Former WWE star Chris Benoit died on June 25, 2007, taking his own life after murdering his wife Nancy and son Daniel.
For the first time, Benoit’s sister-in-law Sandra Toffoloni has spoken out about the tragedy in an interview with WWE star Chris Jericho Talk Is Jericho. The conversation covered life with Benoit and the events that stunned the WWE and wrestling world alike.
Jericho and Toffoloni discussed Benoit’s mood changes and his paranoia, with Toffoloni becoming increasingly concerned.
“What really became noticeable was a little bit more of a sense of unsafe-ness and paranoia for the family. Like he just would constantly be checking the alarm at night, constantly be checking things,” she said.
“And for himself, like when we would go to the gym and do things like that, he would take different ways every time, different routes to the same gym… and never, ever before had that been, he used to be fairly laid back about stuff like that.
“There was never any issue like that, so when it did start happening it was something I noticed immediately, like ‘what is the deal with this?'”
Many believe that Benoit’s mood changes came around the time his good friend and former WWE wrestler Eddie Guerrero died in 2005.
The wrestler was found dead in a hotel room after suffering a heart attack.
Toffoloni referenced the passing of Guerrero and the grief post-death that took a toll on Benoit as well as the stress of the job.
She explained: “I’ve only ever given one interview in nine years… we’ve never spoken to anyone, but it’s upsetting because, with Chris’ dad and the big push for it to be ‘concussion, concussion, concussion, this is why he did it because the Chris Benoit we know could never have done this.’ They want to put it on something. ‘This is the reason, OK good we don’t have to blame Chris anymore.’
It was a combination of a lot of things. I think that it was a huge boulder of weight from loss and grief.”
The entire interview is here to listen here.
Loaded sports writer Pearse Corcoran has covered news, sport and entertainment for several national newspapers and radio stations in Ireland. Follow him on Twitter at @PearseCorcoran