As a journalist examining the who-what-where-when-how-why of the Chris Benoit case, I understand the human factor. I also understand the value of discretion. There are witnesses I’ve backed off from when they made it clear they didn’t want to talk further about that horrible weekend in Georgia, and when I knew that persistence could pay off only in compounded grief.
Further, I understand the tough spot in which Chavo Guerrero and Scott James found themselves in June 2007 — and which they now find, with thanks (or no thanks) to my investigation, has not gone away. Guerrero and James are performers in an industry in which one company, World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., and one boss, Vincent Kennedy McMahon, hold all the cards for meaningful and ongoing employment. So for Chavo and Scott’s sake, I wish there were another way to skin this cat.
But there isn’t. Chavo and Scott got texts from Benoit early Sunday morning. At 9:26 a.m., Scott texted Chris, “When do u land?” At 12:30 p.m. the next day, according to WWE’s carefully massaged public account, company executives were made aware of the texts. In between, Chris no-showed the Houston pay-per-view, a night after no-showing the Beaumont house show.
Does. Not. Compute.
Now, here’s why I care and here’s why the value of pressing this matter is compelling. It outweighs consideration of the inconvenience to Chavo or Scott or anyone else. It overwhelms it, obliterates it. In wrestling terms, asking the questions squashes the discomfiture of the people asked to answer them.
I care because, even if Chavo and Scott concluded that their friend and his family were dead and there was nothing they could do about it at that point, they had no right to decide to play ball with their bosses — if that is indeed what they did. They had no right to play God.
Chris said the dogs were in the enclosed area by the pool and the garage side door was open. He stated and repeated his address. He didn’t say he would be dead in five minutes, or five hours. He didn’t even say Nancy and Daniel were already dead. From the later autopsies, it’s now very clear that Chris’s wife had been killed and somewhat clear that his son had been killed. But with respect to Daniel in particular, there’s enough of a range in the estimate for a degree of uncertainty.
Anyway, the point is that Chavo and Scott didn’t KNOW know.
Therefore, I ask, and will continue to ask.