Pro Wrestler Killed Wife & Son, Then Hanged Self

Associated Press
Wednesday, June 27, 2007

FAYETTEVILLE, Ga., June 26 -- Pro wrestler Chris Benoit strangled his wife, suffocated his 7-year-old son and placed a Bible next to their bodies before hanging himself with a weight-machine pulley, authorities said Tuesday.

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

Authorities offered no motive for the killings, which were spread out over a weekend, and would not discuss Benoit's state of mind. No suicide note was found.

"I'm baffled about why anybody would kill a 7-year-old," District Attorney Scott Ballard said.

The Montreal-born Benoit, 40, was one of the stars of the WWE wrestling circuit and was known for his wholesome family-man image. His wife, Nancy, was a wrestling stage manager who worked under the name "Woman." They were married in 2000.

Nancy Benoit had filed for a divorce in 2003, saying the couple's three-year marriage was irrevocably broken and alleging "cruel treatment."

She later dropped the complaint, as well as a request for a restraining order in which she charged that the 5-foot-10-inch, 220-pound Benoit had threatened her and had broken furniture in their home.

The bodies were found Monday afternoon in the house, situated off a gravel road in this suburb about 20 miles south of Atlanta.

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