By Raj Giri | June 25, 2007
WWE made several attempts to contact Benoit via phone and text messages, as well as, the local hospitals in the Atlanta area. As of 11:00 pm Sunday night no contact was made with Benoit. On Monday at around 12:30 PM, WWE was notified of text messages sent to the two co-workers. Concerns over the messages were sent to WWE representative Richard Hering at 12:45 PM, who contacted the Fayetteville County Sheriff’s office and requested them to go to Benoit’s residence. Regarding the messages, D.A. Ballard said that the "assumption is that that was an effort to try to get somebody to come find the bodies after the suicide. That is our assumption."
Benoit’s only prior arrest was for a DUI in the past, but there were no calls to his current residence for domestic abuse. However, a report from the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution states that Nancy Benoit filed for divorce in May 2003 and cited domestic abuse in her court filings. According to the report, she got a restraining order on May 12, 2003 against Chris Benoit. In the divorce petition, Nancy Benoit alleged that Chris Benoit, "lost his temper and threatened to strike the petitioner and cause extensive damage to the home and personal belongings of the parties, including furniture and furnishings. Petitioner is in reasonable fear for petitioner's own safety and that of the minor child." However, on August 19, 2003, Nancy Benoit filed to dismiss the divorce petition and the restraining order. Other than the separation for those three months in 2003, Chris and Nancy lived together since 1997. The couple had married in 2000.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported that Chris Benoit took out a new life insurance policy, which listed his ex-wife and oldest child David, 14, and Megan, 10, as the beneficiaries. Nancy apparently confronted Chris about it and he refused to change it. Nancy also found out that Chris Benoit set up a new bank account in the name of his ex-wife in Edmonton.
Reports are suggesting that people noticed Chris Benoit become a different person after Eddie Guerrero passed away. His wife Nancy was telling her friends that Chris Benoit’s drug usage escalated badly after Eddie Guerrero died.
After the death of neighbor Mike Durham (Johnny Grudge) and Victor “Black Cat” Mar, Chris Benoit became worse. Benoit was considered to be Victor Mar’s best friend during his time in Japan and Benoit refused to attend Durham’s funeral, saying he never wanted to return to church and hated religion. A WWE source said Nancy was a described as a basket case on Thursday, which was a day before reports suggest Benoit killed her. Nancy was upset over the recent passing of her friend, Sherri Martel. Shane Helms also said that Chris Benoit called him on Thursday to check up on how he is keeping as Helms is recovering from a neck surgery.
As of Monday night, June 25th, WWE removed all Chris Benoit merchandise from their website, as well as removing. They also removed the 'I Did It' T-Shirts, which were associated with the Vince McMahon death storyline. On Tuesday, they began removing articles and galleries associated with Chris Benoit, replacing them with promotional articles. They also removed their tribute to Benoit late this morning. Benoit's profile on the ECW website section has been removed as well. At the Smackdown tapings that Tuesday night, any signs in reference to Benoit were confiscated. However, their press release about the tragedy remains on the home page of their website.
WWE officials in Corpus Christi were informed of the deaths at 4:00 p.m on Monday. WWE then held a meeting with wrestlers and talent, informing them of the deaths. WWE scrapped it's plans for Raw that night and made it a tribute to Chris Benoit and his family. Fans were sent home. Wrestlers were also allowed to leave and mourn.
WWE had released the following statement Monday night after learning of the deaths: "Chris was beloved among his fellow Superstars, and was a favorite among WWE fans for his unbelievable athleticism and wrestling ability. He always took great pride in his performance, and always showed respect for the business he loved, for his peers and towards his fans. This is a terrible tragedy and an unbearable loss. WWE extends its sincere condolences and prayers to the Benoit family and loved ones in this time of tragedy."
We here at WrestlingInc.com would like to offer our condolences to all those affected by this tragedy.
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