WWE News: Press Conference on Benoit - Nancy tied up, Bibles placed next to bodies
By Wade Keller, Torch editor
Jun 26, 2007, 14:35
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-Shepherd Smith on Fox News, when introducing the press conference, referred to Chris Benoit as "this Chris Benoit character," ran down the ways each died, and said now steroids are suspected as having triggered his actions.
-Lt. Pope said after a call for a "welfare check" prompted by WWE, they found all three bodies in the home mid-afternoon. He said autopsies have been performed and it is being considered a homicide-homicide-suicide. They said he murdered his wife by affixiation as far back as Friday, then his son Daniel the next day, then hanged himself likely on Sunday. He said toxicology reports can take up to several weeks to obtain. During questioning, he said there was no suicide note. He stuck with the term "asphyxiation" for the way both Nancy and Daniels died. He said Benoit was arrested for DUI in the past. He said there were no calls to his current residence for domestic abuse. A reporter asked if steroids or illegal substances were found. He said a lot of prescription medication he received from doctors with what they believed were legal prescriptions. When again pressed on whether steroids were found, he said he can't give them a list yet. He then said there were anabolic steroids when asked a third time. Regarding motive, he said they would not go into that at this time. Regarding the text message, he said he text messaged a friend and the friend saw it several hours after it was received by his phone. He would not go into the content of it. According to the doctor, several hours passed, no more than a day, between the son's death and Benoit's suicide by hanging. The wife's body was found in the office area, Daniel in his bedroom, and Benoit in the basement home gym. He estimated close to a full day between killing his wife and son. He said there was no evidence of Nancy resisting. The doctor from the crime lab estimates Nancy died some time on Friday. He turned questioing over to Fayetteville County D.A. Scott Ballard.
-Ballard said he is struck by the fact that a seven year old boy is dead. "I don't think we'll ever be able to wrap our minds around it completely," he said. He said the timing was bizarre because of the time that elapsed between the deaths of the two victims and the suicide. "It struck me as somewhat bizarre that he would even be in the home with their deceased bodies for some time, but we don't know that; we haven't verified it." He said there was a Bible placed next to the bodies of each of the victims. He said Nancy was bound by her feet and wrists and there was some blood under her head in what he felt was a family room upstairs. She was wrapped in a towel. There were no such body treatments of the son, who was found in his upstairs bedroom. He said he had no idea about the motive. "I'm baffled why anyone would kill a seven year old baby. I have no idea about a motive." He said there was no evidence he was trying to hide the bodies. No 9-1-1 calls came from the house. He said he didn't know anything about Chris telling WWE he had a family emegency to deal with. He said at this point they are all pretty confidence it was a murder-suicide, they will "alert to any evidence to the contrary." He said they will reexamine everything when the toxicology reports comes back. He said it would probably more than two weeks, though. He reconfirmed steroids were found in the residence. He said he didn't know if there were firearms in the house.
-Fox News anchor Smith then summarized the press conference and what it reconfirmed or revealed. He said he missed "one of those PPV things the WWE folks do." He added: "We have reason to believe he was a steroid user." He said steroids were present in the home. "With a doctor's prescription - you bet - but they were there." He discussed the situation with reporter Trace Gallagher regarding "roid rage." He wondered how long it can go on and how long it can last. "We're look at three separate incidents of roid rage over the course of three days," said the reporter. Dr. Steven Garner was interviewed. He said roid rage can cause such incidents. He said there are very few documented cases, but there are strange stories related to steroids. He said, "There people develop psychosis and that's a total break with reality. They don't know what they're doing. They halucinate. They don't know what they're doing. They hear voices in their heads telling them to kill people." He explained that once a user get off steroids, his testicles cannot return to producing testosterone at a normal level and depression can result - leading to suicide with teenagers. A former homicide investigator was interviewed next. He said he has been on scenes where he's seen people trip out due to steroids. "They get this unbearable strength and they seem to lose their mind," he said. "If they drink alcohol at the same time, it adds to it. It's taken about six or seven officers at scenes I've been at to hold a guy down who was flipping out from roid rage." Smith said: "Think about this guy. This guy's sitting in his hosue with a dead wife, then he's got a dead kid, then he's dropping Bibles all over the place. Then he's killing himself. You can't even process that." The doctor said steroids mixed with other prescription drugs make it much worse. They went on to note that "60 wrestlers" have died under the age of 45. "It's astounding. Astroniomically astounding. Nobody really focuses on it because wrestling is kind of a circus, an athletic soap opera. We don't really care about the players, apparently, because this is a continual cycle or drugs, road shows, alcohol, and they're travelling 250 days a year. The more wild your show is, the more money you make. That in the end turns out to haunt you. The doctor said typically wrestlers take more steroids than their should. Reporter Trace Gallagher and Shep Smith agreed that WWE is "under the fence." They brought up the HBO Real Sports interview where Vince McMahon got mad at the subject being brought up. "I know it's entertainment and it's not regulated the same way professional athletics are, but somebody is going to pay hell if this turns out the way we think it is."