It was June 25, 2007.
Vince McMahon stood in the middle of the ring, thousands of empty seats surrounding him in the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas. It was an ominous feeling... an arena, a special three hour RAW... but no one was there.
Mr. McMahon preceded to tell the fans at home that he had sent fans away, and that tragedy had struck the WWE.
Chris Benoit, a twenty plus year veteran of the ring, one of the most respected man in the business, had been found dead in his home. So too were his wife, Nancy, and their seven year old little boy, Daniel.
I thought nothing was worse- your hero is dead, his family is dead, and their killer is on the lose. ESPNEWS reported that night that Fayetteville County police in Georgia were investigating the deaths as a triple homicide.
But that wasn't the case. In fact, the truth was much more horrifying than that.
Chris Benoit, as it later turned out, had murdered his forty three year old wife by choking her with a cable on June 22, 2007. Blood was found under her head, she was wrapped in a towel, she was bound and a Bible lay next to her body.
Their son Daniel was asphyxiated the next day- June 23, 2007. He had been sedated before his father smothered him with a pillow. Daniel's room was covered in posters of his daddy- he was found tucked into bed, a Bible next to him, too.
And Chris died on June 24, 2007. It was the day he was supposed to compete at WWE's Vengeance, Night of Champions PPV. He was supposed to be ECW Champion.
Instead, Benoit hung himself with his weight machine in the home's basement after discarding pictures of Nancy when she was abused and his diary, in which Chris wrote letters to late friend Eddie Guerrero.
Why would you throw away Eddie, Chris?
June 25, 2007 changed the pro wrestling world forever. The fans, the company, the families... it's hard to remember the good Chris Benoit.
It's hard to remember the good Chris Benoit who celebrated with his two sons, wife and father after winning the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 20.
It's hard to remember the good Chris Benoit, who was best friends with Eddie Guerrero, who was a respected family man, who was a hero.
Take this day to remember Nancy and Daniel. Nancy was a wife, a mother, a former manager, a sister, a daughter and a friend. Daniel was a brother, a son, a kindergartner and a wrestling fan. And I miss them both, and I hope they are never forgotten.
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