Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Death Of A Hero
The murder-suicide of WWE Professional wrestler Chris Benoit, his wife Nancy, and their seven year old son Daniel in their home in Fayettville Georgia, is shrouded in mystery. Yet, the mystery might be slowly being pieced together.
One interesting piece of the tragic puzzle is the recent revelation that Benoit's son Daniel might have been suffering from a condition somewhat like autism, known as "Fragile X", which causes a very profound learning and growing disability. Sufferers such as Daniel are said to be unable to relate to people, and in Daniel's case, Benoits father is alleged to have confided that his son was afraid of other children. In the above linked article on the WWE web-site, it is wondered whether the stress of dealing with this problem might have taken it's toll on Benoit.
World Wrestling Entertainment has denied reports of Benoit's steroid use, and has advised caution in reading reports of the story. To this end they have released a timeline of their last contacts with the wrestling champion and star. It is all very bizarre.
WWE deserves some credit in being upfront in dealing with this tragedy, in the face of their monumental misstep in cancelling a scheduled event in order to televise a tribute to the wrestler and his lengthy career. Owner Vince Macmahon has since apologized profusely for this error in judgment, once the facts of the case began to come to light.
To wit, Benoit, having cancelled a scheduled event due to a family emergency-he stated that he believed his wife and son had suffered from food poisoning-sometime on Saturday murdered his wife. The following day, on Sunday, he similarly murdered his son. It is said that he suffocated them in what might have been a wrestling hold. Late Sunday night or early in the morning on Monday, he hung himself with a piece of cord that was a part of a weight training device.
It's interesting that Benoit's wife had some years previously, in 2003, separated from Benoit, and filed a restraining order on him, on grounds of cruelty. However, she later had the order rescinded and made amends with her husband. They had been together for some eight years.
How they got together is itself an interesting story. As part of a wrestling story-line, Benoit and his soon-to-be wife were said to be engaging in an affair, while she was married to a rival wrestler. In order to make it look real, they would be seen in public holding hands, and even took it to the extent that they rented rooms in which they spent some time together.
One thing led to another and the pair soon married.
Though the WWE explicitly denies the use of steroids by Benoit, this certainly should be taken into consideration. Even if Benoit was in fact no longer taking steroids, it's negative effects can last for a year or more after a user has ceased taking them. In some cases, their effects can be permanent. Depending on the length and degree of their use, they can cause schizophrenia and depression, and have in fact been known to lead to suicide, in addition to what has commonly been referred to as "'roid rage".
Moreover, if Benoit and his wife, also involved to an extent in the business, had been taking them at the time of their son's conception, is it likely this might have contributed to their son's onset of the so-called Fragile X? This, by the way, has not as yet been confirmed.
Steroids have been a big problem in the realm of professional sports, as well as in the world of Professional Wrestling entertainment (which, while certainly entertaining-I used to be a fan-certainly doesn't deserve to be dignified with designation as a sport).
Major League baseball has taken tentative steps toward dealing with the problem, the NFL has as well, while the International Olympic Committee seems to want to swat flies with jackhammers.
Still, though the problem is being addressed, it is still unsettling to think that the all-time professional baseball home run record might be called into question. That of course is an incidental bit of unpleasantness when compared to the overall societal effect. For a while, and perhaps still yet, the competitive drive for schools to produce winning sports teams-or for parents to produce multi-million dollar sports stars-seemed to dictate that parents and school officials might well look the other way, if not privately encourage it. In order to stay competitive, they had to keep up with the cutting edge of technology. In this day and age, that just happens to be steroids.
Unfortunately, given a little time, it might yet return to that. Just give it enough time to go away, for the controversy to die down. Everybody is doing it, just don't ask, don't tell-if you want to be a winner.
It would be unfortunate if it turns out that it took a tragedy like this to keep the issue front and center, but unfortunately, that's the way of the world.
You can read about the real dangers of steroid use at the White House site here, which contains links to other information about the dangers of this potential societal scourge.
As for those who now are intent on making this the conspiracy theory story of the month, I strongly urge you to read the aforementioned time line, established by the WWE, that I linked earlier. In fact, it is so profound in it's abundance of evidence as to Benoit's state of mind, I think it might well be appropriate to repeat the link. I encourage you to read the whole incredibly strange story here.
Life is very seldom like an Agatha Christie novel. In the vast majority of cases, what seems to be the truth on the surface, actually is the whole truth. Conspiracy theories might be more fun, and exciting to ponder and discuss, at least for some people. However, far more often than not, the more mundane explanations are in fact the legitimate ones. It's just that simple.