Professional wrestler Christopher Benoit, “The Canadian Crippler,” apparently killed his wife and 7-year-old son and then committed suicide in their home in an exclusive neighborhood outside Atlanta last summer. Little has been said in news reports about the characteristics of domestic homicide, which often involve a man’s suicide as well, says Women’s eNews. Suicidal threats are considered a key indicator of lethal violence. Among men who kill their current or former female partners in the U.S., 3 in 10 also commit suicide, says the U.S. National Institute for Injury Prevention and Control.
“The Benoit family tragedy represents what happens when women are assaulted or killed by their partners,” says Regine Cordon of the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence. “The focus attempts to blame the cause for violence on drugs, steroids, parenting disagreements, or stress rather than the power and control dynamics within a relationship.” A Massachusetts sports institute said its study of the wrestler’s brain tissue indicated that a history of concussions in the ring may have contributed to Benoit’s lethal violence. The coercive family dynamics that are present in abusive homes did appear to have some history with the Benoit family, court records show.