The double murder-suicide of Chris Benoit, Nancy Benoit and their 7-year-old son Daniel is without question one of the most tragic events in pro wrestling history. Chris killed Nancy and Daniel and then himself in their Atlanta home in June 2007. Perhaps no one has been affected more by this tragedy than Chris Benoit’s oldest son David, who recently sat down with Chris Van Vliet to discuss what the horrific event was like for him. David is now 27-years-old and has a striking resemblance to his father.
“The news was f–king non-stop. It was either about steroids, steroids, steroids, or that Nancy Grace joke, it was terrible man. I couldn’t even walk around. I didn’t go/finish school. I was 14 or 15. I didn’t finish my finals. I finished high school, but just not that year.”
Benoit went on to discuss how years of head injuries in the ring lead to his father having CTE, which David believes led to the horrific events.
“That wasn’t him, man. He would never do that. I know he wouldn’t. I think something went terribly wrong. The doctor said he had CTE. At the beginning, that somewhat gave me closure. He had CTE, so I don’t think that was him.”
Benoit went on to recall the last time he actually spoke to his father. David lived in Edmonton with his mother (Chris’ first wife) and sister while Chris lived in Atlanta with Nancy and Daniel.
“No, I didn’t see him that much. I’d see him in the summer for four weeks and then two weeks for Christmas. I talked to my dad on Father’s Day. That was the last time. We talked for like two hours. We were just laughing and getting ready to make plans for the summer and I got to say ‘I love you’ one last time to him. That was the last time.”
David Benoit was only 14 years old when the events occurred, and admits that he had a hard time accepting it at first.
“I thought it was a joke when I first found out. I was in Edmonton doing a fundraising thing with my sister. My mom got a call from RCMP telling her to come down (to Georgia). My mom told me. My grandfather (Chris’ father) went down (to Georgia). He was in control of it. My mom couldn’t do it because she had to take care of me and my sister. He was in control of the estate and the lawyers.”
“I punched a cop. I punched him right in the chest. I thought it was a joke, I really did. I just didn’t believe it, bro. I think the day it really hit me was at his funeral, that was a hard day. I laid him to rest.”
“It took me seven months. I was sitting there thinking. I thought about it every day. Why? Couldn’t he have left a note or could he have called me?”
Benoit admitted that he wanted to believe all the conspiracy theories that were out there after the event including the ones about Kevin Sullivan (Nancy’s ex-husband), but knows now that they aren’t true.
“Conspiracy theories are just a joke. Kevin Sullivan didn’t do anything, you know? We looked into that and never had the police look into him, so yeah. I didn’t want to believe it. I thought someone broke into the house or some s–t and did it, but apparently there was a scuffle at the door. That’s what I heard.”
David Benoit is now trying to follow in his father’s footsteps by beginning to train to become a pro wrestler as well. David is even planning on using his father’s name by wrestling as Chris Benoit Jr, and has had wrestling gear similar to his father’s made.
“I don’t own [the rights to] his name yet. I have his middle name I can legally use it and they can’t come after me. Yeah [I would wrestle as Chris Benoit, Jr] I think it would be cool. I’ve got the tights with the claw.”
Thank you to WrestlingInc for transcribing the quotes.
The rest of the interview covers David’s current life working in Edmonton, he talked about what wrestlers he is close with and advice he’s been giving by Chris Jericho among others.
Happy Birthday my friend David Benoit 🎂🎊🍾🥂🍻
— "FAT ASS" MASA ❤️BEING THE ELITE ❤️AEW (@Masa_Anchan1971) December 5, 2019
— Nattie (@NatbyNature) September 22, 2019
Matt’s Musings: David Benoit is an innocent victim in this whole tragedy, and should not be held accountable for his father’s sins. However, the Benoit name is forever scarred in the wrestling world, making the already difficult road to become a successful wrestler way more challenging for David Benoit.