On the Friday newscast on Atlanta”s Fox 5, a report touted “new revelations in the Chris Benoit double murder and suicide.”
The station said the civil wrongful-death lawsuit filed by Benoit’s in-laws against Dr. Phil Astin “contains documents that haven’t been seen before in public. In it is a letter written by Dr. Astin to Fayette County deputies on June 26 a day after the bodies were found.”
The report is wrong. Astin’s letter was included in the file released in February 2008 by the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, closing the criminal investigation.
The full text of Astin’s letter is below. I emailed Fox 5 reporter Doug Evans, but he has not responded.
June 26, 2007
To Whom It May Concern:
I have been Chriis and Nancy Benoit’s personal physician and friend for approximately seven (7) years. Chris Benoit was seen in our office on Friday, June 22, 2007. He was here from approximately 12:30 p.m. to about 1:45 p.m. He was seen on a routine check-up whiich hye is seen [sic] in 2-3 month intervals.
He had no outstanding complaints other than his usual pain and muscular spasms. He did stat3e he wanted to restart an antidepressant, Zoloft, which he had taken in the past. On further history he stated he was mildly depressed mostly secondary to his travel schedule. He was given a prescription for Zoloft 50 mg. One per day, the usual dose and the same dose he had used in the past.
Chris did not appear outwardly depressed nor anxious. He did state Nancy had been very “moody” lately and he asked about premenopausal and hormonal changes in women her age. I explained about hormal changes, menopause, and mood swings to Chris. He asked me to see her professionally after the upcoming July 4th holiday. I agreed to see her and agreed not to mention our conversation or his conversation to her.
Chris stayed at our office conversing with my staff as he usually does during his visits. He designed a few autographs for some patients and left approximately 1:45 p.m. He ddid not appear distressed, anxious, nor even depressed at th3e time he was in the office. I told Chris as a friend I would call Nancy if he desired, but he stated I could see her later.
I hope this helps in the investigation of this tragic incident involving a great athlete and good person.
Phil C. Astin III, M.D.