We may never know the reasons behind Chris Benoit's decision to take the life of his wife, young son and himself. However, a Delta woman, who was in contact with the Canadian wrestler a few years ago, said she might have some insight into the family. Pam Winthrope said Benoit's son had a genetic condition called Fragile X syndrome. Winthrope said she has experienced the condition first hand and knows how it can tear a family apart.
Fragile X syndrome is an inherited mental impairment. Pam's 12-year-old son has the condition and she said in an effort to shed light on the syndrome, her husband called Chris Benoit about five years ago.
She said, "We talked to him because I was trying to set up a support group in BC and in Canada, we only have a couple of them. My husband was struggling when we got diagnosed with our son, and Chris was struggling with his. They talked for a few minutes and then he said he didn't want to be a public face for Fragile X, he just wanted to keep it really, really quiet."
Winthrope said she couldn't believe the news that Benoit had taken his life along with his wife and 7-year-old son. She added that families can be torn apart by the disease because it's very difficult to find help and support. She said, "You as a parent have to go out there and find what's available and it's not easy --they don't tell you."
Authorities offered no motive for the killings, which were spread out over a weekend, and would not discuss Benoit's state of mind.
According to WebMD.com, "Fragile X Syndrome is a defect of the X chromosome which causes mild mental retardation. The disorder occurs more frequently and severely among males than females. This condition is the leading known familial cause of mental retardation in the United States. Language delays, behavioral problems, autism or autistic-like behavior (including poor eye contact and hand-flapping), enlarged external genitalia (macroorchidism), large or prominent ears, hyperactivity, delayed motor development and/or poor sensory skills are among the wide range of symptoms associated with this disorder."
While the above information has not been verified by authorities, this may explain why the Daniel was being given Human Growth Hormone as reported by Fayetteville District Attorney Scott Ballard in an interview with ESPN.com. Ballard said that Daniel was apparently found with needle marks in his arm and was being given HGH because the family thought he was undersized.
It may also shed light onto why Chris didn't want someone else raising his son and made the fateful decision to kill him. As irrational and twisted as it may sound, he may have felt he was saving his son from the double-blow of losing his parents through a murder-suicide and being subject to being raised by people who didn't understand or care for his condition.