Wednesday, June 27, 2007

How Are The Mighty Fallen: Benoit, the blood, & the Bibles






Practically every man, woman, and child [who hasn't been living under a rock for since June 25th] has heard the name Chris Benoit by way of newspaper, television, radio, internet or word of mouth. The full story is yet to be told; this blog post hopes with all available and current information to fill in some blanks, and also hopes to make some relevant observations about the man, his family, and this horrible and tragic situation.


WARNING:

Some information ahead may require discretion on the part of the reader due to the graphic details of this double homicide / suicide case.


What is known thus far in the timeline of events leading up to the discovery of the bodies ...

From http://corporate.wwe.com/news/2007/2007_06_26_2.jsp

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Saturday, June 23, 2007


Chris Benoit was scheduled to appear at the WWE SmackDown/ECW live event in Beaumont, Texas.


3:30 p.m. - A co-worker received a voice message from Benoit. The message from Benoit stated he missed his flight and overslept, and would be late to the WWE live event. The co-worker called Benoit back, Benoit confirmed everything he said in his voice message and sounded tired and groggy. Benoit then stated, “I love you.” The co-worker stated that it was “out of context.”


3:42 p.m. The same co-worker was concerned with Benoit’s tone and demeanor and called Benoit for a second time. Benoit did not answer the call and the co-worker left a message stating “just call me back.”


3:44 p.m. Benoit called the co-worker back stating he didn’t answer the call because he was on the phone with Delta changing his flight. Benoit stated he had a real stressful day due to Nancy and Daniel being sick with food poisoning. They discussed travel plans for the WWE tour of Texas with Benoit still sounding groggy at this point according to the co-worker.


4:30 p.m. A co-worker who consistently travels with Benoit, called Benoit from outside Houston airport and Benoit answered. Benoit told the co-worker that Nancy was throwing up blood and that Daniel was also throwing up. Benoit thought they had food poisoning. Benoit stated he changed his flight and he would be arriving into Houston at 6:30 p.m. Benoit told the co-worker to drive on to the WWE event.


5:35 p.m. Benoit called WWE Talent Relations stating that his son was throwing up and that he and Nancy were in the hospital with their son, and that Benoit would be taking a later flight into Houston, landing late, but would make the WWE live event in Beaumont.


6:10 p.m. A representative of Talent Relations called Benoit. The representative from Talent Relations asked Benoit what time Benoit was getting into Beaumont. Benoit responded he was leaving Atlanta at 9:20 p.m. Eastern time, arriving into Houston at 9:24 p.m. Central time. The representative from Talent Relations advised Benoit that it would be too late to make the WWE live event in Beaumont. Benoit apologized citing he had a family emergency. The representative from Talent Relations suggested to Benoit that instead of going to the WWE live event in Beaumont, Benoit should take the flight to Houston, rest up and be ready for the Vengeance Pay-Per-View event.



6:13 p.m. The representative from Talent Relations called Benoit to reconfirm the travel plans with no answer from Benoit. The representative from Talent Relations left a voice message to take the flight and rest up.

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Sunday, June 24, 2007


Text messages sent to co-workers from Chris Benoit and Nancy Benoit’s cell phones:
  • Text Message 1

Sent to: Two co-workers (the same who had verbal correspondence with Benoit the day before)
From: Benoit’s cell phone
When: 6/24 at 3:53 a.m.
Message: C, S. My physical address is 130 Green Meadow Lane. Fayetteville Georgia. 30215



  • Text Message 2

Sent to: Two co-workers (the same who had verbal correspondence with Benoit the day before)
From: Benoit’s cell phone
When: 6/24 at 3:53 a.m.
Message: The dogs are in the enclosed pool area. Garage side door is open

  • Text Message 3

Sent to: Two co-workers (the same who had verbal correspondence with Benoit the day before)
From: Nancy Benoit’s cell phone
When: 6/24 at 3:54 a.m.
Message: C, S. My physical address is 130 Green Meadow Lane. Fayetteville Georgia. 30215

  • Text Message 4
Sent to: Two co-workers (the same who had verbal correspondence with Benoit the day before) From: Nancy Benoit’s cell phone
When: 6/24 at 3:55 a.m.
Message: C, S. My physical address is 130 Green Meadow Lane. Fayetteville Georgia. 30215


  • Text Message 5
Sent to: A co-worker who consistently traveled with Benoit
From: Nancy Benoit’s cell phone
When: 6/24 at 3:58 a.m.
Message: My address is 130 Green Meadow Lane. Fayetteville Georgia. 30215


WWE made several attempts to contact Benoit via phone and text messages, as well as the local hospitals in the Atlanta area. As of 11 p.m. Sunday night there was no contact made with Benoit.

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Monday, June 25, 2007

12:30 p.m. WWE was notified of text messages sent to the two co-workers.

12:45 p.m. WWE contacted the Fayette County Sheriff’s office and requested them to go to Benoit’s residence.

4 p.m. WWE received a call from the Fayette County Sheriff’s office, advising that they enteredthe house of Benoit and found three deceased bodies (a male, a female and a child). The Fayette County Sheriff’s office has secured the house as a “major crime scene” and that the Fayette County Sheriff’s office had no further information.

______________________


Then, following the phone call WWE received about the three bodies found in the house, the wrestling organization made the decision to cancel its live 3-hour Monday Night Raw show, which was to be held in Corpus Christi, Texas. The broadcast was originally scheduled as a "memorial service" for Vince McMahon as part of "whodunit" story line for WWE; the mystery began at the end of the June 11 Raw program when McMahon climbed into a limousine which exploded as he shut his door.

[The staged Limo Explosion can be viewed at this link - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73NeHYRF20M ]


Now, back to the blog post ...

The WWE decided that the live June 25 Raw event, although cancelled, would [in lieu of live wrestling programing] feature three hours of tributes to the deceased Benoit, from his fellow wrestlers, as well as from three broadcast announce teams, all of whom had done play-by-play for Benoit's matches, as they introduced clips of his greatest wrestling matches. The three teams, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler [Monday Night Raw], Michael Cole and John "Bradshaw" Layfield [SmackDown], and "Tazz" and Joey Styles [Extreme Championship Wrestling], each gave their comments and sentiments about Benoit before introducing each video clip.

Opening the show was a logo announcing Chris Benoit's death, followed by an introduction from the ["presumed-dead"] McMahon, stating that rather than have a memorial show for Vince's character, the WWE would be in actuality having a tribute show for Chris Benoit. Vince [who began to choke up and cry at approximately 2:10 into the segment] finished speaking, and a short tribute video began to play, highlighting the wrestler's greatest moments of glory, with background music borrowed from Finger Eleven's "One Thing".

Here is the link to the opening of the Benoit tribute show:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTNBRQJZA_s

Let me make a point about the Monday Night show at this part of the blog post.

I do not fault Vince McMahon or the W.W.E. for the decision to go ahead with this tribute show.

They had no idea of the horrific nature of the crimes committed by Chris Benoit when they decided to air a tribute to him. They were informed at 4 p.m. that three bodies had been found, and that one of those bodies belonged to Chris Benoit, with less than three hours until the pre-show would begin, featuring "dark matches" which were to take place in the arena before the cameras were to begin rolling at 8:00 pm.

All that was known to them was that Chris had died.

Traditionally, whenever any WWE wrestler has passed away, there is a tribute to that wrestler, broadcast on the Monday Night Raw television program, honoring his life and legacy both as a person and as a wrestling-entertainment performer. The tribute show for Benoit was completely in the tradition of other like events, televised for such wrestlers as Eddie Guerrero, "Davey Boy" Smith, and Owen Hart.

I believe that the WWE acted in complete innocence, knowing only what they knew at 4:00 pm Monday afternoon, unaware of the horrific acts of Benoit. They likely began production immediately with Vince McMahon and the announce teams all giving their comments, then cutting and pasting the videos together with introduced clips of Benoit's greatest matches.

Monday night, near the end of the Raw program, Fayette County [Georgia] authorities announced that the Benoit tragedy was now being investigated as a homicide-suicide case, and that it appeared as though Benoit had killed his wife and son over the weekend, then himself on Monday - all this after WWE had broadcast a tribute in memory of Benoit.

Vince McMahon offered somewhat of an apology [but also of a defense of his actions] for running the tribute on the WWE's Tuesday night E.C.W. program. He appeared both embarrassed and angry that his organization had essentially paid tribute to a heinous murderer.

Vince's statement:


Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Last night on Monday Night Raw,
the WWE presented a special tribute show, recognizing the career of Chris
Benoit. However, now some 26 hours later, the facts of this horrific tragedy are
now apparent. Therefore, other than my comments, there will be no mention of Mr.
Benoit's name tonight. On the contrary, tonight's show will be dedicated to
everyone who has been affected by this terrible incident. This evening marks the
first step of the healing process. Tonight, WWE performers will do what they
do better than anyone else in the world – entertain you.


The link to that video: http://www.wwe.com/content/media/video/vms/none/2007/june22-28/4967786?section=%2F

____________________


What we know now ...


According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, in this link -http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/fayette/stories/2007/06/27/0627metbenoitchoke.html

Professional wrestling star Chris Benoit may have killed his 7-year-old son
with a chokehold, Fayette County's district attorney said Wednesday.

The bodies of Benoit, his wife Nancy, and son Daniel were found in the
family's exclusive Fayette County home Monday afternoon. Authorities say the
deaths appear to have been murder-suicide.

District Attorney 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 arm.


Previous reports have said the boy had been smothered or strangled.


Nancy Benoit, 43, had bruises on her back and stomach consistent with
someone pressing a knee into the small of the back while pulling on a cord around the neck, Ballard said.

Benoit, 40, killed himself by wrapping a cord around his neck that was
attached to a weight machine, Ballard said. Benoit released the weights — about
240 pounds — to cause strangulation, he said. Ballard said the pull-down bar had been removed from the machine. He was found seated against the machine in the basement of his home.



_______________________


The article states that Daniel, Benoit's 7-year-old son, had "internal injuries to the throat area, but showed no bruises, indicating he may have been locked in the crook of his father's arm".

As I read these words in the article, a startling thought gripped my mind - the "Crippler Cross-Face". Chris Benoit was known as "The Crippler" in the wrestling business, and his signature move, the "cross-face", was used to force opponents to "tap out", or submit, thereby giving Benoit the victory in the wrestling match via the use of this wrestling submission hold.

Here is a picture of the Crippler Cross-Face, as applied by Benoit in a WWE wrestling match:





















I shudder to think that Chris may have used his own "finishing hold" on his son Daniel, but this explanation would be consistent with the description of no bruising, internal injuries, and his throat locked in the crook of his father's arm.


Finally, from the online website Post Chronicle article at

http://www.postchronicle.com/news/original/article_21288961.shtml ...


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Chris & Nancy Benoit's Struggles Over Daniel's Fragile X Syndrome
By Gia Cortina Jun 27, 2007

Chris and Nancy Benoit often struggled over the care of
their son Daniel. Daniel suffered with a rare medical condition called Fragile X Syndrome, which is an inherited form of mental retardation and is often accompanied by autism.

In the days before WWE Superstar Chris Benoit murdered his wife and child and then ultimately hung himself, the couple argued over Chris' work schedule. Nancy wanted Chris to stay home more to help take care of their mentally retarded 7-year-old son, an attorney for WWE said today.

"I think it's fair to say that the subject of caring for that child was part of what made their relationship complicated and difficult, and its something they were both constantly struggling with," said Jerry McDevitt, an attorney for WWE. "We do know it was a source of stress and consternation."

McDevitt added that the WWE learned from the couple's friends and relatives that Chris and Nancy were struggling with where to send the boy to school since he had
recently finished kindergarten. He also said that Nancy didn't want Chris to
quit wrestling, but she "wanted him to be at home more to care for the kid.
She'd say she can't take care of him by herself when he was on the
road."

Authorities said that over the past weekend, Benoit strangled his
wife, suffocated his son and placed a Bible next to their bodies before hanging himself with a weight-machine cable in the couple's home. The bodies were discovered by
police on Monday. At this time, no motive as been established for the
killings. Anabolic steroids were found in the home, leading to speculation
as to whether drugs played a role in this tragedy; however toxicology reports
are still pending and may not be available for several weeks.

Many experts believe that steroid use causes paranoia, deep depression and violent behavior outbursts known as 'roid rage'.

"Just as you have the extreme high of when you're on steroids, you can
get the opposite," said Dr. Todd Schlifstein, a clinical assistant professor at
the New York University School of Medicine. "You can have a dramatic
difference in mood swings. You can feel there's no hope, there's no
future."

The WWE issued a news release on Tuesday saying steroids "were not and could not
be related to the cause of death" and that the findings indicate "deliberation,
not rage." It also added that Benoit tested negative April 10th, the last
time he was tested for drugs. After the passing of Eddie Guerrero, Benoit's
best friend, the WWE established a testing system.

__________________________



  • Mrs. Nancy Benoit was found in an upstairs bedroom, her body wrapped in a towel.

  • Their son, Daniel, was found choked to death in his bed.

  • Chris Benoit was found hanged in a weight room in the house's basement.

  • An empty wine bottle was found by Chris.

  • Anabolic steroids and prescription drugs were found at the house.

  • Needle marks were found on Daniel's arms where Human Growth Hormone had been injected.

Conclusions from available evidence and statements:



  • I believe that Chris Benoit, after a session of injecting himself with steroids, and injecting his son with the human growth hormone [HGH], subsequently flew into a rage, perhaps sparked by a domestic dispute between him and his wife and then fueled by the anabolic steroids. I believe that this rage, from the steroids and against his wife, caused him to perform the strangulation on her with the cord, while pressing his knee into her back to maximize the effect of the pressure on her neck.


  • I believe that Chris Benoit at some later point was confronted by his son, who was likely mostly scared, but also angry. I believe that he and his son got into some kind of confrontation about Nancy, and with the steroids still in his system, he felt very angry and powerful, and took out some more of his "roid rage" on his son, utilizing the aforementioned Crippler Cross-Face to make his son be quiet, forcing Daniel to promise never to tell what really happened, to lie to protect his father. I believe the rage overtook Chris, and he cinched the hold in completely.


  • I believe that Chris Benoit, now having exhausted his rage from the anabolic steroids, "came to himself" and realized what he had done, and began to get overwhelmed with grief and self-condemnation at his own actions of murdering his family, which led to his drinking the bottle of wine in that state of depression and guilt. I believe that, now drunken and grief-stricken, and with the two closest people in the world gone [at his own hands], I believe he then made the decision to take his own life. I believe that he placed a Bible at each of their bodies to perhaps show their innocence and the symbolic nature of their deaths as unwitting victims in a horrible tragedy, that there was some religious significance in their having been [in God's sight] martyrs in this family tragedy, their only "crime" loving him.

  • I believe that Chris Benoit, now having arranged the bodies in the place where the investigators would find them at 4:00 Monday afternoon, then went down to his basement's weight room to act on the decision to end his own life. I believe it was at this time that he finished off the rest of that wine bottle [which was found at his feet], then wrapped the weight-lifting cable around his neck and committed the tragic act which would complete these horrible events.


Epilogue:

It is my personal hope that Chris Benoit, in getting those Bibles to place by the bodies of his wife and child, came to some recognition of the presence of God, and of his pressing need to ask for forgiveness. It is my hope that in his own way, he cried out to God with everything in his soul for mercy in a time of need. The very fact that Chris made a deliberate and purposeful choice to look for two Bibles tells me that God was reaching out to Chris. God was there with Chris, waiting for Chris to reach out to Him.

I hope that Chris did not shut God out. I hope that Chris made peace with God, in his search for those Bibles. I hope that his last moments were spent in prayers for God to look down upon this horrible situation with tenderness and the kindness we all envision God has when He opens His arms to us.

I know that what Chris Benoit did was horrible, awful, and unspeakable.

I know that Chris Benoit performed 3 acts of evil over this weekend of June 23rd.

I know that Chris Benoit does not deserve forgiveness.

I know that Chris Benoit's family did not deserve what happened.

I know that this is the worst thing a man can do to his family.

But I also know that God is bigger than anything Chris Benoit did, and I just hope and pray that Chris came to realize this before he drew his last breath in the confines of a weight cable.

This is my prayer.

3 comments:

Bob said...

Brilliant post!!!!!!

This will become more and more unravelling.

Marcus said...

Well said! I hope Chris did call out to God.

Brianna said...

This announcement stunned me. I'm not a huge wrestling fan but my boyfriend is and we watch it together at times. We were shocked.

And I speculated that very night that he had killed them. It was so surreal though. Why?

The descriptions of him as being very "private" and that he kept to himself seemed to say to me that the WWE knew that something was fishy.

I too hope that he cried out to God. I wish also that his wife knew HIM too...and son.

I'm not certain that his placing Bibles beside their bodies meant that he reached out to God or if because of his background or general belief in God that he placed them there as an act of remorse. A final I'm sorry.

This is a tragic situation.

Brianna
Youthwalk (CF)