Friday, July 6, 2007

Benoit, part 2: The Plot Sickens

What a strange [nearly] 2 weeks it has been since Monday, June 25, 2007, when the world learned that Chris Benoit had apparently murdered his wife Nancy, their son Daniel, and finally himself to culminate the events of a truly tragic weekend.

Ever since the story has begun, we have seen basically every pro wrestler known to man [past or present] giving their own interpretations and observations into this double murder / suicide case. Much of the news programming and interviewing has revolved around the use of steroids, and also to a lesser extent the professional wrestling culture of "the fast life" or "life on the road".

Wrestlers such as Bret Hart, Ted DiBiase, Marc Mero, Steve Blackman, Ultimate Warrior, Bull Buchanan, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, "Superstar" Billy Graham, Konnan, Jacques Rougeau, Bruno Sammartino, Chris Jericho, Road Warrior Animal, Kevin Nash, and Brian Christopher have gladly granted the news outlets lots of interviews all acting like experts on the Chris Benoit case. What strikes me as odd is that none of these individuals giving these dime-a-dozen, mile-a-minute interviews are currently-active professional wrestlers in Benoit's organization [WWE] nor were in recent or frequent contact with Chris [other than WWE champion John Cena, in the upcoming July 9 interview on Larry King Live].

Go figure.


Anyway, as the story has unfolded more and more like a complicated three-hour epic motion picture, we have begun to hear everything and then some, about this case. Examples:

The Wikipedia controversy; they face the question of how Nancy Benoit's death was known on the internet hours before police discovered the three dead bodies, and what culpability the online encyclopedia may have in this situation, while the WWE faces their own question of the possible connection of this Wikipedia entry to their organization, since the IP address of the Wikipedia user [who added the information about Nancy Benoit's death] was traced back to Stamford, Connecticut [the city where WWE headquarters is located]

Stores pulling the action figures; they have the ethical dilemma of whether to sell Benoit merchandise

The WWE erases Chris Benoit; they are eliminating every trace of him from their website, with the exception of allowing viewings of his matches to be purchased for a nominal fee, to be viewed from

Chris' mother; she is accusing federal agents of not doing enough to prevent her son's death, namely that the DEA did not charge Chris in a previous investigation

Hulk Hogan; he is claiming that Nancy Benoit was into devil worship, not just as a wrestling storyline, but also in real life

Benoit's doctor arrested by DEA; he's out on bond, complete with ankle bracelet

Benoit's Doctor's father; had medical license suspended, also committed suicide

The DEA second probe into a wrestler's death; it is Mike Durham, known on TV as "Johnny Grunge" of the popular WCW tag team Public Enemy [with Rocco Rock]

The question of whether the son [Daniel] actually had Fragile X syndrome; investigation now pending as claims go back and forth, for and against

Rey Mysterio / Mark Jhindrak implicated in DEA probe; their names are now surfacing in the Phil Astin [Benoit's doctor] investigation

Rumors of Congressional hearings on steroids in professional wrestling; Vince McMahon testifying before the United States Congress????

Detective Mark Fuhrman and pro wrestling writer Bill Apter; they both believe that Chris, Nancy, and Daniel were murdered by an intruder

Neighbors talked to Chris right before he killed Nancy; they're all coming out of the woodwork

The religion factor; rumors state that Chris hated religion in the wake of his friend Eddie Guerrero's death, and one local pastor states that Nancy was consulting with him to get the family back in church because Chris was going through a spiritual awakening of God-hunger


It sounds to me that there are still a lot of unknowns out there, and there is much to be investigated. People who claim to know all about the Benoit case, who don't know the facts, who aren't going by police investigation reports, who are just talking, really are making this mess bigger than it is, and are making a situation harder to deal with than it already is.

No current wrestlers in the WWE, nor anyone who had real and frequent contact with Chris, are talking to the media. This should serve as a clue to past wrestlers or wrestlers from other organizations.

Seems like somebody's "dippin in the ice cream and don't know what the flavor is".

And, what's with the steroid craze? Great DAY, it's cuckoo.

If steroids were the direct and specific cause of what happened at the hands of Chris Benoit, wouldn't the same be happening in the ranks of baseball players and bodybuilders alike, athletes also notoriously known for steroid abuse? When did you ever hear of any case like this surfacing in another sport?

I did state in my previous blog post that Benoit's death rage was likely sparked by a domestic dispute, and fueled by the steroids he had injected himself with. I do believe this is the case. I DON'T believe that the steroids were the cause of the murders, only the cause of the rage itself. I may seem to be splitting hairs or making a play on words, but there is a distinguishing difference between one who flies into a rage, and one who kills his wife on Saturday and his child on Sunday and himself on Monday.

Rage and Murder - miles apart.

There are lots of people who go into rage who never murder. In rage:

People break things.
People drive at high rates of speed.
People throw lamps and chairs.
People cuss people out.
People get into fist fights.
People walk out on conversations.

And in almost all cases, the above scenarios lead to a cooling down period, a realization of the need to let the anger go, and where appropriate, apologies and making up.

There was no murder in those scenarios.

So, then, if it was not the 'roids which caused the murder, why did Chris Benoit kill his family and himself? Isn't that "the 64,000-dollar question", as they say?

The most baffling and frustrating part of this Benoit case, second to the three tragedies of death over that weekend, is that no one will ever know what happened inside that house. We can speculate till the cows come home what really happened, but we will never know the complete story. Yes, in the previous blog post, I surmised what I BELIEVE happened to Chris and to his wife and son, based upon available facts. But to say anyone knows for sure, that will never be the case.

Chris will never speak to investigators to tell them how or why it happened.
Nancy will never be able to tell us about the argument which led to her demise.
Little Daniel will never be able to tell us how scared or angry he was at his daddy.

If Chris had not taken his own life, some sense could have been made of all of this, at least in the logical/circumstantial side of the brain which tries to figure these mysteries out. But no matter WHAT explanation, in another sense, nothing will EVER make sense, no matter how hard we try to make ourselves believe it.

And this is the human tragedy.

I do not believe that wrestling or "the wrestling lifestyle" can be blamed for this.
I do not believe that steroids can be blamed for this.
I do not believe that Vince McMahon can be blamed for this.
I do not believe that "mitigating circumstances" [such as Fragile X] can be blamed for this.
I do not believe that domestic dispute history can be blamed for this.

Blame is squarely laid at one place, and one place only: at the feet of Chris Benoit.

There is no other explanation; there is no other consideration.

Wild specualation, contradictory "facts", outlandish conspiracy theory, and wrestler "insider interviews" notwithstanding, three people are still dead, Chris Benoit still did it, we'll still never know, and their families are still left with consummate grief and confusion, which may never be overcome in this lifetime.

They are Chris Benoit's other victims. The "experts" need to let them grieve.

And wrestling did not cause their grieving.

Chris did.

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