You knew it was bound to happen. The toxicology reports are not even back yet on wrestling fixture Chris Benoit, his wife, and his son, who passed away tragically earlier last weekend and yet the rumor mill is running rampant with a virtual “whodunit”. Rather than asking why the wrestler would murder his wife and the seven year old child friends and family claim Benoit “held on a pedestal” before committing suicide, the net is abuzz with “who” could have possibly killed Benoit and his family…other than Benoit himself.
The theories run the gamut, from Chris Benoit’s wife, Nancy, having an affair, to her ex-husband Kevin Sullivan coming and killing all three. However, there is one common theme…Chris Benoit is the hero or victor in nearly every scenario. For some reason, people simply cannot accept that Benoit, one of the most popular wrestlers with the WWE, could be capable of such a heinous crime, and yet everything points to him being responsible for the deaths of all three of the Benoits.
In one theory, long time wrestling fans have Chris Benoit’s one time rival in the ring, Kevin Sullivan, coming up from his home in Florida, to murder Nancy. The theory is that if Kevin couldn’t have her, then nobody could. Jealous of the child Kevin never had with his ex-wife, the rage filled Sullivan, murdered the child. However, Benoit, who was not home during the first two killings, found his wife, and as he stood their in shock, the conspiracy theorists believe Kevin snuck up on Benoit, knocked him out, and hung him from his weight equipment…in another room in the house.
Not only is this theory slanderous towards former wrestling star Sullivan, the scenario is absolutely preposterous. Benoit was not a small guy and there would most certainly be some sign of struggle if there was someone else in the house. Further, Kevin Sullivan has his own life now, with his wife Linda and the gym he runs in Florida.
Why would something from the 1990’s, when he was married to Nancy Benoit, suddenly spark a violent rage after all these years have passed? This scenario just does not make sense, and is downright insulting to Kevin Sullivan. He may not have been the most liked wrestler, but that does not make him a murderer!
Another scenario sweeping the web is the possibility of Nancy Benoit’s “imaginary lover” (which theorists swear must exist) having a show down with Benoit. In some scenarios, Benoit gets mad because the lover kills his son, and so he kills Nancy and hangs himself. In other scenarios, the other man kills Nancy for not leaving Benoit for him, and kills the son because he isn’t his son. When Benoit arrives home to the grisly scene, he doesn’t call police or seek medical help for the two. He sits in the house shocked, and eventually commits suicide.
Once again, this theory is preposterous. At present, there is no sign of this mystery man that could have been Nancy Benoit’s secret lover. It also does not explain the weird text message that was sent to a few of Benoit’s close friends and a neighbor, or why Benoit would not have sought the police had he found his wife and child murdered. The theories all seem to have major holes in them as far as “what facts we know” are presented.
Regardless, the intent of these theories is to remove all of the responsibility for the murders from Benoit’s shoulders and place it on someone else, even if there is no evidence to support such claims. This is a current trend in pop culture. We’ve seen people try to do it with the Britney Spears and Paris Hiltons. Now the general public is doing it with Chris Benoit. With this in mind, I have no doubt, if it were possible, these theorists would find a way to say aliens came down from their home planet, killed the Benoit family and staged it to look like a murder-suicide. It would be an open and shut case, but nothing is ever black and white.
In truth, the Benoit family, including Chris Benoit’s father Michael, who was stunned at the unexpected deaths of his son, grandson, and daughter-in-law, have accepted the fact that there is a strong possibility Chris was responsible for killing Nancy Benoit and his seven year old son. While no one seemed to have seen this coming, the hope is that toxicology reports can shed some light on what kind of state Benoit was in when the murders were committed.
What facts are known at this time, point to a murder-suicide scenario with Chris Benoit at the heart of it all. The current release of information states:
1. The murders were committed at various times throughout the weekend. The suicide was nearly a day later. This shows signs of premeditation and a deliberate nature to the killings. People who go into a rage do not kill their wife on Friday, son on Saturday night, and themselves on Sunday or early Monday morning.
2. The bodies of Nancy and Daniel (the 7 year old son who suffered from Fragile X Syndrome – a hereditary disease which leads to mental retardation and possibly autism) had Bible’s next to them. Another sign of deliberate thought.
3. Daniel had needle marks and was believed to be taking growth hormones due to being “undersized”.
4. Benoit had several bottles of steroids in his home. WWE believes this find is insignificant since he passed a steroid test April 10 and “Roid Rage” is not typically spread out over a weekend.
5. Benoit used a pulley, cable, and weights on a weight machine to choke and hang himself to death.
6. Prior to the suicide, Benoit’s Wikipedia page changed mysteriously by someone with connections to the WWE’s headquarters. The changes stated that Benoit had missed an event with WWE due to his wife’s death. This was prior to the police finding the bodies.
7. Chris Benoit sent strange text messages to friends, prompting the WWE to contact the police. In them, Chris supposedly told them both his wife and son were sick. By this point, they were dead.
8. Benoit text messaged a neighbor to let them know the pets were outside and the door was open. This was no doubt sent to let them know that authorities could come into the house.
9. Nancy Benoit had been bound and there were signs of a struggle as she fought for her life. It was believed she died by asphyxiation.
10. Daniel was found in his bed. By all signs, it appears he was choked to death.
11. The Benoits had filed for divorce in 2003 and Nancy Benoit wanted a restraining order due to “cruel treatment”. However, both the request for the order and divorce proceedings were dropped.
The facts of the case may still be unknown, but one thing that is known is three people are dead and one is a child. This bizarre and chilling case has reaffirmed my belief that you can’t truly know anyone in the public eye without knowing them personally (and even then you might not know them). So keep your loved ones close, and tell your children you love them one extra time. I’m just grateful I am in the state of mind where I know I could never harm my girlfriend or son…How many other men can say the same?