Diary: Benoit Grieved Fellow Wrestler
Friday September 14, 3:13 pm ET
By Errin Haines, Associated Press WRiter
Lawyer: Benoit’s Diary Shows Wrestler Grieved Friend, Was Depressed Before Killing Wife, Son
ATLANTA (AP) — Journal entries written by wrestler Chris Benoit show he was wracked with grief and preoccupied with death after his best friend died in 2005, according to a lawyer representing Benoit’s father.
Benoit, who killed his wife and 7-year-old son and committed suicide in June, wrote the diary as a series of letters to the friend, fellow wrestler Eddie Guerrero, according to lawyer Cary Ichter, who represents the wrestler’s father in estate litigation.
Benoit’s father, Michael Benoit, referred to the diary earlier this month, saying it was “written by someone who was extremely disturbed at the time.” The father has said murder-suicide was out of character for his son and supported medical tests that recently showed Chris Benoit suffered brain damage that could have caused depression and irrational behavior.
Authorities say anabolic steroids were found in the home and Chris Benoit had a high amount of synthetic testosterone in his body when he died, leading to some speculation that steroid-induced rage sparked the killings.
Ichter, who said he knew Benoit for years, described what he said were Benoit’s writings but he did not make copies of the journal available for review.
Ichter noted that at one point Benoit wrote to his friend, “I will be with you soon,” an apparent nod to his own mortality.
“It showed that he was very depressed,” Ichter said of the entries.
Benoit also wrote warmly about his son, Daniel, and his wife, Nancy, who had given him the journal as a way to cope with Guerrero’s death, the lawyer said.
Prosecutors have said Benoit, 40, strangled his wife with a cord, used a choke hold to strangle his son placed Bibles next to the bodies and hanged himself on exercise equipment the weekend of June 22.
Ichter said a neighbor of the Benoits found the journal in the trash after the police and family had left the Benoits’ house, and the neighbor gave it to Michael Benoit. He is permanent administrator to Chris Benoit’s estate, and Ichter said the journal could become evidence in the estate litigation.
Authorities have said it could be months before the court determines the heirs, since neither Chris nor Nancy Benoit had a will. Whether Nancy Benoit died before Daniel will determine whether control of millions of dollars goes to Chris Benoit’s two children from a previous marriage or to relatives on Nancy Benoit’s side.