As the world knows, Jovan Belcher murdered his girlfriend and then committed suicide in front of a slew of onlookers. But what drove him to such violence? The answer may be the same problems that reportedly afflicted WWE superstar Chris Benoit who did much the same thing. In 2007, Benoit snapped and killed himself after murdering his wife and son. At the time, it was rumored that his breakdown was caused by brain damage from the numerous concussions he suffered throughout his wrestling career coupled with his alleged steroid use.
As Lauren Spiridigliozzi of Celeb Dirty Laundry pointed out, the investigation into this horrific incident is in its earliest stages, and it’s impossible to know thus far “if Jovan was using steroids, recreational drugs or alcohol, [or] if he was depressed or angry…” Well, it’s safe to assume he was angry since he did indeed murder the poor woman, but only time and autopsies will tell what condition his brain was in and what chemicals if any were in his blood stream. There are however some glaring differences between the Belcher tragedy and Chris Benoit’s horrific murder of his family.
Benoit was forty years old, with twenty years WWE ring action behind him. In fact, one of his signature maneuvers was the flying head butt-a self explanatory move that looked as dangerous as it was dramatic and probably hurt him as much as it hurt his opponenents-even though it was all just pretend. Belcher was only twenty five. And while he’d probably suffered his share of head injuries on the field, could enough damage have been done in his much shorter career? As for steroids, the destructive power of anabolics has long been exaggerated. While it’s possible that both these men were overcome by “roid rage,” it doesn’t really ring true. Roid rage is sudden and explosive. And the violence manifested during such an incident is usually of the “hands on” variety. In a true roid rage, Belcher would have probably been more likely to beat his girlfriend to death. Of course, it’s possible that the gun was just close at hand. Ditto for Benoit, who bound and asphyxiated his family, and then placed Bibles beside their bodies before hanging himself. Sounds a little too well thought out for a towering, uncontrollable rage.
Sadly, no matter what really happened in the case of Jovan Belcher, two more lives have been lost to senseless violence. Their families as well as the rest of the world may never learn the cause.