Rage beyond the mat

Steroid abuse link probed in bizarre murder-suicide

Wed, June 27, 2007


EDMONTON -- Chris Benoit strangled his wife, smothered his seven-year-old son and put a Bible next to their bodies before hanging himself from a weight machine in the family's suburban Atlanta home, authorities said.

A law enforcement official also said authorities are looking into whether steroid use might have been a factor in the murder-suicide.

Investigators found anabolic steroids in the house and want to know whether the muscle man, nicknamed "The Canadian Crippler," was unhinged by the bodybuilding drugs, which can cause paranoia, depression and explosive outbursts known as ' 'roid rage.'


Authorities also revealed the killings were spread out over the weekend, with Benoit, 40, remaining in the home with the corpses for as long as a day before killing himself.

Nancy Benoit, 43, was killed Friday in an upstairs family room, her wrists and feet bound, and blood under her head, Fayette County District Attorney Scott Ballard said.

Daniel, 7, was likely killed a short time later, his body found in his bed, said Ballard.

Benoit's body was found in a downstairs weight room, hanging from the pulley of a piece of exercise equipment.

All three bodies were discovered Monday. World Wrestling Entertainment said on its website it asked local police to check on the family after friends received several "curious text messages" from Benoit early Sunday.


Authorities say they're confident the deaths are the result of a murder-suicide.

Yesterday, WWE Canada president Carl DeMarco was among mourners offering condolences to Benoit's surviving family at their home near Sherwood Park, Alta., a source close to the family told Sun Media.

DeMarco flew out from Toronto late Monday and visited the family yesterday.

Benoit's father Michael Benoit was stoic when reached by phone, vowing the family would cope.

"We'll be fine ... We'll make it."

Benoit also leaves two children from a previous marriage -- David, 14, and Megan, 10, who live in Alberta.

Benoit was born in Montreal but grew up in Edmonton, graduating from Archbishop O'Leary Catholic high school in 1985.

Known as "The Canadian Crippler," he trained under Calgary's Stu Hart in Stampede Wrestling.

He held several titles over his career, but realized his dream at Wrestlemania 20 in 2004, when he won the WWE world heavyweight championship.

According to U.S. media reports, Chris and Nancy Benoit's marriage went through some rocky patches.

The pair married in 2000. Nancy managed several wrestlers and went by the ring name "Woman."

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Nancy Benoit petitioned for protection against domestic abuse as part of a 2003 divorce filing, describing her husband as "threatening."

A judge granted a restraining order in May 2003, but both were dismissed three months later on Nancy Benoit's request.