As the sun on a new day on the East coast begins to rise, more information about the double murder-suicide of Chris Benoit, his wife Nancy, and their 7-year-old son, Daniel, are starting to come to light. The word from WWE.com about 4:30am this morning is that Benoit sent "several curious text messages" to VP of Government Relations Richard Hering on Sunday morning. Wrestling Observer says that Benoit also sent text messages to one of his close friends, Chavo Guerrero.
Back to Hering, he spoke with Fayetteville County sheriffs on Monday, alerting them of the messages and requesting that they respond to Benoit's home to check on him and his family. Authorities representing the Sheriff's Department entered the home after having a tough time getting in due to two large German Shepherds roaming the property. Once they got into the home, they found Benoit first, then Nancy then Daniel.
WWE was told of the discovery about 4pm Monday. The entire crew that was in Texas for the event was gathered in the ring area, where they were told of the situation. The event for last night was then cancelled, and the wrestlers were allowed to leave if they wanted. As was shown last night on RAW, several wrestlers did interviews, which has been the case upon a death in the company for a few years, starting with the Owen Hart death during "Over the Edge" back in 1999.
Last evening a press conference was held at 10pm EST with Lt. Tommy Pope of the Fayetteville County Sheriff's Department. The presser was held with Scott Ballard, the district attorney for Fayette County. The press conference confirmed that the deaths were a double murder-suicide from within the home, and WAGA-TV in Atlanta began reporting what is believed to be true, and that is Benoit killed Nancy on Saturday, Daniel Sunday, and himself yesterday.
The three bodies have been taken to Decatur, Georgia where this morning autopsies will be performed. Toxicology reports will not be released for about two weeks. According to WWE.com, they have more information about the investigation and cause of death, but they have been asked not to release any details.
As of this moment, the RAW crew is off, and the SmackDown and ECW crew will be in San Antonio tonight, where the early word is that they will tape the show as normal. They will NOT be doing any sort of Chris Tribute, nor will the McMahon storyline continue, as they appear to have dropped that in the wake of the Benoit deaths.
The interesting thing is how the company will deal with Chris' death as well as his family now that it is coming to light that it was a double murder-suicide. In the past upon wrestlers deaths, they usually do numerous tributes as well as video packages. This is the first time in memory that the company will have to deal with something as high profile as this for one of their major stars.