Interview with Nancy Benoit’s sister

300x300

I found this on The2count.com.  I find her to be very well spoken. – Dusty

He did seem to love Nancy very dearly. We know that, unfortunately, their relationship started to get rocky at some point. When did you first get wind that things were turning complicated between them?

I lived in Atlanta and my sister asked me home almost every one of my days off. I want to be clear: Chris was not an abusive husband. But there were, what we call in the industry, though don’t often talk about, “high spots”. She had been there, in that position before, and refused to put up with it at all, especially with Daniel in their home. So I went with her after one of these “incidents” to file an order of protection.

What do you mean by “high spots”?

Yelling, screaming, name calling, shoving, pushing, breaking stuff.

Did Nancy ever mention anything about fearing for her or Daniel’s safety?

Yes, when she first filed for divorce.

In 2003, Nancy filed for divorce citing cruel treatment and an irrevocably broken marriage. She also filed a restraining order against Chris. She later dropped the proceedings as well as the restraining order. Why did she do that?

Because, like with any marriage where there are issues, they made up and wanted to reconcile, especially for Daniel.

It was reported that Daniel suffered from Fragile X syndrome and that he was being given human growth hormones. Was Daniel’s health an issue in Nancy and Chris’ disagreements?

Daniel did not have Fragile X. I have his medical records. He was NOT sick.

Is it true that track marks were found on Daniel’s arms during the autopsy?

When my sister filed for divorce, we had a legal document created that gave me custody of Daniel if anything happened to Nancy and Chris simultaneously. So when Daniel died, I was his custodian. He did not have track marks on his arms and the District Attorney made a public statement apologizing for the mistake. As his custodian, I obtained his medical records and our lawyer, Rick Decker, made a statement to the public – the only one made – letting them know that that was 100% false information.

When was your last conversation with your sister Nancy and what was it about?

I spoke to Nancy on Thursday June 21, 2007, the day before she passed. I used to visit with my sister on Sundays and Mondays, which were basically the days that Chris was away. I had told her that, this particular week, my schedule would not allow me to visit with her before Monday. I lived in North Carolina at the time. We were both concerned about my best friend’s friend’s grandmother who had become very ill in Florida. I was trying to figure out a way to get to Florida and visit with “Nana”, as we used to call her, and support my friend. Nancy told me that she would take care of flying me down there and she also said that I was very tired and stressed out and needed to unwind and do something for myself. We talked about mascaras and she told me that I needed to get a good quality mascara for myself. We also talked about Daniel and how he was graduating from horse camp. We talked about David (Chris’ older son) and how he was growing. Nancy also spoke to me about her home improvement plans for the upcoming summer. Chris and Nancy were considering having another baby but Nancy had said that she wouldn’t have one until I moved closer to them. They then suggested that a house be built for me on the acreage right by their own home. Chris was actually stoked about it. Nancy was hoping to travel with Chris on occasion if they could have someone close by to take care of the children. Once we hung up, Nancy called me back a little later to tell me that she had put some money in my bank account so I could do something for myself that upcoming Monday: get a massage, a pedicure, buy some mascara. This is how generous my sister was and that was the last time I ever spoke to her. She had no clue as to what was about to happen.

Following the tragedy, it was reported that, sometime in 2006, Chris stopped attending church due to a hatred of religion, that he wouldn’t let Nancy out past 6 pm, and that he wouldn’t let Daniel out of the house because he felt that someone was stalking him and his family. Chris had allegedly developed symptoms of paranoia due to undiagnosed Late-Onset Schizophrenia. Can you confirm that?

This turn of events was not sudden. Early in 2006, they were looking into putting Daniel in a private Christian school, the best school in the area. Many athletes’ children attended this particular school and the high level of security was related to the caliber of the families of the children that went there. In order to get Daniel in that school, Chris and Nancy had to attend church service regularly. Although my sister and I were raised strictly Catholic, Chris did not subscribe to any one particular religion. He developed an interest in Eastern religion and philosophy while wrestling in Japan. This interest got stronger when it was time to get Daniel into private school. When my brother-in-law wanted to do something or learn of something, he fully invested himself into it. His dedication to his career and his relationship with my sister are proof of this. I used to tell him where to look and what books to read that may be of some interest to him. Before all that, Chris had suffered multiple losses of friends. Eddie Guerrero’s death in 2005 shocked us all, no one was prepared for that. It was devastating for Nancy but it was devastating for Chris on a whole other level. Eddie’s passing came after a long line of huge losses and Chris was in a state of perpetual bereavement. His as well as Nancy’s closest friends passed away and it always seemed to be drug or steroid-related. After Eddie passed away, Chris and Nancy discussed the possibility of Chris leaving the WWE and starting his own wrestling school. As a matter of fact, it had become more than a possibility. A business plan had been developed and merchandise had been designed. However, the WWE was prepared to give Chris a big push and put him into another championship match so Chris began training harder and pushing his body further. Chris did a lot of self-medicating. My brother-in-law made every show, he went to every production meeting, never missed a call, never missed a flight and always drove himself or made travel arrangements. Chris wasn’t schizophrenic. Someone with schizophrenia wouldn’t be able to do all that. He had a serious drug problem, used a lot of steroids and was certainly not alone in that at the time. The paranoia was a direct result of the abuse of steroids. The last 2 weeks I spent with Chris, we used to go to the gym and go tanning together. At some point, he began acting weird and I wondered what was wrong with him. He would find 30 different routes to drive to the gym which he never did before. This is not schizophrenia! This was a result of combining steroids with pain medication and, later on, alcohol. I had never seen him like this before. The final blow came in mid-June 2007, just a few days before everything happened, when Sherri Martel passed away. That devastated Nancy just as much as Eddie’s death had devastated Chris. I remember my sister telling me “I don’t know how much more of this I can take and I don’t know how much more of this Chris can take”.

It is popular belief that Chris committed the murders while under the effects of what we commonly call ‘roid rage’. The WWE stated several reasons why that couldn’t have been the case. According to them, Chris’ actions were deliberate. Others state that his actions could be related to brain damage following numerous concussions. What do you think really happened?

First of all, at that time, the wellness policy program was ineffective. I’d like to think that it’s changed but I’m not sure it has. Everyone joked about it. There was no way Chris could have tested clean unless the sample wasn’t his. It is my understanding that “roid rage” typically does not last an entire weekend. It is my belief although I was not there that he and Nancy got into a terrible argument that escalated to the point of serious violence. In spite of what the public has heard following the autopsy reports, let me tell you that my sister was brutalized. My sister’s death was a direct result of  “roid rage.” He completely lost it. The Chris Benoit I had known for a decade loved my sister so much that he would never – even in the worst episode of high spots – have hurt my sister this bad. I believe he totally blacked out. I also believe that, when he came out of it and realized what he had done, he went out of his mind. He probably couldn’t believe what he had done to Nancy. He realized what he had done and medicated even more and drank and wondered how he would explain this to Daniel. He probably became so grief stricken with his own actions that he didn’t want to live anymore. I can understand him taking his own life, especially knowing he would get capital punishment if he were tried and found guilty of my sister’s murder. However, I can’t put a reason on why Chris killed Daniel. I myself am unable to have children and my sister and Chris always made me feel better about this fact by sharing so much of my nephew’s life with me. I was very, very close to Daniel. Chris knew I would have taken care of and loved that child with everything I had. I would have kept David and Megan in his life as well and he knew all that.  You know, evidence showed that on the Sunday before he committed suicide, he was booking flights to get to the show he was scheduled to appear on in Beaumont, Texas. This shows that there was a moment, however brief, that he thought he could get away with it. I don’t believe in the brain damage theory. He killed 2 people and believed he could go wrestle. The concussion theory doesn’t really stick with me. Yes, my brother-in-law had concussions, he hit his head for a living and I understand that. But way beyond that, he had a very serious drug and steroid problem. Unfortunately, a lot of athletes still do to this day. It’s spiraling out of control. The medical examiner told us after the autopsy that Chris was on his way to death within 10 months. His heart was huge, about 3 times normal size, and it was ready to blow up at any moment. It can’t be told to me that this wasn’t the determining factor behind what happened. I wasn’t there that weekend but I was during the last decade. Chris could have never done what he did had it not been for the steroids and prescription drugs.

After the bodies were discovered, what words were exchanged between your family and the Benoit family, if any?

I was the only one who had any contact with Mike Benoit, Chris’ father. My parents were in no state to communicate with anyone and I needed to know where to send his belongings. So I called and Chris’ mom answered and broke into hysterics. Mike said he was coming to the US to identify Chris’ body and I asked him to come to the house, I agreed and hung up. Mike barely ever came to the US to visit with Chris, Nancy and Daniel. He flew to New York for Wrestlemania XX when Chris won the title. Chris had made arrangements for his parents but only Mike came. They saw Daniel about two or three times in all seven years, when Chris and Nancy flew to Canada for his sister’s wedding and on one Christmas. Chris had spoken of not having a very close relationship with his Dad at that time and it frustrates me to know that on that Father’s day weekend, Chris reached out to his father and told him about some problems that were not related to Nancy and Mike didn’t notice that something that out of blue could be a red flag of sorts. Mike painted this picture of them being so close to Chris, but they weren’t in the decade I knew him.

Since the investigation’s conclusions were released, WWE has made the decision to ban Chris’ name and likeness from the company in spite of the fact that he was one of the best technical wrestlers the business has ever seen. On the week following the tragedy, Vince McMahon took an oath on air before the SmackDown broadcast to never pronounce Chris Benoit’s name again on WWE programming. How do you feel about this decision?

It’s a very difficult question to answer. I feel that their original reaction in dedicating Monday Night Raw to Chris’ memory on the same very day the bodies were discovered was a huge PR nightmare for them. They made this 2-hour tribute show with a 15 minute tribute in the opening minutes. How they got all this together so quickly, I don’t know. If anything it’s a testament to the swiftness of their production crew. I think it’s too soon to make a decision about whether or not it will ever be okay for them as a company to bring Chris back up. I still know a lot of people in the business and hear a lot of things. Although a case was recently made for Chris to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, the mere mention of it was quickly squashed. Let me be the first to say this: Chris was the best at what he did professionally. He was very dedicated to his craft, his career and this company. But he is a murderer. He choked the life out of his own son and he brutalized my sister in ways that are unimaginable. Sadly, when you do something like that, the rest of what you did in your life no longer matters and that was a decision HE made. Bringing Chris back up again would crush my parents. It’s way too soon to even mention that idea. It’s been 6 years but it feels like yesterday to us. Maybe one day it will be okay to once again recognize him for the career he did have but, in the meantime, he created the legacy that now haunts the industry. I think that as a company as business-savvy as WWE, they know better. They see what happens when we get angry. Vince McMahon took a public oath on the air to never mention Chris’ name again. Legally and public-relations wise, I think that they’re scared of what might happen if they go back on that oath. Vince McMahon won’t go back on his word. There is no way they would even think about it without consulting with us first. No matter how much lobbying Chris’ family or the fans can do. Mike Benoit knows what Chris did was horrible. If my child would do what Chris did, I too would try to excuse his behaviour. So I understand why Mike Benoit would want a physical REASON for what his son did; and utilizing Concussion Syndrome to explain away Chris’ actions would provide that. Though I sympathize with their pain, it simply is NOT the entire truth. If Chris were to resurface in any way, it would have to be much further down the road. We are not even close to a healing point. A lot of people would expect me to be hateful and spiteful to Chris and his legacy but the Chris I want to remember is the brother-in-law I knew up until the year before all this happened. Unfortunately, I don’t have any contact with David and Megan, Chris’ children, but they too have to be considered. It must be a huge burden for them to carry the Benoit last name in Canada. I love them and miss them very much.

Before we end, my final question to you is, as difficult as it would be, have you or will you ever forgive Chris for his actions?

My parents are still very angry but they are in their 70s. I, on the other hand, have a lot longer to live with this than they do (God willing!). Holding on to this much hate towards someone will eventually hurt me more than anything else. I’m working toward it. I really am. I don’t want to be some old lady carrying hate and vengeance against someone for doing something, even for stealing my family from me. I just think it would be an unbearably huge weight to carry around for a lifetime. Hard to forget something that you can’t understand to begin with. Someday I’d like to at least find peace with it if I can’t even summon the forgiveness.

Advertisements

One Response

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: