Chris Benoit Conspiracy Theories Debunked: What Really Happened?

Benoit tragedy

Originally Published in 2013 – The 2007 Benoit family tragedy, which saw Chris Benoit murder his wife Nancy and young son Daniel, before committing suicide, was one of the most shocking and pivotal moments in WWE history. It pressured the corporation to expand their Wellness Policy, which now safeguards wrestlers against a range of health issues – including concussions. It also set them on the path of cleaning up their public image, which had been blighted by drug-related deaths and low brow storytelling throughout the previous decade.

Chris BenoitThough WWE have always been reluctant to publicly acknowledge that Chris Benoit’s brain was found to be severely impaired from years of untreated in-ring concussions, their implementation of ImPACT Testing is certainly related to these findings. One of many theories about why Benoit could carry out such a brutal crime is that he had a form of brain damage, so it’s understandable WWE would publicly downplay the research to minimize their own role, yet still encouraging to see they’ve put measures in place to prevent such brain damage from impairing wrestlers in the future.

Several other Chris Benoit theories exist. Some are based on real facts obtained from the investigation, yet others lack supporting evidence or even basic logic. Some ideas were spread by the mainstream media, such as “roid rage”, while several conspiracy theories were explored by individuals on websites and Youtube, including the idea Chris is innocent and was framed for the murders.

There are a few basic facts about the Benoit tragedy that are not in any way disputed. Unlike modern theories of hoaxes and crisis actors, no such theory exists in this case. Chris Benoit, Nancy Benoit and their young son Daniel are all sadly dead and the theorists accept that. Police discovered them in their home, their bodies were identified, autopsies were performed, and all three were cremated in the presence of their family members.

With that out of the way let’s take a critical look at some of the most popular theories surrounding the case and separate the facts from the fiction.

The Chris Benoit Files

To accompany this article I produced a video series on YouTube that has since been re-edited into a full documentary. You can watch it below or view the separate episodes while reading the article.

Kevin Sullivan Killed Benoit

The most widely believed conspiracy theory about Benoit is that former wrestler and booker Kevin Sullivan murdered him and his family (or hired hit men to do it) and framed the crime so Chris would get the blame. While no eyewitness, physical, or forensic evidence has ever been presented for this, the theory was born out of the fact that Sullivan is Nancy’s ex-husband and could have been seeking revenge for her affair.

Johnny Angel Chris BenoitThis idea was first put forth by Johnny Lee Clary, who wrestled as Johnny Angel in Arkansas during the 80s. He’s a very interesting figure. As explained on his website he went from being a Ku Klux Klan leader, causing controversy on the Oprah Winfrey and Morton Downey Jr shows, to a saved man who now preaches the word of God.

It was on this site that he published his Benoit theories, though the page has since been removed, suggesting he may no longer stand by what he wrote. The article is still preserved in various corners of the internet, including the God Like Productions conspiracy theory forum.

It is also quoted verbatim across two Youtube videos, the first that has been viewed almost a million times, demonstrating the amount of public interest in the matter.

(Update: Clary passed away on October 21, 2014, of a heart attack).

A Calculated Crime of Passion?

Clary starts his piece by calling for us to “look at some facts”, but don’t expect him to actually do that. Instead he asserts that “it has been 10 years exactly since Nancy divorced Kevin Sullivan to marry Chris Benoit,” without providing any evidence. At face value this would mean they divorced in late June 1997, as the crimes took place between June 22–25, 2007.

What relevance their divorce has to the crime is not clear. Ten years would be no more significant than if it was 9 or 22 years, and there is no verifiable source online for their divorce date anyway. We could just as easily assume they divorced in early 1997 (Nancy had already left WCW by May), or much later since divorces take a lot of time to go through the courts. To say it was the “anniversary” of their divorce or “exactly” 10 years is completely disingenuous and totally insignificant.

Clary being a US citizen could have proven his point by obtaining the public records, but he didn’t.

Furthermore, from an investigator’s perspective, a wronged lover would be much more likely to get revenge at the beginning of their wife’s affair or during a period of ongoing tension, not many years later when everybody involved had moved on with their lives and ceased contact.

Kevin Sullivan Was A Real Satanist?

Clary continues:
“In the 1980’s Sullivan, along with his then-wife Nancy, were running a gimmick in wrestling of how they were Satanists, and Nancy was known as ‘The Fallen Angel.’ She later became known as ‘Woman.’ The trouble with the Satanists gimmick was it was for real, and was not a work, or fake.”

Kevin Sullivan satanistFrom what I can find scouring internet archives and interviews the only person to ever make the claim that Sullivan was a real Satanist is Clary himself.

Hulk Hogan did suggest Nancy “was into devil-worship stuff,” in a gossip rag after the tragedy, but Nancy is not Kevin and Hulk Hogan is renowned for running his mouth. It’s not like he provided ‘Star Plus’ magazine with evidence for the claim.

And, this so-called devil worship was never mentioned by Nancy’s family, Benoit or his family, any other wrestlers that were part of Sullivan’s stable, or worked with the couple, and neither Sullivan or Nancy themselves have ever even hinted that they practiced Satanism or any other obscure beliefs.

There are a lot of people who have praised Sullivan’s talent and the fact that his gimmick was a heat magnet during a time when wrestlers weren’t doing things like that, but there is absolutely nothing to suggest they were real Satanists.

There is also no record of Clary himself ever meeting Sullivan or Nancy during his modest career, meaning he had no first-hand knowledge of the couple. Indeed, he states: “According to a source close to me, Kevin Sullivan is a high ranking member of the Satanic Church.” This is second-hand information from somebody that we don’t even know exists.

If this alleged “source” is real, there’s no reason for them to be anonymous because the “Satanic Church” is not a secret society or an illegal organization, nor is it in the business of threatening people. High ranking members quite openly promote their affiliation with the church and the philosophy they follow. If Sullivan was a proud LaVeyan or another type of Satanist we’d probably know about it.

Furthermore, when asked about the claim in a YouShoot interview Sullivan bluntly replied, “that’s bullshit” and stated that he’s Irish Catholic. “I never said I was a Satanist, and I’ve never been a Satanist,” he went on to clarify.

That’s not to say it’s any of our business what Sullivan believes. Even if we take the baseless and denied accusation at face value, that gives us no more reason to think he’s a murderer than if he was a Star Wars fan. Last time I checked the Church of Satan is not a terrorist cell or a criminal gang. Evangelists like Clary obviously have a very negative view on Satanists, but the truth is they’re not Devil worshippers. They don’t believe God or the Devil even exist.

“Satan has been the best friend the church has ever had, as he has kept it in business all these years!” – The Satanic Bible, pointing out how Satan is a powerful piece of imagery used to scare Christians.

If we want to wrap it up in a bow, Satanism is just colorful atheism. It uses the metaphor of Satan from the bible to promote freedom, reason, and to antagonize close-minded religious believers. It was that kind of heat Sullivan was after when he used his gimmick and it worked like a charm – people are still buying into it!

Yet with all this talk of Satanism, in watching some of his promos back on Youtube, you can’t really characterize what he was doing as explicitly satanic. It was an amalgamation of various buzzwords, horror movie themes, religious teachings, and philosophies – from Freemasonry to Buddhism, to Caribbean Santería. Sometimes he was just nonsense babbling about “darkness”. Nothing about the character was consistent or can be defined as ‘real.’ Take a look for yourself.

Other Accusations

The KKK leader turned preacher then goes on to claim: “Sullivan threatened Benoit and told him he would kill him.”

Again this seems to have been pulled out of thin air (or WCW Nitro). This time he doesn’t even mention a source. For all we know he could be referring to their on-air feud, which although was closer to home than most wrestling storylines (in WCW Sullivan booked Nancy to have an affair with Benoit and it then happened in real life), it’s not exactly something you can use as evidence for a real-life crime many years later. It’s circumstantial at best.

“He is known for being a calculating, cold-hearted individual.”

Is he? He comes across as jovial and laid back in all of the interviews I’ve watched and listened to. He has his own podcast on MLW radio and there’s no cold-heartedness about him at all. By definition, if somebody is known for something, those around him would confirm it. For example, Ric Flair is a known party animal, Jerry Lawler is known to like younger women, it is known that a lot of people in the wrestling business dislike Vince Russo’s style of booking. Clary is just making things up.

“The police need to consider the possibility that Sullivan carried out these gruesome murders in order to have his revenge, which is what Satanists live for.”

Actually, one of the Satanic Rules as written by Anton LaVey is: “Do not harm little children.” That would seem to run counter to Clary’s theory that a satanic Sullivan could have murdered 7-year-old Daniel.

Kevin Sullivan Did Not Commit These Murders

Broadly speaking this is an intriguing theory – I mean, who doesn’t like a good devil worship story? However, that’s all it is, a story. When you use basic logic, it quickly becomes apparent that all we have here are baseless assertions, mixed with the prejudices of a Christian-centric and superficial interpretation of Satanism.

“The speculation did bother me for a while,” Sullivan revealed on the Jim Ross podcast. “I talked to Nancy’s mother and she said, ‘I can’t believe that people even think that’ and she made me feel better. The sister made me feel better too.'”

There’s no evidence Sullivan was in any way involved. No eyewitnesses, no forensics, no circumstantial evidence of him being in the area or having recently made contact, and no evidence that he threatened Benoit with his life at any point other than during a TV wrestling storyline. There’s also no evidence that Sullivan was or is a satanist or any logical explanation of why that would even matter.

For fans to meander off into this fantasy is disappointing. As for Clary, it’s a shame anybody gives this man the time of day, especially as a religious figurehead.

The Sherri Martel Connection

Clary and Fox News pundits Geraldo Rivera and Bill O’Reilly also make reference to a possible connection between the Benoit deaths and the passing of Hall of Fame wrestling manager Sherri Martel. Clary writes that: “Kevin Sullivan was also associated with Sherri Martel, who died just a few days before the bodies of Chris Benoit and his family was found, and the full details of Martell’s death have not been made known as of the time of this writing.

Sherri Martel Hall of FameIn this clip Geraldo tells O’Reilly: “Did you know a woman named Sherri Martel also died of unnatural causes related to drug use? Who is Sherri Martel? She is another woman connected to this group of professional wrestlers … and she died the same day Bill!”

It’s believed that Nancy was the first of the Benoits to die – on June 22nd, so this is actually 7 days following the death of Sherri, who we now know died of a prescription pain pill overdose. While she was friends with the Benoit family and managed Sullivan for a time, there is nothing to suggest Sherri’s death was anything other than her own doing – whether deliberate or accidental suicide.

We could logically speculate that the tragic news added to any depression and tension within Nancy and Chris’ relationship, but there is no physical connection between the deaths.

Doctor Astin

Dr Phil AstinThere may, however, be a connection in doctor. Sherri lived in Birmingham, Alabama and the Benoit family home was in Fayetteville in the neighboring state of Georgia. Following the tragedy it emerged that Benoit’s physician, Dr. Phil Astin, had been prescribing him with Testosterone and other prescription pills. In 2009 Astin was sentenced to ten years in federal prison for over-prescribing medications. It was noted that three of his patients died with his drugs in their system. These were Chris Benoit, ECW wrestler Johnny Grunge (whose use of painkillers clashed with his sleep apnea, causing his death in 2006) and a third undisclosed name. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer believes this to be Sherri Martel.

This, of course, raises a lot of interesting issues, but nothing to support any conspiracy theories about Kevin Sullivan or a direct link between the deaths.

Chavo Heard An Intruder Over The Phone

There’s a list of other points circulating around Facebook and forums that supposedly hint towards a Benoit tragedy conspiracy. However, most of them are irrelevant to the facts of the case.

“Chris’ father said that Chris called him on father’s day and told him that he wished he could spend more time with his family but he had to work. One of Nancy’s friend says that Nancy Loved Chris and she had no plans to leave him.”

(Emotions are not always rational and people don’t always say what they mean).

“The Benoit family was murdered the same week that the WWE had a storyline of ‘Who killed Vince McMahon.’”

(The Vince McMahon angle involved him being blown up in a limo, which is in no way similar to the Benoit deaths. The storyline was also dropped after the tragedy).

Some points in the list are outright false, including one claiming Chavo Guerrero was aware of an intruder at the Benoit residence:

Chavo Guerrero – a close friend of Benoit – told WWE magazine that he talked to Chris for while on Friday night on his house phone. About 45 minutes into the conversation, Chris told him that there was somebody knocking at his door and he was going to see who it was. Shortly after Chris answered the door, there was a “scuffle” and then his house phone line went dead. Chris could only be reached on his cell phone about 3 hours later. This is very significant. This explains why there was no forced entry. Chris let the killer or killers in.

Chavo GuerreroThere is no record of Chavo ever saying this in a WWE Magazine interview. In fact, WWE made it their mission not to even mention Benoit publicly once they’d cooperated with the police and media in the immediate aftermath. catalogs the history of the magazine and there is no mention of an interview with Chavo in 2007 or in any subsequent issues.

Google also returns no reliable source for the information, other than from similar conspiracy theory discussions. Somebody just made it up.

(Update: A new theory suggests Chavo said this in an appearance on Chris Jericho’s podcast, but you can easily listen to the full show online and it simply isn’t true).

The Timeline

Chavo did appear on Greta Van Susteren’s On the Record show in July and revealed that he’d been in contact with Chris on the Saturday, the day after Nancy is said to have been killed, but he did not say anything about a scuffle or an intruder on the Friday.

Chavo said that at about 3:30pm EDT, he got a voicemail from Chris saying he overslept and missed his flight for a live event in Beaumont, Texas. Chavo returned the call and said Benoit “sounded odd and he left with a forced ‘I love you’ Chavo.”

“It was enough for me to hang up and think something wasn’t right,” he explained.

Chavo called him back again a few minutes later out of concern and Benoit said he’d been having a stressful day and that Nancy and Daniel had food poisoning. This was the last time they spoke. Benoit told another coworker the food poisoning story and WWE officials that Nancy and Daniel were hospitalized because of it.

He subsequently missed the house show and early the following morning, as widely reported in the media, Chavo and other coworkers (one being referee Scott Armstrong) received bizarre text messages from both Chris and Nancy’s cell phones:

3:53 AM – Chris Benoit’s cell phone: “My physical address is 130 Green Meadow Lane, Fayeteville Georgia. 30215”

3:53 AM – Chris Benoit’s cell phone: “The dogs are in the enclosed pool area. Garage side door is open.”

3:54 AM – Nancy Benoit’s cell phone: “My physical address is 130 Green Meadow Lane. Fayeteville Georgia. 30215”

3:55 AM – Nancy Benoit’s cell phone: “My physical address is 130 Green Meadow Lane, Fayeteville Georgia. 30215”

3:58 AM – Nancy Benoit’s cell phone: “My physical address is 130 Green Meadow Lane, Fayeteville Georgia. 30215”

At the time WWE also made a lot of information available. The New York Daily News summarized that WWE officials went on to make “several attempts to contact Benoit via phone and text messages, as well as, the local hospitals in the Atlanta area. As of 11:00 p.m. Sunday night there was no contact made with Benoit.”

This was the night of WWE Vengeance, where he was scheduled to beat CM Punk for the ECW title.

The report sourced from WWE (available in full on their corporate website) continues with a timeline from the Monday …

12:30 p.m.
WWE was notified of text messages sent to the two co-workers.

12:45 p.m.
WWE contacted the Fayette County Sheriff’s office and requested them to go to Benoit’s residence.

4:00 p.m.
WWE received a call from the Fayette County Sheriff’s office, advising that they entered the house of Benoit and found 3 deceased bodies (a male, a female and a child). The Fayette County Sheriff’s office has secured the house as a “major crime scene” and that the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office had no further information.

There is no publicly available information to suggest that anybody in contact with Chris Benoit, including Chavo, heard or even believed that there was an intruder. Now, obviously, Benoit’s coworkers concluded he was acting strangely by missing events and sending the text messages, but that does not mean there was a wider conspiracy and none of them have expressed views of that nature since.

Do you think if Chavo (one of Benoit’s closest friends) really heard an intruder, that he would keep it secret? Or if he did do this mythical WWE Magazine interview that this would be the last we would have heard of it?

A Real Anomaly

There is one piece of information that has not been fully investigated and that’s the sighting of then WWE talent Dave Taylor outside the Benoit residence shortly before the police arrived.

Dave Taylor Chris BenoitBenoit’s neighbour Holly Schrepfer was the first port of call after WWE had contacted the authorities about Benoit’s absence and the strange texts. She was instructed by police to enter the property before they got there, secure the dogs that were running around the yard and check on the Benoits. To her shock, she discovered the bodies and upon fleeing the house she claims to have seen Dave Taylor and his wife Lisa carrying a platter of deli food toward the house.

Of course, this certainly doesn’t mean Dave Taylor was in any way involved in the deaths – having heard the family had been sick and his friend no-showed some dates, it’s likely he was just checking up on them and making sure there was some food in.

The anomaly stems from the fact that this incident was never revisited by the authorities and Dave Taylor has since denied it. In his book Chris & Nancy, wrestling critic Irvin Muchnick was a bit more cynical, suggesting Taylor may have been sent by WWE to lurk around and get the facts early to prevent a PR problem.

It has since been suggested that individuals within WWE may have become aware that Benoit was probably responsible but went ahead with the Tribute Show on the Monday regardless. In his tribute message William Regal was reluctant to comment on Chris, the man, and only referenced his wrestling career. On his podcast Chris Jericho speculated that Regal may have known something.

But remember, knowing what likely went down (or assuming) before it was circulated in the media, is not the same as being involved in the crime itself!

The Wikipedia Entry That Foreshadowed Nancy’s Death

Perhaps the most intriguing mystery surrounding the tragedy is the case of a Wikipedia entry that announced Nancy Benoit’s death some 12 or so hours prior to the police discovering the bodies.

The edit as preserved by Wikipedia’s revision history, occurred at 12:01am EDT following the Vengeance PPV. It reads:

“Chris Benoit was replaced by Johnny Nitro for the ECW Championship match at Vengeance, as Benoit was not there due to personal issues, stemming from the death of his wife Nancy.”

What made this even more suspicious was that the IP address of the user who made the edit was based in Stamford, Connecticut, the same town as WWE’s corporate headquarters.

“I just want to say that it was an incredible coincidence” posted the user later on

He continues: “I had heard about Chris Benoit no showing Vengeance because of a family emergency, and I had heard rumors about why that was. I was reading rumors and speculation about this matter online, and one of them included that his wife may have passed away, and I did the wrong thing by posting it on wikipedia to spite there being no evidence.”

Police traced the IP address to the home of a local teenager and determined the incident was most likely a coincidence. The Associated Press reported:

The Wikipedia poster who flummoxed investigators by announcing the death of wrestler Chris Benoit’s wife before police discovered the murder is a 19-year-old Stamford man and wrestling fan, authorities said. The man, who lives with his parents on the East Side, allowed detectives to take his computer and videotape their interview with him Friday, police said. “He was very cooperative,” said Capt. Richard Conklin, head of the detective bureau. He will not face charges, police said. It appears the posting was a coincidence, just as the man said Friday in an anonymous apology on Wikinews, police in Stamford and Georgia said yesterday.

From what can be pulled from media reports the teenager and his parents did not work for WWE and had no direct connection to the company, the Benoit family or any wrestlers. As fans can attest, the world of online wrestling news is often speculative and it’s quite reasonable to assume that the guy read up about Benoit’s absence from the PPV and either jumped to conclusions or quoted some unsourced speculation. Wiki users have pointed out that the user had a habit of vandalizing pages.

The fact that the edit took place before police found the bodies, rather than the period between discovery and public announcements (when WWE may have found out), suggests it was a coincidence rather than a situation where the teen had early access to information.

To claim he was in on the murders themselves would require additional evidence linking him to the crime scene and the victims, which simply does not exist. It would also be a pretty dumb move to openly let the world know on Wikipedia.

His edit was also incorrect, in that it only mentioned the death of Nancy. It didn’t explain how her death occurred or that Daniel and eventually Chris also died.

Chris Benoit Had Roid Rage

The theory most widely propagated by the mainstream media is that Chris Benoit suffered “roid rage”, an alleged side effect of steroid use that results in bursts of anger. Naturally, the corporate news networks, who already have the tried and tested ratings formula of following the steroid angle in regard to competitive sports, had somewhat of a field day with this notion. They invited on ex-wrestlers to interrogate them on their own steroid use and some outlets even went as far as to speculate that Chris Benoit had been juicing little Daniel because he was small for his age.

Sandra ToffoloniWhile it’s hard to pinpoint where this idea came from, it may have been a simple reporting error, confusing track marks on Chris’ arms with Daniel.

Nancy’s sister Sandra explained in an interview in June, 2013:

“When my sister filed for divorce, we had a legal document created that gave me custody of Daniel if anything happened to Nancy and Chris simultaneously. So when Daniel died, I was his custodian. He did not have track marks on his arms and the District Attorney made a public statement apologizing for the mistake. As his custodian, I obtained his medical records and our lawyer, Rick Decker, made a statement to the public – the only one made – letting them know that that was 100% false information.”

She also confirmed that Daniel Benoit did not suffer from growth problems or Fragile X Syndrome.

“Daniel did not have Fragile X. I have his medical records. He was NOT sick.”

Does Roid Rage Exist?

The idea that Chris Benoit carried out the murders in a fit of “roid rage” is problematic for a number of reasons, not least because medical experts still debate about whether the phenomenon even exists, or if it does exist that it’s solely down to steroids and not preexisting mental disorders or a negative effect of combining them with other substances. There is no reliable scientific data on the matter.

“Anticipation of the aggressiveness related to steroid use may lead to actual violent acts and become, in effect, an excuse for aggression,” write Dr. Yesalis and Michael S. Bahrke, PhD, of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

“Is there a causal relationship between ‘roid rage’ and steroids? I don’t believe so,” he says.

Accounts of what was found in Benoit’s home are also sketchy because the investigators and media often used the catch-all term of “steroids”, rather than the actual substance listed on the packaging. Steroids are not one thing and their individual effects vary.

Regardless of what was or wasn’t discovered, testosterone was the only steroid actually present in his body according to the toxicology report, which means it’s the only substance that can even be considered in a roid rage theory.

Testosterone is a naturally occurring hormone, produced in the male testis. Using it is not necessarily the same as using typical bodybuilder steroids.

“Although testosterone was found in Christopher Benoit’s urine, there is no evidence of any other of the illegal types of steroids, or the whole laundry list of anabolic steroids that are out there to be used,” said the medical examiner. “The presence of the testosterone alone even could be an indicator that he was being treated for testicular insufficiency,” rather than being jacked to the gills. This is a common procedure for older males or former abusers of steroids who can no longer produce it by themselves.

Furthermore while it’s long been believed that testosterone causes male aggression, modern studies show that on its own, elevated levels may not actually be conducive to aggression.

Conclusion: Supraphysiological doses of testosterone, when administered to normal men in a controlled setting, do not increase angry behavior

In fact some data suggests it is often those low in natural testosterone that exhibit anger and replacement therapy alleviates the symptom.

When the men were given testosterone replacement therapy and were asked to complete questionnaires about their moods several times over the course of two months of treatment, their general sense of well-being improved markedly. Their anger and agitation decreased, their sense of optimism and friendliness heightenedNew York Times, 1995.

Furthermore, a 2009 study suggests elevated testosterone levels can result in better thought out and fairer decision making, rather than rash and risky behavior as previously assumed.

New scientific evidence refutes the preconception that testosterone causes aggressive, egocentric, and risky behavior. A study at the Universities of Zurich and Royal Holloway London with more than 120 experimental subjects has shown that the sexual hormone with the poor reputation can encourage fair behaviors if this serves to ensure one’s own statusSceience Daily, 2009.

It’s fair to say the overall picture is inconclusive and there are too many variables to categorically claim roids equal rage without taking in to account other factors. The medical examiner at the time concluded that “Essentially, I think it’s an unanswerable question.”

In Benoit’s case the media overlooked other evidence that actually coming off steroids may cause depression and mood problems, though again this is inconclusive. WWE claimed he was clean of both anabolic steroids and testosterone when tested in the April and toxicology suggests he’d only taken testosterone (not other steroids) before the tragedy. If anything, Benoit was on the least amount of steroids he’d been on in years and we could just as logically argue that this played a role in his poor mental state.

The fact that the crime took place over three days, Nancy was bound, Daniel was sedated and bibles were placed next to their bodies, demonstrates he was in a deranged and depressive state, but with the ability to plan and premeditate – not a fit of rage. A note was later discovered which read “I’m preparing to leave this Earth” – the key word being “preparing” – This was clearly not a burst of rage, but a deeper psychological problem.

Toxicology also found that Benoit’s system contained a combination of Xanax, a powerful psychoactive anti-anxiety, and antidepressant drug, and Hydrocodone, an addictive opiate painkiller, that bears relation to Heroin.

Side effects of Xanax include a loss on inhibitions, memory and concentration problems, drowsiness, and in some people aggression, rage, mania, suicidal thoughts and hallucinations. As weird as it sounds, a very common effect of such medication is more anxiety and depression, especially when you mess with the dosage.

Side effects of Hydrocodone can also include anxiety and changes in mood.

Empty bottles found also suggest alcohol was a factor, though we can’t say for sure because it would have already left the bodies before toxicology was performed.

To conclude, there is a wide range of possible factors that played a role in determining Benoit’s mental state, “roid rage” is only one of them and it’s not even strongly supported by the evidence.

Chris Benoit Had Brain Damage

Tests carried out on Chris Benoit’s deceased brain conclude that he had severe brain damage at the time of his death. Julian Bailes, the head of neurosurgery at West Virginia University summarized that this was comparable to an “85-year-old Alzheimer’s patient” and Benoit had shown clear mental issues in the months before the tragedy.

His degenerated brain tissue could not have been caused by steroid use.

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)

Chris Benoit's brainScience Daily reported in September, 2007, that results showed Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in all four regions of Benoit’s brain.

CTE is caused by repeated head trauma:

According to the examinations, Mr. Benoit’s brain exhibited large amounts of abnormal Tau protein, manifested as Neurofibrillary Tangles (NFTs) and Neuropil Threads [NTs]. These represent aggregates of abnormal Tau protein, which are remnants of the cytoskeleton of the brain cells and their connections. Frequent NFTs and NTs were distributed in all regions of the brain including the neocortex, the limbic cortex, subcortical ganglia and brainstem ganglia accompanied by loss of brain cells. Accumulation of abnormal Tau protein in the form of NFTs and NTs in the brain has been confirmed to cause neurodegeneration, cognitive impairment and dementia.

This expresses itself in memory problems, depression, aggression, erratic and abnormal behavior, and is believed to have contributed to a number of suicides by American football players. Though CTE can only be fully diagnosed after the sufferer has passed away, these symptoms have been observed retroactively after diagnosing a number of deceased professional athletes. As well as Chris Benoit, Andrew “Test” Martin who overdosed on prescription pills in 2009 had CTE, and Mick Foley, Tommy Dreamer, and many others have since discussed their own possible symptoms of memory loss.

Premature Deaths

Among wrestling circles it is suggested that no other profession shows the same rate of premature death of its workers. However the NFL is not that far behind and they are ahead of wrestling in terms of CTE data. More than 20 former NFL veterans have been diagnosed, many who died early, committed suicide or acted abnormally in their latter years.

Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman player Justin Strzelczyk led police on a 40 mile high-speed chase through central New York at speeds up to 100 mph on the wrong side of the highway, which resulted in an explosive crash and his death. He was just 36 years old and had been telling relatives he was hearing voices from “the evil ones”. He also had CTE.

The concept is now so widely known in football circles that when former Chicago Bear Dave Duerson killed himself by gunshot to the chest in 2011, he left a suicide note requesting his brain be examined like his deceased peers.

Concussions Cause Brain Damage

The underlying factor between all those diagnosed with CTE is that they had a history of concussions. Not just one or two, but where it was a regular result of their activity. These concussions were often overlooked and untreated.

Chris Benoit chair shotSuplexes, flying headbutts, and unprotected chair shots to the head were all commonplace in the “Rabid Wolverine’s” stiff matches. This likely contributed to his brain damage. He also displayed a number of strange behaviors prior to the tragedy that could be attributed to CTE, including depression, aggression in the marriage, and taking different routes to the airport – paranoid he was being followed. Nancy’s sister recalled that he would also find “30 different routes to drive to the gym”, so his movements couldn’t be monitored. These are not the actions of a mentally healthy individual.

“I believe he totally blacked out. I also believe that, when he came out of it and realized what he had done, he went out of his mind,” suggested Sandra.

The paper Chronic traumatic encephalopathy in a professional wrestler, by those who studied Benoit’s brain, makes note of a diary that his father Michael made available, which included “numerous references to depression and to memory lapses”.

“It’s plain that he was depressed. It’s plain that he was beginning to exhibit some of the signs of the dementia that’s associated with the brain injuries he sustained because he talks in there about not being able to remember things,” Michael’s lawyer would tell an Atlanta news affiliate.

Chris NowinskiThe tests on Benoit’s brain were backed by independent research foundation the Sports Legacy Institute, whose president is former WWE wrestler and Harvard sociology graduate Chris Nowinski.

The Tough Enough reality show contestant, who debuted as the arrogant “Harvard Chris” character on TV in 2002, didn’t even have a full year on the main roster before he retired of his own accord due to post-concussion symptoms, caused by taking knocks in the ring. Unlike Nowinski, Benoit was of an old school mentality that considered working hurt a badge of honor.

Upon leaving wrestling Nowinksi switched his focus to studying the effects of concussions, first with reference to the NFL and then later his former profession.

He discussed the findings in an interview with Busted Open Radio in 2012:

We incorporated Sports Legacy ten days before the Benoit tragedy. A year prior to that I sat down with Benoit when I was still working for the company for the Smackdown Your Vote campaign, in the locker room in Manchester, New Hampshire and he just started asking me questions about the book. ‘So what are you finding that is happening long term?’ Things like that. He was more interested than any other wrestler which helps me realize that he actually knew there was something wrong with him. He asked me about how many concussions I had and I asked him and he said ‘Well I had more concussions than I can count.’ If you knew Chris, you knew he wouldn’t take a day off for anything … he told me to give him a call.

I remember months later, I was intimidated by him because he was Champion and I was young. I called him and he acted like he didn’t know why I was calling (after he gave me his number). So I thought maybe there was a memory thing or maybe a mood thing going on. So when it happened, knowing how other guys died from this disease had similar falls from grace and knowing what a great guy he was when he was in his prime or when I met him at 35, I knew I had to contact Michael Benoit, his father. So I tracked down Michael Benoit and I said, ‘Listen I’m not telling you an answer, but this may have played a role and we need to find out what the answer is.’ Mike, thank God, agreed and helped put this whole thing in perspective.

Why Did Chris Benoit Murder His Family?

Perhaps the reason why there are so many theories about the Benoit family tragedy is that the possible reasons behind what Chris did are not easy to understand and are somewhat open to interpretation. While the rational amongst us can discount baseless accusations like “Kevin Sullivan the satanist did it”, when we get in to the minutia of toxicology, steroid studies, drug effects, and CTE, things get more complicated. There isn’t a simple answer to help us sleep at night.

Chris BenoitFor the sake of scientific integrity what we cannot do is use emotional cop-outs like “he was evil”, and leave it at that. Likewise attributing hate and anger towards an irrational act like the Benoit tragedy is itself irrational. After all, the fact that he did these horrific things should make it obvious that he was in a defective mental state. You and I cannot possibly comprehend “why” he did what he did, because we are operating in a different reality. The whole point is to understand what caused that mental state.

Although humans like to put events in the context of choice – in fact, the whole legal system is dependent on the concept of free will – scientifically speaking, free will is an illusion of consciousness. You are only free to make decisions based on your environment, your frame of reference and your brain’s physical ability to interpret information. Damage any of these and negative things will happen.

If you’re born into poverty and violence with no positive role model, unless other circumstances somehow present themselves, you’re probably going to become another crime statistic. Your environment and frame of reference severely limit your ability to make positive choices.

A child born with severe autism that experiences love and stability their whole life will still be unable to function in society at the same level as somebody without servere autism. The physical makeup of their brain impedes their ability to interpret information and connect with reality the same way as most of us.

I think it’s highly unlikely that Chris Benoit woke up one morning and simply decided that over the next few days he was going to kill his family. Years of untreated concussions altered his ability to interpret information and make positive choices. This poor mental state was possibly compounded by long-term steroid use and short-term prescription drug use, as well as alcohol. If you factor in a highly stressed work and family environment (WWE’s grueling schedule), a tumultuous marriage and responsibility for a young child, and his constant state of bereavement at the loss of his close friends – the tragedy becomes less surprising.

We’re never going to know exactly all of the factors that played a role, but Benoit wasn’t evil, he was broken. His final actions were the result of a diseased mind in an environment that wasn’t conducive to recovery. Thankfully, unlike the concept of evil – mind and environment are very real things that can be altered for the better.

The Future of Wrestling

That’s why WWE’s slow but sure implementation of concussion monitoring and drug testing is such a positive move, as is the limiting of more dangerous in-ring maneuvers like unprotected chair shots to the head and the offering of free rehab to all current and former contracted talent. As fans, we may still lust for a more violent style of wrestling, but is it really worth it to the detriment of the performers’ long-term health? As much as people like to blame Vince McMahon for treating his circus animals poorly, we encouraged him by paying for his show – now he’s doing the right thing we need to embrace it.

While the company has kept Chris Nowinski at an arm’s length, never publicly accepting their role in the destruction of Benoit’s brain, 2013 marked a major turning point in their relationship. WWE donated $1.2 million to the Sports Legacy Institute to fund further research in to CTE. In the October they received the organization’s Impact Award, for their commitment to solving the concussion epidemic.

The sheer amount of wrestlers that have been taken out of the ring in the past few years due to concussions is as good a sign as any that they’re now taking things seriously.

However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t still progress to be made. Protecting against concussions removes one of the factors that lead to a wrestler’s downward spiral. Testing current performers for drugs and steroids removes another. Offering free rehab to those that were spat out by the machine may pull some veterans out of the spiral. But there is still one factor that hasn’t been addressed.

A Wrestling Off-Season

Bret HartWrestlers only get hooked on alcohol and pain pills because they’re in physical pain or because they’re in emotional pain. They don’t call it the grueling WWE schedule for nothing.

Have you ever gone on vacation, got jet-lag, found it hard to sleep in the hotel bed because it’s unfamiliar, and been absolutely exhausted by time you made it home? WWE wrestlers go through that every single day, while taking damaging bumps in the ring on top of it. They get very little time to fully recuperate or even visit their families. WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart explains on his website:

Traditional sports have an off-season but me and the boys were on the road 300 days a year. As a former WWF (now WWE) champion I travelled the world for 23 years straight, 1978 to 2000, wrestling every night, sometimes more than once, plus promotional appearances and working out. It takes over your life 24/7 and, especially before cellphones and email, no matter how hard I tried, it was impossible not to become distant from my family, my kids. Most, maybe all, the boys suffered the same isolation, and soon strangers became family and family became strangers. Almost all who escaped came back, having no clue how to make it on the outside.

There’s no off season in wrestling, but there’s no reason why there shouldn’t be.

WWE has more than enough talent to cover their current schedule, while giving them an extended break once a year. If it’s done in cycles where only X amount are on a break at any given time, with the top stars never all off together, fans probably won’t even notice. That being said a traditional off season – perhaps at the end of the year – would not destroy their business. They have copious amounts of programming in the archives to show reruns, best ofs, or documentaries for a few weeks. They could even tape content ahead of time, so the viewing audience isn’t interrupted.

A wrestler who has time to fully heal nagging injuries and bond with their family and friends, is a healthy and happy wrestler. While some people will always be depressives and addicts, the removal of this final factor would make it virtually impossible for the same environment to emerge that could create a new Chris Benoit.

Benoit’s Legacy

WWE made the right decision to initially erase Chris Benoit from their product. Over time (and it looks like they’re headed that way) including him in an archival context, while not singling him out, is just part of history. However, I will always be opposed to the idea of celebrating his accomplishments or inducting him into the Hall of Fame. Though we can argue that certain unforeseen factors gave rise to the tragedy and we should embrace scientific understanding of these, praising him in any way will always have an element of glorification and is not fair on the family of Nancy and others who he affected.

There is also an inextricable link between the way Chris Benoit wrestled and the risks he took, and with the deterioration of his brain and the tragedy. Celebrating what made him great is almost condoning what made him a monster.

Daniel BenoitWhat should be put on a pedestal are organizations like the Sports Legacy Institute. Let’s induct Chris Nowinski, concussion experts, and WWE’s doctors into the Hall of Fame. Let’s glorify the lessons learned from the tragedy, not the tragedy itself.

If we can’t do that, then Benoit’s legacy really does go to waste and the innocent lives of Nancy and little Daniel meant nothing.




112 Comments on Chris Benoit Conspiracy Theories Debunked: What Really Happened?

  1. Very good counter article on this issue. Thanks for putting it in perspective.

  2. Wow …

  3. Personal experience around xanax and drugs like alike heroine, they can totally cause you to black out and lose conscience.. In a humans mind, if he believes in god, he believes in good.. But when you are depressed and have many brain issues as Benoit, dosing and bad thoughts can cause you to do terrible things..

    RIP Benoit family..

  4. I may have read bigger steaming piles of sh** before but I sure can’t remember any.

  5. Kenny Fabian // August 24, 2015 at 4:38 am //

    Over years i have been wondering to know from scratch everything that happened on the subject of Benoit. I was a child when it happened and as a fan of him and WWE i was devastated and sad. Thanks for putting all this information toghether.

  6. Dustin Nunn // August 26, 2015 at 11:47 pm //

    If Chris Benoit has been erased from WWE history, then why is he on the WWE Network in the classic pay-per-views unedited, uncut, and uncensored with a parental advisory?

    • Keelan Balderson // August 27, 2015 at 12:12 am //

      This article was originally published on my old site before the WWE Network was launched. And it’s not like they ever really mention Benoit publicly.

      • Actually, they recently added some warnings to any video that includes Benoit

        • Yes and (not that I have it here in the U.K.) I have been informed by customers that you can specifically block his matches under parental controls too, so kids don’t take an interest and look him up; say perhaps online and find out what he did and find out the upsetting details.

    • You can’t search chris benoit on the wwe network to find his matches you got to search something else so chris benoit is dead forever the man and the name r.i.p

  7. paulalovescats // October 26, 2015 at 2:16 am //

    “I’m going to do this thing for a living that will make me hit my head dozens of times. Nothing bad could happen.”

  8. Joe Bates // October 30, 2015 at 6:50 pm //

    I’m going to keep this short and sweet. I still believe to this very day that Kevin Sullivan was responsible for killing Chris Benoit and his family regardless of what this article says and I will happily explain and defend my opinion to whoever questions it.

  9. Hilarious! Damn near all these wrasslers are Scum of the Earth and most wouldn’t give a F if they all dropped dead!

  10. InnDEEEEEEEED // December 3, 2015 at 9:48 am //

    Good piece here

  11. Kenneth J Joyce // January 29, 2016 at 12:23 am //


  12. (Don’t mind my username or profile picture, this is a parody account)
    Great article, but I would like to know your thoughts about the theory that Benoit was killed (not necessarily by Sullivan I mean) then whoever did it made it look like Benoit did it.

    • Keelan Balderson // February 6, 2016 at 3:25 pm //

      To me it’s just one of those pointless ideas that never goes anywhere. If we just assume somebody framed him and made it look like he did it, then is it possible? Sure, it’s possible, but does anybody have any evidence that it DID happen that way? Nope. It’s just speculation, and going by what we know about Benoit’s mental health at the time, the lack of any evidence of an intruder, and the fact that no police or family members of Benoit or Nancy believe any other version of events – I’d say it’s highly unlikely that somebody else killed him.

      For somebody to make such a claim in a credible way, they’d need to have shown some kind of re-investigation or analysis, done some actual leg work, or even found a legitimate motive (no not Satanism). What we actually get is a few people online saying a lot of random bullshit, like Chavo heard an intruder, or there were empty alcohol cans (isn’t that spooky?) Or Sullivan was a Satanist.

      Is it possible somebody killed him? Yes, in the sense that people kill people every day. Has it been proven? Nope. Has anyone shown anything that remotely hints that way? Nope. Is it likely given what we do know?


  13. I will gladly show everyone this article. Thing is, I’m against calling Chris Benoit a monster, Ted Bundy was a monster. Chris Benoit nowhere near, he was the victim of concussions and drugs. I’ll gladly remember Chris Benoit the wrestler. Everyone else may not, but I’m not everyone else.

    • It was all very sad and the fact he had undiagnosed problems that led him to kill his family and himself is terrible, the man and family clearly needed help. But victim of drugs?! Sorry no, he chose them, took them and was an idiot. He acted the fool taking the head- knocks repeatedly and thinking he was indestructible, chose to be a junkie then decided- right frame of mind or not to kill. I never liked him and thought he looked like aggressive, fucked up, junkie scum in even as a child, his eyes told rage and it didn’t look kayfabe, perhaps he was showing signs then but I felt he just a maniac, non of my adult family liked him, he was over- rated and we all said he looks to be in real- life overly aggressive and troubled, a man you cannot reason with. He was a junkie murderer and even I could see that he had issues as a pre- teen and he basically being a sports actor- something shone through to us; and not something good. He liked like a psycho, a maniac, name it what you will. You’re only a victim of drugs if someone else’s actions on drugs effect you or you’re prescribed incorrect drugs by a professional that got it very wrong. It’s your own choice and he made his own choice all the way through. I’m sorry he felt he couldn’t seek help like most would when feeling this way and can’t imagine the despair he was feeling, he clearly was not in the right mind, but I can’t help but feel most would seek help; as his actions were not sudden, they were planned. I know that proves he was sick but all that planning and no shock and run for help after the first murder- seems like mental health played a part and only a part, it was something he wanted. It’s the wife and child I feel worst for, I’m sorry they are even called Benoit in deathas he seemed to treat at least her badly, they shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same name, they didn’t deserve that and he didn’t deserve them. A child and family is a gift many King to have and would treat good. It proves he was bad to at least his wife- the divorce papers, non molestation order as we call it in the uk ((restraining order)) and throwing of furniture etc). The man was dangerous and I can’t help but think the many who turned a blind eye are to blame!

      • Lance Wargo // April 4, 2016 at 8:56 am //

        I’m sorry but I humbly disagree. Chris along with a lot of the wrestlers are constantly involved in high impact collisions that the normal person shouldn’t be subjected to. The drugs helped him, as I’m sure they do with the others, deal with the pain that these athletes endure. I wouldn’t even say it’s by choice because if they weren’t doing pain killers, they were doing drugs or alcohol to cope with it. As far as saying he was a maniac I think your stereotyping the character he portrayed into the act he commited. The Hart family helped trained Chris to become a wrestler and he learned to become a master of his craft. While Benoit didn’t have great microphone skills, at 5’11, Chris wasn’t exactly of great height. His determination made him the great wrestler that he was renowned for. Any wrestler has to do the flashy moves to become noticed. It’s what made Chris stick out. What happened to the family is a tragedy that no one wants to live. But I feel your wrong to be painting this picture is black and white where most of it will be forever stained grey.

      • Diashawn // May 7, 2016 at 4:28 am //

        I’m going to say this and only this: You are wrong and need to learn what facts are, not emotional opinions. It’s comments like yours are dangerous and one of the reasons why we’re having a societal regression.

        • And where exactly are you talking about this societal regression because I’m not American?! But I’m sorry my comments are not dangerous is it he was a dangerous- how can they be because of my exact thoughts and opinion turned out to be bloody correct! He murdered his family, was overly aggressive- including that he divorced multiple times due to being aggressive with his wife at home, many wrestlers thought it was shifty because the fact that he wouldn’t speak and seemed to hide away, he threw people out of the locker room for a ridiculous reasons- he exploded because somebody ate chicken a little close to his bag- not over his bag just near it- he was fucking mental, you could see in his eyes and that stupid grimmance- whether that was caused by injury or not if many could see it in him before he committed this hideous act- sorry but I think my opinion is more correct than most others all along it, he was a mentally ill whether that was due to illness or not, he was overly aggressive and someone should’ve checked him out and sectioned him many years prior, so if I could work that out l, as a child, in England, just from watching him play a character on TV and from a wrestlers true tales-
          Someone wants locking up for not seeing what he was and was turning into, for not preventing what was clear for all to see and all 3 could have been saved and happy- he could have been getting help rather than being worm fodder!

          • Diashawn // May 16, 2016 at 2:12 am //

            Please, link to me about Benoit’s multiple divorces.
            Yes, we all know the story about the Miz eating chicken over someone bag and Benoit kicked him out of the lockerroom, it actually wasn’t Benoit, but a bunch of other guys decided to kick the Miz out. You don’t eat chicken over or near someone bag, stupid as it sound, it was a rule.
            So, lots of people have misjudgments about introverts. However, Benoit had several people he called friend, two of whom are Eddie and Chavo Guerrero. Also, Chris Benoit was a very serious guy when it came to pro wrestling, Lou Thesz ended men careers if they disrespected pro wrestling.

          • The Man // June 26, 2016 at 5:56 pm //

            Stop defending a murderer. You’re looking more and more pathetic everyday.

          • The Man, you’re the biggest pussy ever in any comments section on the internet. You pussy ass bitch go cry to your mommy

          • Matt Batt // January 16, 2018 at 2:59 am //

            man you’re quite the troll. You’re a special kind of asshole. You’re in almost every comment on here.

        • The Man // June 26, 2016 at 5:55 pm //

          And I will say this and only this: You need to stop looking for excuses and accept the facts. It’s comments like youre which are dangerous, dismissing a man’s murderous and psychotic rage using an illness as an excuse. You’re one of the reasons for societal regression. You’re more concerned with defending a wrestler than acknowledging that he was a murderer.

      • Alex Chaplin // July 21, 2016 at 3:11 pm //

        At the end of the day as awful as it is the only people who will EVER know the truth are sadly no longer amongst us, VERY interesting article but something should just be laid to rest.

    • The Man // June 26, 2016 at 5:53 pm //

      Everyone else has a brain and they don’t want to worship a murderer because you’re obsessed with wrestling.

  14. Paulina Ness // March 9, 2016 at 11:35 am //

    After reading this I too believe Chris was either murdered, or forced to murder his own family.

  15. Lance Wargo // April 4, 2016 at 8:47 am //

    I’ve just got back into watching wrestling. Chris Benoit was ultimately what got me into it, with watching him in his WCW days. I loved WCW, but I enjoyed it for Benoit, because he was a master in his craft. He was aggressive, unrelenting, but he was a fair character. Some of the matches he did, especially with him and Dean when he dove off the steel cage in a tag match, are classics. I don’t think it’s fair to completely wipe him out for what he did within the ring for the simple fact that Benoit has trained, coached, and made better his peers from his expertise. And, with everything that happened, Chris’s undiagnosed problems have led to a better curriculum of safety for current and future wrestlers. Do I paint his a martyer? No, but I can understand that repeated knocks on the head that weren’t diagnosed or treated led to irreversible brain damage that led to his family’s death, including his own.

    • The Man // June 26, 2016 at 5:51 pm //

      He is a pathetic murderer and he was erased from history and for good reason.

      • Lance Wargo // June 26, 2016 at 6:26 pm //

        It’s easy to say that with out knowing the whole story.

      • Lance Wargo // June 26, 2016 at 6:38 pm //

        Wow just read the whole response list you had with others. Instead of name calling or criticizing other’s views, you should’ve typed a post expressing your own thoughts. While I don’t agree with your assement, you don’t have to negatively shoot down mine with no facts. I’m not sure if you met some one with brain issues, but let me tell you. It’s not pretty. And Chris Benoit was never properly treated or diagnosed. So just saying he’s a monster or murder is liked saying a person who steals is a thief. Maybe the their needed to support his family or take care of his kid. I’m not naive but judging by everything we know now, the evidence suggest Chris Benoit’s mental stability was caused by the repeated trauma of the moves he did in the ring. He was never treated and probably should’ve quit wrestling. That’s why he WWE has a wellness program to catch athletes and help them

  16. It was actually because of eddie guerrero’s death that they didn’t do the death angle because the next night on raw mr.mcmahon and the entire roster were on stage giving eddie guerrero a 10 bell salute and i think chris should go in the hall of fame because jimmy superfly snuka murdered and is still mentioned and is in the hall of fame

    • Keelan Balderson // April 5, 2016 at 3:24 pm //

      Eddie died in 2005. It was the Benoit situation that caused them to drop the Vince death angle.

    • The case with jimmy snuka actually came to fruition after he was inducted. The murder was in 1983 but the case actually went to a grand jury in 2013. I do think snuka should be expunged from the hof.

    • The Man // June 26, 2016 at 5:50 pm //

      It was the Benoit and possibly Sherri Martel deaths, not Eddie’s.

  17. Benoit was one of the finest performers to have ever performed period.

    • The Man // June 26, 2016 at 5:49 pm //

      And he was a cold-hearted murderer.

      • To call him cold hearte is misguided. The man was clearly sick and mentally ill with severe brain damage. He needed help. He wasn’t cold-hearted. That’s just a cop out thing to say that’s ignoring the bigger picture.

      • Michael C. // October 8, 2016 at 9:54 am //

        Both of you are right. To bad fans cans separate the man from the performer.

      • no, he wasn’t. He had brain damage, just like you do.

  18. You could see he was sick towards the end. I remember thinking something was wrong with his eyes. I would not be opposed to him going into the hall of fame but only if it was okay with the families. He was the guy that picked up the torch from Austin and kept my butt in the seat.

  19. owningu // May 10, 2016 at 5:52 am //

    Coincidence after coincidence after coincidence. You made a piss poor case.

  20. I get that Beniot may have had extenuating circumstances but to me all of these were his own CHOICES. Beniot CHOSE to use steroids. Beniot CHOSE to continue to wrestle even though and this is what I get from this article he knew he may have some brain issues. Beniot CHOSE to not seek help for these issues. Beniot CHOSE to use xanax an anti depressant and CHOSE to use hydrocodone which can tend to be a depressant while it’s implied that he had depression issues. Beniot killed his family point blank to me. I do not sympathize with him because many of his issues were the direct causes of his own CHOICES.

    • Great comment! Well said! I’m sick of Benoit fans making excuses for this horrible crime! Like you said he chose to continue working when he knew he was injured and he chose to take steroids, drugs and alcohol! No one put a gun to his head and forced him to be an addict! He was an adult, not a child, he made his own bed and then had to lay in it! It was tragic yes because of all his concussions and brain damage but at the end of the day, he CHOSE to do that to himself! Just because he was a great wrestler and a fan favorite doesn’t excuse his terrible acts on his wife and son! If he was so depressed, why didn’t he go somewhere and kill himself, why kill his innocent son and wife too? They didn’t deserve that! Benoit is a murderer whether he was in his right mind or not!!!

    • Someone doesn’t get how mental illness works. His choices that made him use those drugs and not get help have nothing to do with it. Most people don’t get help when they’re mentally ill. Which is sad. Would you not have sympathy for someone who killed themselves because they couldn’t get help for depression that made them make that decision caused by imbalanced brain chemistry? No, you’re probably one of those ignorant fools who would deem them selfish because you’re ignorant to the big picture and how mental illness, depression and brain damage can affect people. Chris Benoit was clearly mentally ill and we have proof of severe dementia and probably a slew of other problems that made him lose his mind and kill his family and himself. Brain damage and mental illness like that can make a person do terrible things that they would not have otherwise done if they were healthy. I feel sorry for him and his family. He didn’t choose to suffer from what disorders he may have had, he didn’t choose to have brain damage, he didn’t choose to have dementia and I’m pretty sure he didn’t choose to kill his family based on a rational thought process. People with dementia have been so mentally ill that they have killed themselves, others or other terrible things they would have never done if they didn’t have dementia.

      • I get how mental illnesd works and I understand how dehabilitive dementia is. I took care of a grandparent for years that had dementia and alzheimers. But while yes beniot had mental issues he CHOSE to use drugs that are depressants and can push an already unstable person mentally more. Also people with dementia are agressive I know this first hand but add long-term steroid abuse to that mix which causes spikes to testosterone and that probably added to his agression again this factor was his CHOICE. I believe that had Beniot not used drugs that added to his already unstable state this tragedy would never have happened. Yes I do sympathize a little because his brain injuries were incurred at a time in the wwe where the wwe didn’t look after the health of their wrestlers and little was looked into regarding how serious multiple concussions were long term. The only good thing that came from this tragedy is that the wwe looks after their wrestlers more and is more strict with the wellness program.

    • Benoit didn’t kill his family and i´ll give you 3 points to prove it
      1 – the noiseless kills…people say benoit went in a “Roid 
      Rage”, but instead of going crashing everything and everyone or picking a
      gun and go “bullet blazing” he killed his wife asfixiating her with a 
      extension cord(?!?) after bounding her feet and wrists (?!?!?). Aside 
      that,Nancy was found wrapped and with blood under her head but no blood 
      spot or violence signs were found in the entire house..His son was 
      founded in his room, asfixiated after sedation, WITH A KNIFE UNDER HIS 
      BED and he hanged himself, at least, with a cord of his weight 
      machine…all “silent deaths” but horrible and very well planned for 
      someone´s in rage. 2 – The awkward “i love you” – Sunday, after his 
      friend Chavo received strange SMS from chris and nancy, he called Benoit
      and sayed Benoit sounded sleepy and “groggy”, saying Benoit ended with a
      “forced” I love you…then, chavo phoned again to see if everything was
      really ok ( because Benoit had never said that before) and with some 
      lame excuses and big silent pause, Benoit repeated the “i love you” even
      sounding more forced, like he was really needing help. 3 – All the 
      case itself makes no sense – Benoit was in Rage but he killed his wife 
      in a friday, his son in a Saturday and himself at a sunday, writing SMS 
      and speaking with his friends between the murdering…not raging and 
      nervous but sleepy and groggy. He could easily asfixiate his wife 
      without taping her and surely he didnt need a asset for doing that. His 
      autopsy states he had no alcohol or drug abuse signs and the neighbour 
      that found the bodies stated to the police that the house was a mess, 
      with pills and opened boxes on the floor..First suicide without a suicide note ( a lot of investigators mentioned that as being something really unusual) and no one can state if something 
      was robbed or missing. More strangely, all the cats were closed in one 
      division and the dogs were caged outside but the garage door and the 
      backdoor to the house was open ….so…sorry if that looks to me more 
      like someone else was there and have done it…motive?I dont know… Maybe drug 
      related business or thieves…that would explain why someone that wasn´t 
      paranoid when entering airports, flying or even entering arenas with thousand of peoples became paranoid 
      when driving home

  21. Damien Winters // June 10, 2016 at 2:01 am //

    There is no way he did it if he hung him self then why was he against the machine and why did he exit when the person came maybe someone was following him and stalking him and they were the murderer maybe Benoit needed help and no one could see it and help him and why were there bibles next to every one but him he might of been forced or maybe even framed and this article is leaving things out you should also look at what Visceras wife said when he died and put everything together

    • Keelan Balderson // June 10, 2016 at 12:55 pm //

      Why wouldn’t he be against the machine? People have been known to hang themselves from door handles.

      What person came?

      Viscera died because he was morbidly obese.

  22. John David Stone // June 21, 2016 at 1:22 am //

    No one has explained the multiple alcoholic beverage containers found in the Benoit home, particularly in the basement weight room where Chris was found, but no alcohol was found in any of the Benoit’s toxicology reports. This would indicate that someone else was in the Benoit home at the time of the tragedy. The elaborate method of Chris’ alleged suicide is illogical to say the least.

    • Keelan Balderson // June 21, 2016 at 1:56 am //

      Alcohol leaves the body quickly and would not necessarily show up in the toxicology report.

    • The Man // June 26, 2016 at 5:47 pm //

      So you really believe that someone broke into the house, killed the family, drank beer and left the cans in the house? This is stupid on so many reasons, especially when you consider they could get fingerprints and DNA from it. So know Benoit murdered his family.

      • No, it means someone was inside the house drinking with him.

      • Ted Bates // March 24, 2017 at 7:39 am //

        They left them there to implicate Chris. Idiot.

        • James Stanger // April 17, 2017 at 1:54 am //

          What? Those cans would have had the “muderers” prints on them the only people these fictional killers would have implicated would be the fictional killers.

          Maybe I’m wrong and it’s something more rational like Bruce Dickinson with a black panther on a chain.


    • OptimusHerb // August 26, 2016 at 8:57 am //

      The bodies weren’t tested for alcohol; it doesn’t say anywhere the beer cans weren’t tested for fingerprints or DNA.

    • Leon Nick Perkins // September 26, 2016 at 7:54 pm //

      That’s right. I just still cant see him doing all that. Nancys sister did say chris was paranoid and was acting like someone was after him. I think he was in some kind of trouble, and those people kolled him and the family. Tried to make it look like he did it. The scuffle chavo heard in the background, then someone then put bibles near the bodies. Then the text messages was so someone could come find them dead. Why would chris place a bible by his body if he knew he was going to die in that exact spot? ?

  23. Retro Edge // June 26, 2016 at 1:59 am //

    I was always a “Fan” of the Kevin Sullivan Theory, i always had this “feeling” that there is more, this is too strange and mystical but after reading your whole text, it now feels for me that is was really Chris himself.

    It feels for me that “something” happened between him and Nancy on Saturday. A disagreement, a outburst of rage and then… he “accidentally” kills her. Not intended, accidentally.

    After it happen, he didn’t know what to do, told Chavo that he takes another flight and that he loves Chavo. Seems like he was upset. It reads like that phone calls were just after it happened.
    He didn’t know what to do, was thinking and thinking and thinking. Excuse after excuse to Chavo on the phone why he comes later to the Town where the PPV is and just don’t know what to do next.
    He hides it to his Son the whole evening and still thinks what he should do….. and then in a sleepless Sunday Night he does the poor decision that there is no other way as going into the bedroom of his Son, using the pillow to take his life too.
    After reading his SMS messages, it seems to me that this is now the point where he wrote them.

    Even more emotional upset, running around in his house, knowing what he did and that he already decided to take his own life next, he wrote the Address and some weird quick phrases to Chavo, because in that emotional situation, you can’t write more than just a few words and send them quick without thinking about it and then, he completed his suicide.

    It makes all perfectly sense to me now, how the last 2 Days of Chris and his Family were and what happened to which time.

    Thank you very much for this Article.

    • Wild Bill // June 27, 2016 at 3:26 am //

      Returning to Wrestling on the 9th Anniversary of Benoits Death Shows Kevin Sullivan Is Begging To Be Linked To This For An Ego Stroke If Nothing Else.

      I Thought it Was In Poor Taste On ROH’s Part IMO

      • OptimusHerb // August 26, 2016 at 9:03 am //

        Soooo….should he not work on the day his ex wife was murdered?

        I’m sure he works when he can get it, and doesn’t pick and choose INDY dates based on the anniversary of his ex wife’s murder.

        On top of that, a large segment of the American population, including yours truly, prefer working immediately following traumatic events, and/or anniversaries: it’s therapeutic. It keeps the mind and body busy, so you don’t sit and sulk and feel horrible.

  24. Wild Bill // June 27, 2016 at 3:23 am //

    But Why The Multiple texts to 2 different guys wanting them to discover the bodies?

    to me if its benoit i’d want to say a real goodbye to someone not just a text.
    This Seems More To Me Like Someone Wanting Them To Be Discovered .

    What if Saturday Benoit was being held against his will threatening to kill his family and that is sounded off . the reason for the distinct “i love you chavo” moment as if something was wrong .

    • Michael C. // October 8, 2016 at 9:49 am //

      He sent it to more than 2 people. Chavo and Armstrong were just the only two listed.

    • Paul Chach Mcarthy // October 31, 2016 at 6:47 pm //

      Look up something called “targeted individuals” Chris was one. You’ll see the way he acted that night is 100% consistent with the way targeted individuals act after years of targeting.

  25. Like others have said, no one will ever truly know what really happened. It’s very sad, there’s no denying that, but there are some parts to this article and comments that bother me.

    As far as the church of Satan, the whole “we don’t actually believe in a *real* Satan” is part of their MO. That’s said in order to allow potential members to let their guard down and think it’s no big deal. As they become more involved, they find out just how real Satan is. It’s the same deal with Freemasonry, by the way.

    Which brings me to Kevin Sullivan and yes, he is very much into Satanism. It doesn’t mean he’s an idiot, however. Often times, it’s foolhardy immature persons that broadcast their belief in Satanism or even the occult. Most members of these practices do keep it to themselves, especially those in high ranking positions. You won’t see or hear Vince bragging about his Freemason ties anytime soon, but it doesn’t mean he’s not a part if it. The WWE has a very dark, hidden side to it and there are plenty of shady happenings that go on. Feel free to ask the “cream team” for a few examples of what they had to endure. Anyway, research into wresting’s history will show there has always been occultism and Satanic groups within the companies. Their beliefs include holding grudges and getting revenge on those they feel wronged them in some way. Also, a study into occult ritual deaths shows that stacks of Bibles are placed along the bodies of victims as a way to mock them after death. As to say “where was your God while we were doing this to you.” Chris Benoit was a Christian and as he and Nancy were falling for each other, he converted her. Pretty sure his faith wasn’t a secret either. This isn’t to say he was without flaws though. There were some events going on behind scenes that caused him a lot of concern and some said he was becoming paranoid.

    Having questions and sharing opinions doesn’t equal ‘worshiping’ Chris Benoit, as a certain person here would claim. It means there are way too many holes and bizarre issues in this case to draw a conclusion that Benoit is 100% guilty. The investigation was sloppy and poorly performed, possibly on purpose. The cans of beer *should* have been tested for DNA and fingerprints but they weren’t. Odd, considering murder was suspected. Police claimed it was Benoit who was drinking them. Ok, then where is the evidence proving it? The computer messages that were sent from Benoit’s home were indeed sent from his home, despite the investigator’s attempts to debunk it and label it a misunderstanding. No, it was not. They were from his home and occurred after Chris, Nancy and their son were gone. So, if they couldn’t possibly send them, then who did? In all likelihood, they just wanted to sweep the case under the rug. A REAL investigation should have been done by a competent team of investigators.

    • OptimusHerb // August 26, 2016 at 8:48 am //

      Saying the WWE has a dark side, then absolving Benoit of said dark side because he’s Christian, is self defeating.

      Satan worshippers don’t worship Satan, they worship themselves. The idea of any deity blasphemous; the “worship of Satan” is worshipping themselves, and rejecting God. You are your own God, and you live by the rules you set, not ones imposed by various religions.

      How exactly do you know the beer cans weren’t tested for DNA or fingerprints? Did you interview the detectives? Because the article says their bodies weren’t tested for alcohol; it doesn’t say the beer cans weren’t tested for fingerprints and dna. Perhaps they concluded Chris drank the beers because his fingerprints and DNA were on it.

      How are you aware of Kevin Sullivan’s participation of the church of Satan, exactly? Are you friends with Kevin and/or the church? Or did you hear something from somebody who knows somebody who knows the brother of the old mailman who delivered to their parents house?

      Chris may have been Christian; taking another mans wife is extremely unchristian, so we can question his dedication to his Christianity when he takes another mans wife.

      Messages were sent via text and email on three separate days; its pretty accepted (I realize it’s not lockdown 100% absolute fact) that they died on three separate days; Nancy Friday, Daniel Saturday, and Chris on Sunday. How can you claim the messages were sent after they had died, when there’s not an official time of death?

      There are NUMEROUS examples online of Chris being quite the asshole backstage, WAY more than Sullivan ever was. Ask Miz.

      You complain about a lack of an investigation, then spout sentence fragments of rumors you might think could possibly true. Where is your proof on anything you’ve said?

      I’ll source ALL of my information, if you can source 1/4 of your claims.

  26. Michael Mosgrove // September 10, 2016 at 3:02 pm //

    the whole thing is sad. all 3 of them. i had met him maybe 5 years before it happened. seemed like a nice enough guy.

  27. This article was definitely intriguing. I’m coming off of this article feeling that, and I understand that there will be a few people who will disagree with me, it wasn’t really his fault. It was really a mixture of many different factors that caused him to become mentally unstable. I know from personal issues how mental diseases work, and unfortunately it can lead you to do things that you wouldn’t normally do. Now it is true that this could have been avoided if Chris hadn’t wrestled as long as he did, but the author is right. We DID encourage the type of stunts that they did on the program. Sure violent wrestling is something that in my opinion is cool to see, but there are major health issues that do surround that type of violence. Even though there are people like me who celebrate Chris Benoit’s wrestling career with light, there really is no way that he can be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame because of this horrible tragedy. I think since they added that Warrior Award, they should induct Chris Nowinski for his research on the CTE epidemic that’s happened with professional athletes. I may not like the PG Era as much as the next guy, but hey if it’s better for wrestler’s health I guess I just have to accept it.

    • Paul Chach Mcarthy // October 31, 2016 at 6:44 pm //

      It certainly wasn’t his fault. No more than it is the faults of any of the school/mall shooters that are coming out of the woodwork now. Those shooters, like Benoit, were all directly controlled and mind manipulated into acting out.

  28. Michael C. // October 8, 2016 at 10:05 am //

    Everyone can talk concussions and brain damage all they want but I strongly personally believe it was the combination of Xanax and alcohol that led to him committing the first murder. Why no one makes this connection is beyond me.

  29. “no other profession shows the same rate of premature death of its workers. ”

    Musicians and actors sure seem to die young a lot. Look up the 27 club for a LOT of examples.

  30. Paul Chach Mcarthy // October 31, 2016 at 6:42 pm //

    Chris Benoit’s tragic end is the outcome of years of being a targeted individual. Everything he did, his behaviour, the paranoia, the rage outburst, the murders etc, is all 100% consistent with the M.O of being a targeted individual. A T.I’ is like a Manchurian candidate. Chris will have been targeted for decades, possibly even his entire life. Eventually, you are manipulated into “acting out”, in this case, the poor guy killed his family. In some cases, they take up mall/school shootings… and so on. The same thing that happened at Sandy Hook. It’s interesting to note a supposed occultist was involved in his, because the people who employ this system of control upon the world are very deeply into occult/sun/saturn worship. In fact it’s been theorised that Vince’s whole show is nothing but some sot of symbolic occult ritual used to traumatise and get young minds addicted to violence.

  31. SmoothJitsu253 // November 4, 2016 at 2:15 am //

    “Celebrating what made him great is almost condoning what made him a monster.”

    See i don’t agree with this because back in the day when he wrestled, you (when i say you i say people in general) cheered him and you always wanted him to do more. He got over doing risky things and we didn’t care we just cheered, so instead of doing other things he continued to do unsafe things in the name of our entertainment, so no i 100% do not agree with that statement.
    Because let’s be real here, Brain Damage is the most likely cause of what he did.
    And i think we can say this horrible incident saved the life of mny wrestler that came after him, including everyone’s favourite goat Daniel Bryan.

  32. Rest Peace // November 25, 2016 at 1:32 am //

    .i think Benoit didnt do it and i´ll give you 3 points that make me
    believe it. 1 – the noiseless kills…people say benoit went in a “Roid
    Rage”, but instead of going crashing everything and everyone or picking a
    gun and go “bullet blazing” he killed his wife asfixiating her with a
    extension cord(?!?) after bounding her feet and wrists (?!?!?). Aside
    that,Nancy was found wrapped and with blood under her head but no blood
    spot or violence signs were found in the entire house.His son was
    founded in his room, asfixiated after sedation, WITH A KNIFE UNDER HIS
    BED and he hanged himself, at least, with a cord of his weight
    machine…all “silent deaths” but horrible and very well planned for
    someone´s in rage. 2 – The awkward “i love you” – Sunday, after his
    friend Chavo received strange SMS from chris and nancy, he called Benoit
    and sayed Benoit sounded sleepy and “groggy”, saying Benoit ended with a
    “forced” I love you…then, chavo phoned again to see if everything was
    really ok ( because Benoit had ever sayed that before) and with some
    lame excuses and big silent pause, Benoit repeated the “i love you” even
    sounding more forced, like he was really needing help. 3 – All the
    case itself makes no sense – Benoit was in Rage but he killed his wife
    in a friday, his son in a Saturday and himself at a sunday, writing SMS
    and speaking with his friends between the murdering…not raging and
    nervous but sleepy and groggy. He could easily asfixiate his wife
    without taping her and surely he didnt need a asset for doing that. His
    autopsy states he had no alcohol or drug abuse signs and the neighbour
    that found the bodies stated to the police that the house was a mess,
    with pills and opened boxes on the floor.First suicide without a suicide note ( a lot of investigators mentioned that as being something really unusual) and no one can state if something
    was robbed or missing. More strangely, all the cats were closed in one
    division and the dogs were caged outside but the garage door and the
    backdoor to the house was open ….so…sorry if that looks to me more
    like someone else was there and have done it…motive?I dont know… Maybe drug
    related business or thieves…that would explain why someone that wasn´t
    paranoid when entering airports, flying or even entering arenas with thousand of peoples became paranoid
    when driving home

    • Damien Winters // January 29, 2017 at 1:44 am //

      There is a lot of strange things about it i read that Viscaras wife said that she new things about WWE that was bad and that they did not care about there employes at all its wierd chavos said Benoit let the people in.

  33. so ppl like george bush have airports named after them, james dean have commemorative items named after them, but benoit doesnt deserve hall of fame or any mention? He was a talented guy and deserves credit. You yourself admit the whole incident is vague and murky yet are quick to lay blame on benoit as the guilty party and qucik to dismiss all the prior accomplishment and talents. That alone reeks of a hidden agenda to deman his legacy as a personal vendetta, like a shill for the WWE trying to cover something up………………

  34. Ted Bates // March 24, 2017 at 7:30 am //

    None of this debunks anything. Bullshit fake news click bait headline. Shame on you.

    • slicer conn // May 14, 2017 at 10:47 pm //

      i agree. There is no proof to debunk anything. All this article does is gives a opinion.

  35. Jerry Q // July 4, 2017 at 12:39 am //

    I agreed with everything except the idea of denying the celebration of his wrestling accomplishments. He lived for this business. Fuck out of here

  36. Matt Batt // January 16, 2018 at 3:04 am //

    The Man sure is a bitch. He talks trash on everyones comment.

  37. vainamoinen leisti // April 18, 2018 at 10:04 pm //

    so according to the above article, Kevin Sullivan isn’t even a Satanist at all (in his own words an irish catholic) then you use a rule from the Satanic Bible about not harming children…so why would an irish catholic care about breaking a rule in the Satanic Bible? If you are gonna debunk things, please don’t shoot your own argument in the kneecap.

  38. I'm the nra // June 10, 2018 at 2:43 am //

    Interesting read now 11 years later. I can understand wwe wanting to distance themselves from Benoit, but I think it’s time to recognize him by small steps. Benoit was a unique athlete, known worldwide prior to stepping into the wee. Great, technical matches with Malenko, Mysterio, Liger. ECW, wcw. His winning the title at WM in the triple threat was a classic match.
    I’m not condoning his final actions, but as an in ring performer and strictly that alone you recognize him. Anything with him you asterisk with a disclosure of some kind.

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