Pro wrestler, wife and son killed, by Dylan Welch - 26th June 2007 - credit: The Sydney Morning Herald
The death of one of professional wrestling's most famous stars, Chris Benoit, is already proving as fantastic and bizarre as the world of pro wrestling itself.
There were no signs of gunshot or stab wounds, but the "instruments of death were located on scene'', Tommy Pope of the Fayette County Sheriff's Department told an American broadcaster. Police were now considering it a "possible double-murder suicide'', he said.
US television station WAGA reported that investigators believe Benoit killed his wife and son over the weekend, and then himself sometime on Monday.
According to WAGA, the bodies were found in three different rooms.
Some however, would not accept that he may have harmed his family.
"He was very happy with his wife and he loved his son Daniel," Ross Hart, a friend of Benoit and member of the Hart wrestling family, told the Edmonton Journal.
"This would be very uncharacteristic of Chris to do anything self-destructive. I find it very hard to believe that he would end his life or his family's."
Benoit was scheduled to perform at a pay-per-view title fight on Sunday night in Houston, Texas, but was replaced at the last minute because of a "family emergency''.
It is now understood that his employers, worried about Benoit, asked police to check in on the former world heavyweight champion.
The bodies of the 40-year-old wrestler, his wife, Nancy Benoit, 43, and their seven-year-old son, Daniel, were discovered by police at their Atlanta, Georgia, home at about 2.30pm local time on Monday (4.30am Tuesday Sydney time).
According to the Edmonton Journal, the house is in a secluded neighbourhood set back about 60 yards off a gravel road, surrounded by stacked stone wall and a double-iron gate. On Monday night, the house was dark except for a few outside lights. There was a police car in front, along with two uniformed officers.
"The details, when they come out, are going to prove a little bizarre,'' Fayette County District Attorney Scott Ballarde told local paper the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Benoit, 40, was a former world heavyweight champion for World Wrestling Entertainment as well as a intercontinental champion and held several tag-team titles.
A Canadian native, he maintained a home in Atlanta from the time he wrestled for the now-defunct World Championship Wrestling.
His wife was a former wrestling valet who wrestled under the name "Woman''.
In a further twist, this week's live Monday Night RAW program was supposed to have been a whodunit into the fictional death of Chairman Vince McMahon, whose limousine burst into a fiery explosion moments after he stepped into it after a bout two weeks ago.
That storyline was quickly scrapped and Vince McMahon instead appeared to explain about the death of Benoit. The company then aired a three-hour tribute to Benoit.