The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the major metropolitan newspaper near the scene of Chris Benoit’s 2007 double murder/suicide, has a new interview with father Michael Benoit restating his position that untreated brain injuries were the cause of the tragedy. See “Chris Benoit’s father: Murderous rampage resulted from brain damage, not steroids,” http://www.ajc.com/news/chris-benoits-father-murderous-683532.html.
The senior Benoit’s views are a restatement of what he has been saying ever since doctors examined Chris’s post-mortem brain tissue and found that he had Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. What is significant is the growing evidence of how widespread CTE is: it also turned up in the brain of the only other dead wrestler studied, Andrew “Test” Martin, and in football and hockey players. Moreover, many were suicides – or suicides in all but name – in which the public never would have considered CTE as a major factor, if not the factor, prior to the recent spate of new scientific research.
I’m not ready to go as far as Mike Benoit and assert that CTE was the sole reason for what happened in Georgia. But we’d all be crazy to dismiss that possibility in light of how much more we’re learning about the disease. Most crucial, I think, is how closely connected CTE and drug abuse may be in depression, with the former even leading directly to both of the others.