This post concludes the series on this blog — interrupted more than three weeks ago — on how the Stamford Police Department handled the June-July 2007 investigation of Matthew T. Greenberg, a 19-year-old University of Connecticut student and local resident, who edited the Wikipedia page of wrestler Chris Benoit to state that Benoit missed a show because his wife Nancy had died. The edit was made half-a-day before the Benoit family’s bodies were discovered.
The subject is explored in depth in my book CHRIS & NANCY: The True Story of the Benoit Murder-Suicide and Pro Wrestling’s Cocktail of Death. I will be making appearances in Connecticut next month to promote the book at the Borders stores in Stamford (Thursday, March 25) and Farmington (Saturday, March 27).
I also reviewed the story in this blog series, whose previous posts were:
Introduction (January 28)
Everything They Didn’t Want to Know and Were Afraid to Ask (January 29)
The Two-State Police Records Stonewall (January 31)
In demonstrating that the Stamford police botched the Greenberg/Benoit/Wikipedia investigation, I do not assert that the upshot is that the police, Greenberg, and/or World Wrestling Entertainment conspired to cover up early knowledge of the Benoit family members’ deaths in Fayette County, Georgia.
Nor do I assert that that one or more of these parties did not conspire. The bungling of the investigation is manifest; the open questions raised by it, legitimate. And the Senate candidacy of Linda McMahon, the former CEO of WWE, makes it entirely appropriate to raise those questions anew.
1. Why did the police not question Greenberg in depth about possible connections to WWE?
The video of his interrogation shows that Detective Tim Dolan never even raised on his own the fact that Greenberg resided in the home city of WWE — itself the focus of a media frenzy. In addition, the detective asked no questions at all about a possible association between Greenberg and wrestler Chavo Guerrero.
It is known that amidst various acts of Wikipedia vandalism, Greenberg actually cleaned up defamatory material on the page of Guerrero – who also happened to be one of the two friends of Chris Benoit who received Benoit’s final text messages. These messages were sent in the early morning hours of Sunday, June 24, 2007. Greenberg made his Wikipedia edit of Benoit’s page at 12:01 a.m. Monday, June 25. The bodies were found around 2:30 p.m. Monday.
(The video of Greenberg’s 25-minute police interrogation can be viewed in three parts at my YouTube channel, http://youtube.com/WrestlingBabylon. The City of Stamford released the video to me after months of refusing to do so, and with my appeal hearing pending before the Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission.)
2. Why did the specialist whom Stamford PD directed to examine Greenberg’s computer not seek information on the wrestling fan websites, blogs, and discussion boards he visited on June 24, 2007?
During the interrogation, Detective Dolan had said that was the whole point of the computer forensic exam ultimately conducted by Detective Chester Perkowski of the Darien police. But Perkowski’s short, perfunctory report made clear that he confined his search to whether there was evidence only of whether Greenberg had advance knowledge of the Benoit crimes themselves. Perkowski later confirmed this to me in a phone interview.
1. Why did the Associated Press, in closing its reporting of the Wikipedia matter, falsely state that Benoit’s final text messages were transmitted after the Wikipedia edit?
AP reporter Harry Weber told me, “[T]here was confusion caused by police, WWE attorney and others as to the timeline.” Weber also said, “I do believe some of the confusion caused by the timeline discrepancies provided by the WWE were [sic] intentional.”