Muchnick lays bare the murder-suicide of Chris Benoit, his wife Nancy, and their seven-year-old son, Daniel. The Benoit murder-suicide in 2007 was one of the most shocking stories of that year in any realm, and a seminal event in the history of wrestling.
Featured on episode SE7ENTEEN of the My Favorite Murder Podcast
“Irvin Muchnick is hell-bent on discovering the essence of the cover-ups, the nuts and bolts of the investigations…”— Wrestling Observer
“The Ultimate Historical Edition” extends the 2009 true crime account by connecting it to it to someone who was then a bit player in the wrestling world: Donald Trump.
A new introduction reflects on Trump’s business ties to WWE’s McMahon family, how wrestling “attitude” came to define the populist, demagogic Trump presidency, and their similar scandal management playbooks.
Muchnick — the author of Wrestling Babylon and a co-author of Benoit: Wrestling with the Horror That Destroyed a Family and Crippled a Sport —drilled down deep into public records and interviewed dozens of witnesses, inside and outside wrestling, to put together the authoritative account of the events of the gruesome June 2007 weekend in Fayette County, Georgia, during which World Wrestling Entertainment superstar Chris Benoit murdered his wife Nancy and their seven-year-old son Daniel, before proceeding to kill himself.
But this book goes beyond the crime itself to answer some of the most important questions behind it. The biography of Benoit, a wrestler’s wrestler, makes it clear that his tragedy was a microcosm of the culture of drugs and death behind the scenes of one of North America’s most popular brand of sports entertainment. The author probes the story of the massive supplies of steroids and human growth hormone found in his home — all prescribed by a “doctor to the stars” who got indicted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and all dismissed by a WWE “wellness policy” that promoted everything except its talent’s wellness. The Benoit case led to unprecedented scrutiny of wrestling’s overall health and safety standards, by Congressional investigators and others, and this book is the primary source of what they found and what they should continue to look for.