By Mike Stetzer
June 29, 2007 - If you're not a professional wrestling fan, you might not have known who Chris Benoit was until a couple of days ago. Benoit and his family were found dead on Monday afternoon in their home just outside of Atlanta, and police have described the former wrestling champion as the murderer in the double murder-suicide. The media has also reported that Benoit had a history of domestic violence and that his wife Nancy once filed for divorce from him before withdrawing her divorce petition.
Benoit allegedly strangled his wife Nancy to death on Friday before inexplicably suffocating his seven-year-old son Daniel on Saturday or Sunday. The 40-year-old Chris Benoit then hung himself from the pulley of an exercise machine either a couple of hours later or even as late as a day after killing his son.
Authorities revealed that 43-year-old Nancy Benoit was tied up at the hands and the feet and that she had blood under her head, possibly indicating a struggle with her husband. Bibles were found next to the bodies of Benoit's wife and son. Authorities have said that there was no suicide note or known motives behind the killing.
They did reveal that anabolic steroids were found in the home, and are thus wondering about Benoit's mental condition. Steroids have been known to cause depression, paranoia and "roid rage," and police are going to explore whether Benoit was experiencing any of these side effects from the drug.
After the terrible details of this case were learned, it became known that Nancy Benoit tried to divorce her husband in 2003. In addition to filing for divorce papers that year, Nancy Benoit petitioned for protection from domestic abuse from her husband. She then claimed that the 220-pound Chris Benoit threatened to hit her and damage their property, and also expressed fear for the safety of her son and herself.
Nancy Benoit also filed for permanent custody of Daniel Benoit at the time and sought child support from her husband, who was listed in the petition as making more than $500,000 a year. Chris Benoit responded by seeking joint custody. Three months later, Nancy Benoit filed to have the divorce papers and restraining order dismissed, and a judge later obliged.
Chris Benoit was allegedly known as a family man during his wrestling career in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). His wife even served as a wrestling stage manager for her husband at one point.
Nicknamed "The Rabid Wolverine," Benoit was a former Intercontinental Champion in the WWE. It was the WWE, in fact, that contacted police to check on Benoit's whereabouts after being informed that he had sent strange text messages to several friends on Sunday morning. A day later, authorities discovered the grisly scene at the Benoit home in Fayetteville, Georgia and must now piece together the motives behind these terrible acts!