Wrestler Saw His Doctor the Day He Killed His Wife

Lawyer for the WWE said son's rare illness was a "stressor" for the Benoits.

June 27, 2007 — -- Professional wrestler Chris Benoit met with his doctor just hours before he allegedly began a weekend-long double murder-suicide that left his wife and young son dead.

Dr. Phil Astin of outside Atlanta told The Associated Press Wednesday that the 40-year-old World Wrestling Entertainment star visited his office Friday and showed no "signs of any distress or rage or anything."

"I'm still very surprised and shocked, especially with his child involved," Astin, who described Benoit as a friend, said in the interview. He also said that he had prescribed testosterone to Benoit because he suffered from low amounts of testosterone, a condition frequently associated with steroid use.

Meanwhile, Jerry McDevitt, an attorney for the WWE, publicly revealed that Benoit's 7-year-old son, Daniel, was suffering from Fragile X syndrome, a genetic disorder that can result in a range of medical conditions, both internally and externally. The boy's physical condition, McDevitt said, was taking a difficult toll on Benoit and his wife, Nancy.

"I don't know what he confronted when he went back into the house," McDevitt said. "No one really knows that. We'll have to see. Clearly this issue of the son was a stressor on both relationships for some time."

At the crime scene, Benoit's son was found with needle marks in his arm and law enforcement officials initially said they believed the boy was being injected with human growth hormone because he was undersized.

Investigators have said they do not have a motive for the Benoit family murder spree, but clues and a chilling timeline of how, where and when the professional wrestler took the life of his wife and son have surfaced.

Two days before Benoit and his family were found dead in an apparent double murder-suicide, Benoit told co-workers that his wife and son had food poisoning and were throwing up, according to World Wrestling Entertainment.

Nancy, Benoit's wife of seven years who had also performed with the World Wrestling champion in the ring, was in the upstairs home office Friday when she was attacked, investigators said.

Scott Ballard, the Fayette County district attorney, said that Nancy Benoit was bound at her feet and wrists.

"There was a bruise in the small of her back as if a knee was placed there," Ballard said on "Good Morning America."

Investigators believe Benoit waited until Saturday morning to kill his son in the boy's bedroom. Ballard told ABC News the boy may have died after being put in a wrestling chokehold.

Ballard called the crime scene in the boy's bedroom "heartbreaking," with wrestling action figures and a toy championship belt in the room.

"There was a Bible displayed beside the body of each victim," Ballard added.

What Text Messages Said

Hours later, before dawn Sunday morning, Benoit reportedly sent a string of strange text messages to co-workers and neighbors, including, "The dogs are in the enclosed pool area. Garage side door is open." Another said, "My physical address is 130 Green Meadow Lane."

"We believe that was an effort for someone to find his body before too long," Ballard said.

On Monday police found Benoit strangled to death in his basement as he hanged from weight-lifting equipment.

'Roid Rage' Still Speculation

Investigators are still searching for a motive in the deaths.

Benoit's wife filed a temporary restraining order and filed for divorce in May 2003, claiming her husband "lost his temper and threatened her." She withdrew the divorce petition in August 2003.

While there was trouble behind closed doors on the surface it appeared Benoit had it all, making more than half a million dollars a year and living in a $900,000 home.

Investigators said that prescription medication, including anabolic steroids, were found in Benoit's home.

Toxicology reports won't be available for weeks, so at this point there is no way to tell if steroids played a part in the deaths, investigators said.

The WWE released a statement Tuesday scrutinizing media accounts that the organization felt unfairly tied Benoit's alleged murder-suicide to "'roid rage," a short-tempered condition associated with steroid usage.

The statement claimed that Benoit tested negative in an independently administered steroid test April 10, 2007, part of a two-pronged Talent Wellness Program introduced Feb. 27, 2006 that included an "aggressive substance abuse and drug-testing policy."

"The physical findings announced by authorities indicate deliberation, not rage," the statement read, pointing out details released by police like long periods of time between each murder and the presence of a Bible next to each of the bodies.

The WWE substance policy "prohibits the nonmedical use and associate abuse of prescription medications and performance-enhancing drugs," according to a release from the pro wrestling organization.

Under the policy, every wrestler was reportedly tested to create "baseline" data. Wrestlers would not be punished for failing the baseline tests but could face suspensions and possible termination after multiple failures.

Fayette County officials said Wednesday that they are investigating a link, announced by prosecutors in Albany County, N.Y., between Benoit and the Florida business MedXLife, which sells steroids online and has been under investigation for illegal steroid sales. Lawyers representing the owners of MedXLife either denied any connection with the wrestler or did not return phone calls to The Associated Press.

Doctors said steroids can prompt personality changes like impatience and violent mood swings known as "roid rage."

"When people have 'roid rage,' their impulses are not restrained, so at the slightest provocation, they'll put a fist through a wall," said Dr. Gary Walder of the New York University School of Medicine.

Steroid use has cast a shadow over pro wrestling for some time. Debra Marshall, a former wrestler, said the pressure to use can be immense.

"It's a very highly competitive world and you got to look good and if you don't look good, you lose your job," Marshall said.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.