The state medical examiner’s office announced this morning that a former Cranston man was murdered in 1964 and did not drown himself, as the office initially ruled after the man’s body was found in Narragansett Bay decades ago.
Louis James DeFusco was 38 years old when he disappeared on Aug. 6, 1964, according to a statement issued this morning by Chief Medical Examiner Thomas Gilson.
His body was recovered 12 days later, floating in the bay with a ship’s anchor tied around his legs.
* * *
The original autopsy in 1964 identified a bullet wound in the man’s mouth, but failed to observe the gunshot wound at the back of his head. The autopsy only documented nonlethal injuries to his teeth.
* * *
This summer, Gilson's office conducted that autopsy and discovered a previously overlooked gunshot wound to the back of DeFusco’s head.
My first real teaching gig was as a sabbatical replacement for the Chairman of the Chem Dept. at CCRI (back when it was still called RIJC, 1977-78). The Chairman spent his sabbatical in the Medical Examiner's office, and he would stop by occasionally to regale us with tales of morgue hijinks. One of them concerned a mob hit that was then in the news. A local thug had been found dead in a parked car at the airport with several gunshot wounds to the back of his head. Just for fun, one of the guys in the ME's office made up a fake report for the guy, listing the the six or so wounds as self-inflicted. Funny guy.