Police Give Details on Benoit Deaths, WWE Issues Press Release & More

News, Press Releases

Notes from today’s press conference, held by Lt. Tommy Pope of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office and Fayette County District Attorney Scott Ballard:

– The police are saying the Chris Benoit killed his wife on Friday, his son on Saturday and himself on Saturday night/Sunday morning.

– Nancy Benoit was found with her feet and wrists bound, and strangled. Blood on the back of her head was the only sign of a struggle. She was found upstairs in a family room, fully clothed, but wrapped in a towel.

– There was no sign of stuggle for Daniel Benoit, who was also fully clothed, and was asphyxiated and found in his bed.

– Bibles were found next to Chris Benoit’s wife’s and son’s bodies.

– Chris sent a text message Saturday night/Sunday morning to a wrestler friend (WrestlingObserver.com is reporting that this friend is believed to be Chavo Guerrero, Jr.), and the friend didn’t see the message until hours after it was sent.

– Local authorities were called by WWE, who was concerned that Chris did not show up to work the Saturday house show or Sunday pay-per-view.

– There was no suicide note found and is no known motive at this time. They did not share content of any text messages (WWE reported that several were sent; other reports thus far have only noted the one). No 911 calls came from the house.

– Chris Benoit’s body was found in the basement weight room, having apparently hung himself with a cable from a weight machine.

– They found a lot of what is believed to be legal prescription medication, including anabolic steroids, in the home.

– The toxicology report will be available in two weeks or longer.

For what is the most detailed story on this thus far, from ABC News, click here. ABC has also posted a Chris Benoit photo gallery here.

Additionally, WWE has just issued the following press release in response to the latest Benoit news (and how it has been covered by the mainstream media today):

June 26, 2007 05:51 PM Eastern Daylight Time
WWE® Shocked At Latest Developments In Benoit Tragedy, Concerned By Sensationalistic Reporting

STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE: WWE) is stunned and saddened by the details released by local authorities concerning the double homicide-suicide involving Chris Benoit, his wife, Nancy, and his son, Daniel.

However, WWE is concerned with the sensationalistic reporting and speculation being undertaken by some members of the media following the press conference held by the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department and the District Attorney. During the press conference, the investigating authorities made the following points, all of which run contrary to the media speculation that “roid rage” was a factor in the senseless murders and suicide:

1. The authorities stated that all drugs found in the house were believed to be legal prescriptions.

2. Steroids were not, and could not, be related to the cause of death (asphyxiation). Authorities had no factual basis to speculate as to Benoit’s state of mind, and rightly did not do so.

3. Toxicology tests have not even been completed, so there is no current evidence that Benoit even had steroids or any other substance in his body. In that regard, on the last test done on Benoit by WWE’s independently administered drug testing program, done on April 10, 2007, Benoit tested negative.

4. The physical findings announced by authorities indicate deliberation, not rage. The wife’s feet and hands were bound and she was asphyxiated, not beaten to death. By the account of the authorities, there were substantial periods of time between the death of the wife and the death of the son, again suggesting deliberate thought, not rage. The presence of a Bible by each is also not an act of rage.

5. WWE strongly suggests that it is entirely wrong for speculators to suggest that steroids had anything to do with these senseless acts, especially when the authorities plainly stated there is no evidence that Benoit had steroids in his body, pending the toxicological reports, and that they had no evidence at this time as to the motive for these acts.

WWE is continuing to monitor the ongoing investigation being conducted by local authorities.

The below comments are continued from an earlier post, as the discussion of this sad news continues…

Matthew Michaels is editor emeritus of Pulse Wrestling, and has been since the site launched.