Wrestler Chris Benoit Used Steroid Testosterone; Son Sedated Before Murders

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

DECATUR, Ga. —  Professional wrestler Chris Benoit had an elevated level of testosterone in his system but no other steroids in his body, and his 7-year-old son was sedated at the time of his death, a Georgia medical examiner said Thursday.

“This level of testosterone indicates that he had been using testosterone at least within some reasonably short period of time prior to the time that he died,” said Dr. Kris Sperry, chief medical examiner for the state with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, as he released the results of the toxicology report for the wrestler; his wife, Nancy; and son, Daniel.

“Although testosterone was found in Christopher Benoit’s urine, there is no evidence of any other of the illegal types of steroids, or the whole laundry list of anabolic steroids that are out there to be used,” Sperry said, adding, “the presence of the testosterone alone even could be an indicator that he was being treated for testicular insufficiency.”

Besides steroids, Benoit’s body contained the anti-anxiety drug Xanax and the painkiller hydrocodone, according to a statement from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The GBI said Benoit tested negative for blood alcohol.

But Sperry said that they found a drug in the child’s system that surprised them: Xanax.

“It is our opinion that Daniel Benoit was sedated by Xanax at the time that he was murdered, so that (means) he was sedated prior to the time that he died,” he said.

The GBI said it could not perform tests for steroids or human growth hormones on the son because of a lack of urine.

Benoit’s wife, Nancy, tested positive for Xanax, hydrocodone and the painkiller hydromorphone, but the decomposition process hindered the ability to determine the precise levels of the drugs at the time of her death. An elevated alcohol level found in her system could also be due to the decomposition process, Sperry said.

“The decomposition will affect the ability to interpret these drug levels reliably,” Sperry said. “Before she died, they may have been higher. They could have been lower. We just don’t know and we’ll never know.”

The test results were expected to shed more light on Benoit’s last moments. Authorities said Benoit killed his wife and son in their suburban Atlanta home, placed Bibles next to their bodies and then hanged himself on the cable of a weight machine.

Anabolic steroids were found in the home, leading officials to wonder if the drugs played a role in the killings. Some experts believe steroids can cause paranoia, depression and violent outbursts known as “roid rage.”

“There is no reliable scientific data that conclusively says that elevated levels of administered testosterone lead to excessive rage or behavioral disorders,” Sperry said. “All the testing that’s been done regarding that has been completely inconclusive.”

Federal authorities have charged Benoit’s personal physician, Dr. Phil Astin, with improperly prescribing painkillers and other drugs to two patients other than Benoit. He has pleaded not guilty.

Investigators have also raided Astin’s office several times since the deaths, seizing prescription records and other documents.

Before he was charged, Astin told the AP he prescribed testosterone for Benoit, a longtime friend, in the past. He would not say what, if any, medications he prescribed when Benoit visited his office June 22, the day authorities believe Benoit killed his wife.

“It’s a little unclear to know exactly where this leads us, but you take this piece and you compare it with what a witness said or what was found at the scene and suddenly the picture begins to become more in focus,” said Scott Ballard, district attorney for Fayette County. “And that’s what we’re certainly hoping to do.”

FOXNews.com’s Sara Bonisteel and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Wrestler Chris Benoit:Fans, Friends Look Behind Benoit Facade

By ELIZABETH MERRILL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ga., July 1, 2007

flagranny2 says: “I came across this article and found it to be quite interesting and thought I’d  share it with those who may not have already read it.  I felt the whole article was too long to post however you can continue reading the full article at (ABC News)”

The house, by most appearances, is immaculate and perfect. The fireplace, the wooden deck, the private staircase climbing up to a little boy’s room. The circle driveway and the red Hummer.

When fact blurred to fantasy, Nancy Benoit never told people this, that in high school, all she really wanted to be was a housewife. Now her house is where the story ends and the spectacle begins.

It takes a good navigational system to get to the Benoit home, past a gravel road, through a narrow two-lane spin with tall Georgia trees on both sides. Gawkers have inched by for days, peering through the metal gate for answers. A woman rolled in from North Carolina the other night, reeking of alcohol, firing a volley of “why’s” as a neighbor went to get his mail. She allegedly pelted him with rocks and wound up in jail.

“It’s certainly surreal,” says Fayette County district attorney Scott Ballard. “I’ve used the word bizarre. There are so many bizarre things about it.

The why might never be answered — why Chris Benoit, wrestling superstar, alleged family man, apparently murdered his wife on a Friday, strangled his son on a Saturday then wrapped a cord from his weight machine around his neck and hung himself on a Sunday.

Because they lived in a world of scripted storylines, flying clotheslines and outlandish ring names, it took nearly a day for some WWE fans to believe that Benoit and his family were actually dead. Some still can’t swallow it.

But fiction, those close to the case will say, could not trump the reality on Green Meadow Lane.

Ballard sits in his office across town at 5:30 p.m., after office hours because the Benoit case has evolved into a round-the-clock, breaking-news buffet of Geraldo and Greta proportions. Before Monday, Ballard had no idea who Benoit was. Maybe, he says, nobody really did.

He’s describing how rigormortis had set in by the time they found Nancy, whose skin was marbleized as she lay face-down on the floor. He’s remembering his walk into Daniel’s room — the 7-year-old boy’s body was gone, but posters of his dad still hung on the wall, and two toy wrestling belts sat on a shelf.

There was every indication, Ballard says, that Daniel Benoit adored his father. 

I pray for two things,” Ballard says. “That he didn’t know about his mother’s death and he was asleep when he was strangled.             to continue → ABC News

Wrestler Chris Benoit’s Doctor Charged: Update/correction

July 3, 2007

I learned today form Fox News that Benoit’s doctor had been prescribing a 10 month supply of steroids every 3-4 weeks to Benoit for over a year.  I had previously posted that it was just 3-4 weeks prior to his death assuming it was a one time prescription of a 10 month supply.

I wanted to clarify that info as my original post was incorrect.

Wrestler Chris Benoit’s Doctor Charged With Improperly Distributing Drugs

Monday, July 02, 2007

 Fox News has this latest update on foxnews.com 

Fox News announced that in the 3-4 weeks prior to Benoit’s death Dr. Astin had prescribed a total amount of drugs that is normally prescribed over 10 months. 

ATLANTA —  The personal doctor of pro wrestler Chris Benoit was charged Monday with improperly dispensing painkillers and other drugs. The seven-count indictment said Dr. Phil Astin dispensed drugs including Percocet, Xanax, Lorcet and Vicoprofen between April 2004 and September 2005.The recipients were identified in the indictment by the initials O.G. and M.J. Benoit’s initials were not listed.Astin was expected to make an initial court appearance Monday afternoon.A criminal complaint was also filed, but was under seal. A law enforcement official close to the case, who spoke on condition of anonymity before the hearing, said the case involves steroids.

Federal drug agents have taken over the probe into whether Astin improperly prescribed testosterone and other drugs to Benoit before the wrestler killed his wife and son and committed suicide in his suburban Atlanta home last month. State prosecutors and sheriff’s officials are overseeing the death investigation.

Federal prosecutors are seeking the forfeiture of all property and proceeds Astin obtained through the illegal conduct if he’s convicted.

Investigators have conducted two raids at Astin’s west Georgia office since last week.

Astin prescribed testosterone for Benoit, a longtime friend, in the past but has not said what, if any, medications he prescribed when Benoit visited his office June 22, the day authorities believe Benoit killed his wife.

Toxicology tests on Benoit’s body have not yet been completed, Fayette County District Attorney Scott Ballard said.

Anabolic steroids were found in Benoit’s home, leading officials to wonder whether the drugs played a role in the killings. Some experts believe steroids can cause paranoia, depression and violent outbursts known as “roid rage.”

“We’re still asking questions and searching for answers with regard to the death so we can tie up loose ends,” Ballard said.

Ballard said finding a motive in the case remains elusive.

“I think it will always be undetermined as to ‘Why?”‘ Ballard said. “I think it’s because there can’t be any satisfactory reason why you kill a 7-year-old.”

Authorities have said Benoit strangled his wife and son, placing Bibles next to their bodies, before hanging himself on the cable of a weight-machine in his home.

Benoit’s father, Michael, said Monday that “it’s impossible to come up with a rational explanation for a very irrational act.”

“That’s my feeling. Let the cards fall where they fall, we have no control over it at this point,” he said. “It’s just impossible to come up with a rational explanation for what happened.”

Chris Benoit Update: Authorities search and seized computers and medical records at office of Benoit’s physician

Thursday, June 28, 2007

State and federal drug agents staged a late night raid Wednesday night at the offices of Chris Benoit’s personal physician, Dr. Phil Astin, and took computers and medical records from Astin’s office.  Astin was at his office at the time of the raid and said he had prescribed testosterone for Benoit.

The raid came as a result of the investigation into the drugs found at Benoit’s home

Police found anabolic steroids in Benoit’s home, leading some officials to wonder whether the drugs played a role in the slayings. Some experts believe steroids cause paranoia, depression and violent outbursts known as “roid rage.”

Thursday, June 28, 2007
  

The WWE was quick to dismiss the idea of this crime being steroid related saying the findings indicated “deliberation, not rage” and Benoit last tested on April 10 tested negative.

No motive has yet been determined just speculation.

Jerry McDevitt, an attorney for the league, said the couple had argued in the days before the slayings over whether he should stay home more to help take care of their mentally retarded son.

McDevitt said the wrestling organization learned from the couple’s friends and relatives that the Benoits were struggling with where to send the boy to school since he had recently finished kindergarten.

He also said Benoit’s wife didn’t want him to quit wrestling, but she “wanted him to be at home more to care for the kid. She’d say she can’t take care of him by herself when he was on the road.”

Benoit’s son suffered from a rare medical condition called Fragile X Syndrome, an inherited form of mental retardation often accompanied by autism.