Chris Benoit Death Photos Biography
On June 25, 2007, professional wrestler Chris Benoit, his wife Nancy, and their 7-year-old son Daniel were found dead in their Fayetteville, Georgia, home at around 2:30 p.m. EDT. The Fayette County, Georgia Sheriff's Department is currently investigating this case.
Police entered Benoit's home on a "welfare check" after several missed appointments, and found three dead bodies. Investigators confirmed that Benoit murdered his wife and son and committed suicide over a three day period.
On Friday, June 22, Benoit killed his wife, leaving her bound at the ankles and wrists and covered with a sheet in a room in their home. A bible was left by her body and she died of asphyxiation. She had bruises on her back and stomach consistent with Benoit pressing a knee into the back while pulling on a cord around the neck.
It was later revealed that Nancy filed for divorce in May 2003, allegedly after domestic abuse from Chris, but withdrew it in August 2003, according to the County's district attorney Scott Ballard.
At about 3:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday, June 23, a co-worker (later confirmed to be Chavo Guerrero) received a voice message from Benoit stating he missed his flight and overslept and would be late for that night's house show in Beaumont, Texas.
According to the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) website, the co-worker called Benoit back and Benoit sounded tired and groggy as he confirmed everything he had said in his voice message. The same co-worker, "concerned about Benoit's tone and demeanor," called him back twelve minutes later. Benoit did not answer the call and the co-worker left a message stating, "just call me back".
At 3:44 p.m. EDT, Benoit called the co-worker back, stating he did not answer the call because he was on the phone with Delta Air Lines changing his flight. "Benoit stated he had a real stressful day due to Nancy and Daniel being sick with food poisoning," the WWE Web site said. According to WWE.com, a co-worker who often travels with Benoit called him from outside the Houston airport and Benoit answered. "Benoit told the co-worker that Nancy was throwing up blood and that Daniel was also throwing up."
Between the two killings, Benoit later called WWE's "Talent Relations" office, stating that his son was throwing up and that he and Nancy were in the hospital with their son, and that he would be taking a later flight into Houston, but would make the live event in Beaumont.
Daniel was suffocated by Benoit in his own bedroom, killing him. A Bible was left by the boy's body. However, it was revealed on June 27 that Benoit may have killed his son with a choke hold. Scott Ballard said, "the boy had internal injuries to the throat area, but showed no bruises", indicating he may have been locked in the crook of his father's own arm. The time at when this happened is not yet known. Daniel had needle marks in his arm, suggesting that he had been given growth hormones because Benoit and his family considered him undersized; which was theorized to be most likely the result of him suffering from Fragile X Syndrome.
However, District Attorney Scott Ballard released a statement saying that a source having access to Daniel's medical files reviewed said files and found that they mention no pre-existing mental or physical ailments. Likewise, Daniel Benoit's educators report that Daniel was on par with other students and not about to be held back as previously thought.
Between 3:51 and 3:58 a.m. EDT on June 24, 2007, five text messages were sent to Benoit's co-workers (among which was Chavo Guerrero) from both Benoit's and his wife's phone. The first, third, fourth and fifth text messages stated: "My physical address is 130 Green Meadow Lane, Fayetteville Georgia. 30215" (except the fifth message omitted the word "physical").
The second text message which, according to Scott Ballard, was believed to have been sent to his neighbor to get someone to find their bodies after he committed suicide (although Chavo claims to have also received the message), stated: "The dogs are in the enclosed pool area. Garage side door is open". WWE officials were notified of the text messages sent to the co-workers two hours before the bodies were found.
The perpetrator, Chris Benoit, according to Scott Ballard, died of asphyxiation and was found hanging by the cord of a weight machine in his basement. When Benoit released the weights - about 240 pounds (110 kg), which weighed more than he did - it caused his strangulation. Ballard said the pull-down bar had been removed and Benoit was found seated against the machine.
There is no evidence that Benoit left a suicide note of any kind, making it difficult to understand any possible motives for his actions if he indeed did them.
WWE attorney Jerry McDevitt appeared on MSNBC Live with Dan Abrams on July 17, 2007 said that Benoit was prescribed testosterone as part of a treatment for testosterone replacement therapy, which McDevitt said was a common medical practice for people who had used steroids in the past, and had suffered testicular damage as a result.
Former wrestler and Harvard graduate Christopher Nowinski, who has since gone on to be a groundbreaker in the field of sports-related concussion trauma and Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (or CTE), along with the writing of the book Head Games: Football's Concussion Crisis, has come out and claimed that Benoit may have been suffering from repeated, untreated concussions throughout his wrestling career, ultimately leading to an unstable mental state. Nowinski has been quoted as saying that Benoit "was one of the only guys who would take a chair shot to the back of the head...which is stupid."
HeadlinePlanet.com stated that after the death of his friend Johnny Grunge in 2006, Chris Benoit refused to attend his funeral and he would not attend church anymore due to a hatred of religion. He would not let Nancy Benoit go out past 6 p.m. and he would not let Daniel Benoit go outside because he felt that someone was watching his family and paranoid that someone was stalking him. This behavior is consistent with Late-Onset Schizophrenia, however it should be noted that the diagnostic criteria for Late-Onset schizophrenia is still a subject of some debate, and paranoid behavior does not necessarily indicate that someone has schizophrenia. Anything could have happened.
It was first reported to fans of WWE on their WWE Mobile Alerts Service and posted to their official website soon after. On their website, World Wrestling Entertainment released the following statement:
"World Wrestling Entertainment is deeply saddened to report that today Chris Benoit and his family were found dead in their home. There are no further details at this time, other than the Benoit family residence is currently being investigated by local authorities. Tonight’s Raw on USA Network will serve as a tribute to Chris Benoit and his family. WWE extends its sincerest thoughts and prayers to the Benoit family’s relatives and loved ones in this time of tragedy."
WWE canceled the scheduled three hour long live RAW show on June 25, and replaced the broadcast version with a tribute to his life and career, featuring his past matches, segments from the Hard Knocks: The Chris Benoit Story DVD, and comments from wrestlers and announcers. It wasn't until the program was nearly over that reports surfaced that police were working under the belief that Benoit murdered his wife and son before killing himself.
The next night, after the details of the deaths became concrete, WWE aired a recorded statement by Vince McMahon before their ECW broadcast hinting towards regret for the previous night's special and stating that Benoit's name would not be mentioned other than during McMahon's comments.
Since then, the company has quickly and quietly distanced itself from Benoit. With the exception of past match results and listings in WWE's title history (though the summaries of his title reigns have been removed), WWE's website (and their splinter merchandising site wweshop.com) removed all past mentions (including all news articles relating to the killings) and merchandise of Benoit. The WWE also has decided to edit out all matches that contained Benoit from rebroadcasts of matches from their extensive video library.
Many superstars past and present commented on the death of Benoit including Lex Luger, Marc Mero, Ted DiBiase, Lance Storm, Hulk Hogan, Steve Blackman, Kurt Angle, and Chris Jericho.
When the news was released about Benoit's death, most mainstream news outlets covered the death, including MSNBC and Fox News. ECW Press announced on July 16 that noted wrestling writer Irvin Muchnick would publish a book on the Benoit case, due out in 2008. At The Comedy Central Roast of Flavor Flav in the summer of 2007, Jimmy Kimmel commented "Chris Benoit is a better father than Flavor Flav", to which the crowd reacted shocked.