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Published: Tuesday, 6/26/2007

Wrestler Benoit strangled wife, smothered son, hanged self

ASSOCIATED PRESS

ATLANTA Pro wrestler Chris Benoit strangled his wife, suffocated his 7-year-old son and placed a Bible next to their bodies before hanging himself by the pulley of a weightlifting machine, authorities said today.

Investigators also found prescription anabolic steroids in the house, Lt. Tommy Pope of the Fayette County Sheriff s Department. He would not comment on Benoit s state of mind or possible motive.

Autopsies showed all three died of asphyxiation, Pope said.

Benoit s wife, Nancy, was killed Friday in an upstairs family room, her feet and wrists were bound and there was blood under her head, indicating a possible struggle, Fayette County District Attorney Scott Ballard said.

The son, Daniel, was likely killed late Saturday or early Sunday, the body found in his bed, Ballard said.

Benoit apparently killed himself several hours and as long as a day later, Ballard said. His body was found in a downstairs weight room, his body found hanging from the pulley of a piece of exercise equipment.

The prosecutor said he found it bizarre that the WWE wrestling star spread out the killings over a long weekend and appeared to remain in the house for up to a day with the bodies.

I m baffled about why anybody would kill a 7-year-old, Ballard said. I don t think we ll ever be able wrap our head around that.

Earlier, a law enforcement official speaking on a condition of anonymity said Benoit strangled his wife and smothered his son.

Benoit, 40, a former world title holder, wrestled in Toledo in 2004 at SeaGate Centre.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com



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