Chris Benoit and family found dead
By Raj Giri | June 25, 2007
In a press conference the day after the bodies were found, Fayette County Sheriff Lt. Tommy Pope said that Benoit killed his wife on Friday, his son Daniel the next day, then hanged himself either late Saturday night or early Sunday from the pulley of a piece of exercise equipment. Benoit used weights, the pulley, and a cable to choke himself to death in his basement weight room.
Toxicology reports can take up to several weeks to obtain. Pope said they found all three bodies in the home mid-afternoon around 4:00 PM after a call from Richard Hering of WWE to check on them. “Double Homicide Suicide” is the official ruling. Asphyxiation (killing by depriving of oxygen) is the official ruling for Benoit’s wife and son deaths. There was no suicide note found.
Several hours passed, no more than a day, between the son's death and Benoit's. The wife's body was found in the office area, Daniel in his bedroom, and Benoit in the basement home gym. He estimates close to a full day between the killings of his wife and son. The doctor from the crime lab estimates Nancy died some time on Friday. The decomposition of the bodies was staggered enough for them to determine the staggered times of deaths. District Attorney Scott Ballard stated that a Bible was placed near each murder victim. There was no bible found near Chris Benoit's body, however. He also said that ten empty beer cans were found in the Benoit home on Monday as well as an empty bottle of wine where Chris hanged himself.
Benoit tied Nancy's hands and feet and she was wrapped in a towel. Blood was found near Nancy's body and on her face. There was no evidence of Nancy resisting. District Attorney Scott Ballard told ABC News in an interview after the press conference that "the medical examiner found bruising on the small of her back and bruising on the front of her body consistent with being crushed up against the floor". Benoit made no attempt to hide the bodies.
"A lot of prescription medication" was found at the crime scene that was believed to be legal prescriptions, according to Lt. Pope. Anabolic steroids were also found, however those are believed to be prescribed as well. The media has really focused on the steroid aspect of the story, with most media articles speculating that the deaths may have been due to a case of “roid rage”. WWE responded to the stories by issuing a press release where they said they were "concerned with the sensationalistic reporting and speculation being undertaken by some members of the media" and made mention that all the drugs found in the house were believed to be legal prescriptions, that there is no factual basis to speculate on Benoit’s state of mind and that the act was deliberate, which would not indicate rage. They also adding that Benoit tested negative April 10, the last time he was tested for drugs.
However, CNN reported that an official who is part of the investigation said that Benoit's name was on receipts that indicated he had purchased shipments of anabolic steroids and human growth hormones from Signature Pharmacy, an Orlando, Florida, facility that is at the center of a nationwide investigation into the sale of illegal steroids.
Federal drug enforcement investigators raided the office of Benoit's doctor, Phil Astin. Dr. Astin, told the Associated Press on Wednesday that he met with Benoit that Friday (the day Nancy was killed) and previously had prescribed him testosterone to boost levels of the hormone that were in decline — probably caused by prior steroid use. Chris Benoit was hooked up with Dr. Phil Astin of Carrollton, GA through his friend Mike Durham (Johnny Grunge). As we all know by now, Grunge passed away several years back. Less than 24 hours later, the Drug Enforcement Administration raided Astin's office, focusing on whether Benoit's medical records showed he was prescribed steroids, and if so, whether the prescription was necessary, a law enforcement source told the AP. A DEA spokesman said no arrests were made. Calls to Astin's office went unanswered, and Fayette County Dist. Atty. Scott Ballard could not be reached for comment.