, Baden said it was apparent that the Brazilian investigation was incomplete. Toxicology tests will take place in Montreal in the coming weeks.

Of course, no criminal investigation is as neat and tidy as the makers of CSI: Miami would have you believe. The real world contains much more ambiguity and chaos than can fit into an hour-long drama. Shows like that have created an unrealistic expectation of how the business of crime operates. We understand that. But when a group of Canadian investigators can exhume a weeks-old corpse and immediately catch things that a group of Brazilian investigators didn’t ever see, that’s just shameful. Someone needs to sign the Brazilian CSI folk up for some 100-level criminal justice correspondence courses.