Chris Benoit: May 21, 1967 – June 24, 2007
“As I begin to type this page I’m finding it increasingly hard to find the appropriate words to explain this tragic situation, but “The Crippler” Chris Benoit, (Pegasus Kid to his Japanese fans) has been found dead along with his wife, former wrestling manager “Woman” and his seven year old son Daniel. He is survived by his two children from a previous marriage in Canada.”
There is a lot of controversy surrounding the death of Chris Benoit and his family and this page was created to give all the facts and details in some kind of chronological order. WrestlingTruth have been reporting on the story since the bodies were found.
Details of this page have been changed many times and are updated whenever possible.
Chris Benoit failed to appear both at the Saturday June 24 2007, live event in Beaumont, TX, and WWE’s Vengeance: Night of Champions event in Houston the following day. Benoit informed WWE of a family emergency and told a coworker his wife and son had food poisoning. He was set to win his first ever ECW Heavyweight Championship that night.
After Chris sent several mysterious text messages to close friends within WWE – inducing Chavo Guererro and William Regal – a concerned recipient contacted management asking to check on him. Richard Hering, VP of Government Relations for WWE in turn spoke with Fayette County sheriffs Monday, and requested that they respond to the Benoit residence to check on him and his family.
Below are the mysterious message in order of sending. To me they seem to be a cry for help:
Text Message 1 to two co-workers (sent 6/24 at 3:53am)- Chris Benoit’s cell phone
“My physical address is 130 Green Meadow Lane, Fayetteville Georgia. 30215″
Text Message 2 to two co-workers (sent 6/24 at 3:53am)- Chris Benoit’s cell phone
“The dogs are in the enclosed pool area. Garage side door is open”
Text Message 3 to two co-workers (sent 6/24 at 3:54am)- Nancy Benoit’ cell phone
“My physical address is 130 Green Meadow Lane. Fayetteville Georgia.”
Text Message 4 to two co-workers (sent 6/24 at 3:55am)- Nancy Benoit’s cell phone
“My physical address is 130 Green Meadow Lane. Fayetteville Georgia. 30215″
Text Message 5 to one co-worker (sent 6/24 at 3:58am)- Nancy Benoit’s cell phone
“My address is 130 Green Meadow Lane. Fayetteville Georgia. 30215″
Authorities representing the Sheriff’s Department initially had a difficult time entering Benoit’s Fayetteville home on that Monday afternoon, because it had been guarded by two large German Shepherds roaming freely around the property. Once authorities entered the residence, they quickly located the bodies of Benoit hanging in the weight room on a pulley (suicide), Nancy with bound hands and feet in a family room upstairs, and Daniel in his bed.
Medical reports state that Daniel and Nancy died of asphyxiation (suffocation) and that Nancy put up a struggle as she was bound and had a wound to her head. Some commentators believe the initial killing of Nancy may have been attributed to “Roid Rage” a state of aggression brought on by a side effect of steroids, although “Roid Rage” itself is still contested by the scientific community. Steroids were found throughout the house and it’s common knowledge that steroids are used in wrestling, however alcohol and prescription drugs we also found and can similarly alter people’s mood. Daniel was murdered a good few hours after Nancy with little struggle as he was heavily sedated by Xanax. He was smothered in his bed. Both victims had bibles placed next to them.
An interesting point to make is that after the mainstream media began reporting on the amounts of steroids and drugs throughout the home, WWE released a statement on their website saying there was no way steroids played a part in the tragedy. This was obviously WWE’s attempt to stop a backlash against them for having a weak drug testing policy at the time.
In a PR move that backfired WWE failed to send representatives to do talk shows and interviews on the topic, leaving random has-beens like Brian Christopher to spill the beans about steroids and drugs in the locker room, despite not wrestling there in years.
Benoit’s use of steroids has never been disputed. Earlier in the year he was revealed by Sports Illustrated as one of the many sporting stars caught in a drugs bust of a pharmaceutical company selling steroids over the internet. It is also noteworthy that Benoit was on testosterone replacement therapy due to ruining his body’s natural production through abuse.
Toxicology reports showed that Benoit had elevated levels of Testosterone a natural steroid in the body.
Xanax was found at a “therapeutic” level in Chris, Nancy and an elevated level in Daniel, implying he was sedated before being smothered.
Immediately following the incident, before most of the details were revealed (at least to the public) WWE scrapped their 3 hour Raw special, which was to focus on the bad tasting storyline, where Vince McMahon blew up in his limo. The angle was dropped and in its place was a very saddening tribute show to Chris Benoit featuring some of his best moments/matches and heartfelt messages from wrestlers and announcers.
When the full story emerged, WWE began removing all references to Benoit on their website, pulled his merchandise, adjusted the production of their video game and on the following night’s ECW TV taping Vince McMahon flat out told the world… “this is the last time you’ll hear us mention the name Chris Benoit,” on WWE programming.
Without a shadow of a doubt Chris Benoit was one of the most highly regarded and technically gifted Pro Wrestlers in the industry, but his career will forever be tarnished by this horrific tragedy.
The list of young wrestlers dieing young has reached an alarming size.
Following the tragedy there every major media outlet covered the story for a number of weeks, which is rare for pro wrestling. Most outlets decided to take the steroid and “roid rage” angle, and figures such as Marc Mero, Steve Austin‘s ex-wife Debra Marshall and Konnan have frequented TV and news shows giving their negative view on the industry. On the other side WWE stars have been very defensive of the company in their limited appearances.
One branch of the story followed Benoit’s personal Doctor, Dr. Phil Astin who was charged for illegally prescribing Benoit drugs as well as other wrestlers Johnny Grunge (also dead) and former WWE stars Mark Jindrack and Orlando Jordan. In all Dr. Phil Astin was indicted on seven counts of “Distributing a Controlled Substance for Other Than a Legitimate Medical Reason” and had his home, office and mothers house raided for documents.
It is now widely acknowledged that Chris Benoit suffered a form of brain damage that worsened towards the end of his life, due to all of the undetected and untreated concussions he suffered over the years. Scans of his brain displayed similar degeneration to Alzheimer’s patients.
While this doesn’t explain exactly why Benoit did what he did, it is highly likely that these brain injuries severely damaged his mental state, which may have been compounded by drugs like Xanax and alcohol.
Category: Columns and Editorials, Features, Wrestling Deaths & Obituaries |