ATLANTA -- Journal entries written by wrestler Chris Benoit
show he was wracked with grief and preoccupied with death after his
best friend died in 2005, according to a lawyer representing
Benoit, who killed his wife and 7-year-old son and committed
suicide in June, wrote the diary as a series of letters to the
friend, fellow wrestler Eddie Guerrero, according to lawyer Cary
Ichter, who represents the wrestler's father in estate litigation.
Benoit's father, Michael Benoit, referred to the diary earlier
this month, saying it was "written by someone who was extremely
disturbed at the time." The father has said murder-suicide was out
of character for his son and supported medical tests that recently
showed Chris Benoit suffered brain damage that could have caused
depression and irrational behavior.
Authorities say anabolic steroids were found in the home and
Chris Benoit had a high amount of synthetic testosterone in his
body when he died, leading to some speculation that steroid-induced
rage sparked the killings.
Ichter, who said he knew Benoit for years, described what he
said were Benoit's writings but he did not make copies of the
journal available for review.
Ichter noted that at one point Benoit wrote to his friend, "I
will be with you soon," an apparent nod to his own mortality.
"It showed that he was very depressed," Ichter said of the
Benoit also wrote warmly about his son, Daniel, and his wife,
Nancy, who had given him the journal as a way to cope with
Guerrero's death, the lawyer said.
Prosecutors have said Benoit, 40, strangled his wife with a
cord, used a choke hold to strangle his son, placed Bibles next to
the bodies and hanged himself on exercise equipment the weekend of
Ichter said a neighbor of the Benoits found the journal in the
trash after the police and family had left the Benoit's house, and
the neighbor gave it to Michael Benoit. He is permanent
administrator to Chris Benoit's estate, and Ichter said the journal
could become evidence in the estate litigation.
Authorities have said it could be months before the court
determines the heirs, since neither Chris nor Nancy Benoit had a
will. Whether Nancy Benoit died before Daniel will determine
whether control of millions of dollars goes to Chris Benoit's two
children from a previous marriage or to relatives on Nancy Benoit's