Photo via Wikimedia Commons
One of the industry's darkest days occurred on this date in pro wrestling history (June 25, 2007), as police entered the home of Chris Benoit and discovered his body, along with the bodies of his wife and son, Nancy and Daniel.
News was sparse initially, other than police locking down the house and declaring it "a major crime scene." World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) was scheduled to run an episode of Monday Night Raw later in the evening revolving around the storyline death of Vince McMahon that had occurred a few weeks prior. This show was cancelled and a Benoit tribute video was aired in its place.
That was before all the facts came out, however. The truth of the situation was far more horrifying than anyone could imagine.
It was learned not long after that Benoit had murdered his wife on June 22. She was bound and wrapped in a towel with her death coming by way of strangulation. Chris reportedly pressed a knee into her back while pulling a cord around her neck.
Later, Daniel was murdered and discovered with internal throat injuries consistent with that of a choke hold, possibly the Crippler Crossface. Reports would later show that he was sedated and likely unconscious at the time of his murder.
After placing a bible next to his murdered wife and son, Benoit then used a weight machine to hang himself.
It is unknown what caused this horrific tragedy. Many were quick to blame steroid use while others blamed a long history of abusing his body while working in pro wrestling. Repeated concussions that went untreated or were treated improperly led to significant damage to Benoit's brain, which was later tested and found to be similar to that of an 85-year-old Alzheimer's patient. He also suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). The doctor who examined his brain theorized that repeated concussions could lead to dementia, which could have explaind his behavior.
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