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   Wed, June 27, 2007


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Homicide sequence detailed
By ELIZA BARLOW -- Sun Media
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Calgary-trained wrestling hero Chris Benoit strangled his wife, smothered his seven-year-old son and put a Bible next to their bodies before hanging himself from a weight machine in the family's suburban Atlanta home, authorities say.

A law enforcement official also said authorities are looking into whether steroid use may have been a factor in the murder-suicide, as prescription anabolic steroids were found in the Canadian pro wrestler's home.

"We don't know yet. That's one of the things we'll be looking at," said Fayette County District Attorney Scott Ballard.

Authorities also revealed the killings were spread out over the weekend, with Benoit, 40, remaining in the home with the corpses for as long as a day before killing himself.

His wife Nancy, 43, was killed Friday in an upstairs family room, her wrists and feet bound, and blood under her head.

Daniel, 7, was likely killed a short time later, his body found in his bed.

Benoit's body was found in a downstairs weight room, hanging from the pulley of a piece of exercise equipment.

All three bodies were discovered Monday. WWE said on its website it asked local police to check on the family after friends received several "curious text messages" from Benoit early Sunday.

Authorities say they're confident the deaths are the result of a murder-suicide.

"In a community like this, it's bizarre just to have a murder-suicide and certainly involving the death of a seven-year-old child," said Ballard.

"I don't think we'll ever be able to wrap our minds around that completely."

Yesterday, WWE Canada president Carl DeMarco was among mourners offering condolences to Benoit's surviving family at their home near Sherwood Park, an Edmonton suburb, a source close to the family said.

Benoit's father Michael Benoit was stoic when reached by phone, vowing the family would cope.

"We'll be fine ... We'll make it."

Benoit also leaves two children from a previous marriage -- David, 14, and Megan, 10, who live in Strathcona County.

Benoit was born in Montreal but grew up in Edmonton.

Known as "The Canadian Crippler," he trained under Calgary's Stu Hart in Stampede Wrestling.

He held several titles over his career, but realized his dream at Wrestlemania 20 in 2004, when he won the WWE world heavyweight championship.

According to U.S. media reports, Chris and Nancy Benoit's marriage went through some rocky patches.

RELATED LINKS

  • Chris Benoit tragedy news section
  • Chris Benoit biography and story archive