The Benoit story made the pages (and the top right cover with the caption “Wrestler Chris Benoit’s Shocking Murder-Suicide”) of this weeks People Magazine (July 9, 2007 pages 54-57)
“Wrestling’s murder suicide” is the title of the story with a full page picture of Benoit sitting by a wrestling ring and the caption of “we’re real people outside of the ring,” Benoit told a London interviewer last March. He also spoke of “burnout” on the job. “You’re on the road so long. Sometimes you just need to step out of it to get refreshed.”
Page 55 Caption (along with picture of Chris & Nancy used many times on CNN with Benoit having a black eye) “What cause WWE Champ Chris Benoit to kill his wife and 7-year-old son and hang himself at his home gym?”
First paragraph: “Of all the bad-guy scenarios played out in professional wrestling, nothing could match the horrific final hours of Chris Benoit. According to police, the popular gladiator known as Rabid Wolverine subdued his wife, Nancy, 43, on the wooden floor of their home office in suburban Atlanta June 22, tied her wrists and feet together, wrapped her in a blanked and strangled her with a cord. Hours later he strangled their 7-year-old son, Daniel, face-down on the boy’s bed.”
“Then, according to authorities, he went to the basement exercise room, looped a cable from a weight machine around his neck and, with a nearly empty bottle of wine at his feet, dropped a stack of weights and strangled himself.”
“Court papers suggest that Benoit, ferocious in the ring, could also be violent at home.”
“Stanley W. Levitt, an Atlanta attorney who represented the Montreal-born Benoit in the divorce action, notes that Nancy dropped her petition three months after filing. “Chris was very much in love with his wife3 and they wanted to get back together,” Levitt says. “The Chris I knew was a kind, gentle and compassionate person.”
“He was definitely one of the more popular wrestling in the company, both amongst the wrestlers themselves and with the fans,” says Phil Low, editor of the wrestling Web site Wrestlemag.com.
“Jimmy Baswell, Benoit’s driver – who last talked to Chris June 17 – says the wrestler adored his son. “When we were at their house, he would always let Daniel walk around with championship belts, running around and saying “I beat my daddy and I’m the new champion of the world’â<80>¦He carried that boy on a pedestal.”
Ballard “Our thought is, somebody had been giving the boy growth hormones for some time, because there were not fresh needle marks.”
“People tend to connect to the characters they see on TV and think they know who they are” says lifelong wrestling fan Shannon Scott, 23, of Radford, VA. “But we don’t.”
There is also a box on page 56 with the caption COULD IT BE STEROIDS?