A month ago, Mike Graham tragically committed suicide by means of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, (just like his father Eddie and son Steven before him) in what has to be the saddest wrestling news story of the year.
His autopsy and toxicology reports, released earlier today (Nov. 20) and published in The Tampa Tribune, revealed another heartbreaking twist to the tale; he was heavily intoxicated at the time of his death:
"Former professional wrestler Mike Graham was intoxicated when he used a .22-caliber revolver to fatally shoot himself in the left forehead, according to autopsy and toxicology reports.
"The autopsy by the Volusia County medical examiner's office confirmed reports by the Daytona Beach Police Department that Graham committed suicide Oct. 18 at age 61...
"According to the toxicology report, Graham's blood-alcohol concentration was at 0.259, more than three times the level at which a driver in Florida is considered impaired (0.08)."
This would be evidence that Mike probably succumbed to the same personal demon of alcoholism his father suffered from, after his son shot himself to death on Dec. 15th, 2010. Which is unsurprising, as according to his widow Diane Marie Hamilton at his funeral, in the last months of his life he had grown to believe he must have been a terrible son to Eddie and a lousy father to Steven for them both to have committed suicide, and he felt so personally responsible that he started feeling guilty he hadn't killed himself, too.
Hamilton was also quoted in the police report itself stating Mike, "had threatened to commit suicide frequently ever since (his) son committed suicide two years prior, during Biketoberfest." Clearly, Mike was still suffering from grief-induced depression resulting from the loss of his son. That factor, combined with alcohol, and being at the same event his son's death occurred at, proved to be a toxic combination for him.
As I said before Cagesiders, when this incident happened, please get help if any of you ever have suicidal thoughts, and don't let your family and friends have to unnecessarily go through the pain of losing a loved one.
Editor's Note: Seriously, with the Holidays around the corner (statistically the most prevalent time for people to succumb to thoughts of suicide) we want to stress to you all that when you are deep in the midst of depression, your mind can play tricks on you, leading you to actually believe those who love you and know you, would all somehow be better off without you. Please, don't believe it, it is NOT true. If you are contemplating suicide, or know someone who is, there ARE people waiting to help you find the resources and support you need to get past this and find a way to see hope again:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - Suicide Prevention Crisis (www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/)
Our condolences go out to the family and friends of the late Michael Gossett, better known as Mike Graham in the wrestling universe.
Rest in Peace:
Mike 'Graham' Gossett
September 22, 1951 - October 19, 2012