by Charles Jay
That the investigators hired by the manager of former two-division champion Arturo Gatti have concluded that he was murdered was no surprise. When they had announced that a press conference would take place to make “revelations” about it, that was exactly what they had in mind.
But that’s not the only place the “bombshells” have been coming from.
On Tuesday, the civil trial that would determine how the Gatti fortune, estimated at around $6.5 million, would be divided was talking place in Montreal, and of course that took on a lot of importance, as the late fighter’s wife, Amanda Rodrigues, wants to get her hands on that fortune, and allegedly it was in that pursuit that she and Gatti arranged for a will to be redone, in which she would receive everything in the event of his death.
To put it in very simple terms, the Gatti family wants her in jail. And so the stage was set for some very damaging testimony.
There were two friends of the Gatti family, Marisa and Gisela Minero, who testified that Rodrigues told them, “I’m going to be the biggest bitch. I’m going to kill him.”
Another witness, Chris Santos, who was a friend of Arturo’s, told the court that Rodrigues had given the fighter a black eye on one occasion, and that Gatti had, at least once, tried to break everything up. ‘You’re a pig, you don’t clean, you don’t cook and I’m fed up with that dirty mouth of yours,” is what Gatti is purported to have said.
Another interesting tidbit, again related to money, was that Gatti signed a pledge of fidelity, on the same day the wills were revised. The notarized agreement promised $1 million to Rodrigues if Gatti were proven to be unfaithful.
On Wednesday in North Bergen, NJ, those investigators hired by Gatti’s manager, Pat Lynch – Paul Ciolino and Joseph Moura – brought together a number of their forensic experts who have come to the conclusion that suicide was not a possibility. One of these experts, Dr. Stanley Zydio, whose specialty is emergency medicine, said that Gatti had been hit on the head, then strangled, which would have made it much easier at that point to hang him. How Rodrigues might have lifted him and put him in that position – is such a thing was absolutely required – was not explored.
There is a second autopsy that has been conducted by pathologists in Montreal, which was overseen by a prominent authority, Michael Baden, but the results of the autopsy have not yet been revealed.
The family had requested a delay in the civil trial, so that they could introduce some of the evidence found by Ciolino and his associates, but the timing created by the simultaneous events wasn’t a bad stroke of fortune for them.
And they may find victory on another front.
Pathologist Cyril Wecht, who made himself famous, like many others, during the O.J. Simpson trial, said “This case must be reopened if authorities in Brazil have an iota of moral, ethical and legal concern for their reputation.”
Well, I guess they do.
It was announced on Thursday that the Pernambuco state prosecutor’s office in Brazil is reopening the case. It is probable that the evidence that has been uncovered by Ciolino and Moura is going to be requested by these prosecutors. A Brazilian attorney who had been retained by the Gatti family has already handed over 74 pictures that are associated with the investigation.
Originally, the local authorities in Brazil had arrested Rodrigues as a suspect, but then released her when the determination was that Gatti’s death was a suicide. And speculation is that they would hold to that story so as not to embarrass their own investigative people.
If they decide that it was homicide, not suicide, Rodrigues is almost unquestionably going to be arrested. And if she is found guilty, she obviously isn’t going to get a dime.
That’s appropriate to say, because it isn’t only about justice, it’s about the dough-re-mi too.