Chris Benoit's Murder, Suicide: Was Brain Damage To Blame?

Did brain damage drive the hardcore pro-wrestler to commit murder, suicide?

ByABC News
August 24, 2010, 4:08 PM

Aug. 26, 2010 — -- A powerhouse in the ring, Chris Benoit was a world-famous wrestler and champion to his fans, loved by all. No one ever suspected he would be capable of murdering his family and taking his own life.

"He was pretty much driven from the age of 12, 13 to get in the wrestling industry," said his father, Mike Benoit. "Chris lifted weights every day. He was 13 years old ... he was breaking records in high school in our basement."

After Canadian-born Chris Benoit became a pro-wrestler at 18, his career soon skyrocketed. By age 25, he was already a world champion.

"He had won titles every place that he traveled in the world," said Mike Benoit.

While living the wrestling high life, Chris Benoit was a devoted dad and husband who cherished time with his family.

"What you saw in the ring was not the Chris Benoit on the outside," his father said. "He loved to be at home, playing with his children. That's where he wanted to be."

On June 25, 2007, an unimaginable horror was discovered inside of Chris Benoit's home in Fayetteville, Ga., when police stopped by on a "welfare check" after Benoit had missed several appointments, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Officers found his wife Nancy strangled to death and their 7-year-old son Daniel appeared to have been suffocated. Bibles were found next to their bodies. Benoit's body was found hanging from a weight machine in the basement.

"We're ruling it as a double homicide-suicide," said Fayette County Sheriff's Lt. Tommy Pope.

After seizing Benoit's computer, investigators also reported that the wrestler had searched the Internet for stories on the prophet Elijah. One of the stories of Elijah is how the prophet could raise a boy from the dead, starting with placing the dead child on his bed. Police found young Daniel on his bed.