Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Wrestling "hero" a cowardly killer
I haven't been able to stop thinking about little Daniel Benoit - or get the image out of my head of his hulking father snuffing out his life with a bag.Sadly, that is exactly what happened inside an Atlanta house of horrors last weekend.Montreal-born and Alberta-trained pro wrestler Chris Benoit did the unthinkable, killing seven-year-old Daniel and his wife, Nancy, before taking his own life.Just when you think the facts can't get any worse, they do. Every hour Tuesday seemed to add another layer of terror.We may never truly know what drove Benoit - long considered one of the most respected, grounded men in the often zany world of pro wrestling - to wipe out his entire family in one sadistic weekend.
Was it 'roid rage? Despite the fact World Wrestling Entertainment says Benoit passed a drug test in April, those who use and abuse performance-enhancing drugs know how to beat the system. And the fact a large quantity of steroids and other prescription drugs were hauled out of Benoit's home in a pretty telling sign.Was it depression? A sudden descent into madness? The heavy toll of a lonely life on the road with no off-season?A review of the facts suggest this was a cold and calculated act, not a spur-of-the-moment reaction.Nancy Benoit had been tied up and bound. She was killed as early as Friday. Daniel Benoit was likely killed several hours later. A Bible was placed beside his lifeless body.Benoit then made a series of bizarre text messages to a couple co-workers, telling a bogus story of his wife and son suffering food poisoning and going to hospital.In all likelihood both were long dead. Yet Benoit stayed in the house with their bodies for up to 24 more hours before he took the coward's way out and ended his own life.In the eyes of millions fans - including me - Benoit could do no wrong. He was among the best in his profession and earned worldwide respect.Now he is just a gutless double killer. And that will be his legacy.***I've compiled a series of links those of you interested in this story may want to check out. You can get a bit dizzy trying to follow all of this, so hopefully this guide will help.
My latest column, appearing online and in Wednesday's Free Press, can be found HERE
for a very interesting timeline of events put together by WWE.Click HERE
for a very good Sports Illustrated read calling for congress to force WWE to clean up their act.There are two wrestling-related websites which stand above all the others for their accuracy and integrity, in my opinion. Both have been doing excellent work reporting this story. California-based Dave Meltzer's Wrestling Observer can be found HERE
, while Minnesota-based Wade Keller's Pro Wrestling Torch can be found HERE
to get details on a previous restraining order filed by Nancy Benoit against Chris Benoit in 2003.I will post others as they come to my attention. And keep checking this blog - and my www.mikeoncrime.com
website - for all the latest details.