Stodghill Says So

An opinionated posting on a variety of subjects by a former newspaper reporter and columnist whose daily column was named best in Indiana by UPI. The Blog title is that used in his high school sports predictions for the Muncie Evening Press.

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Location: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, United States

At the age of 18 I was a 4th Infantry Division rifleman in the invasion of Normandy, then later was called back for the Korean War. Put in a couple of years as a Pinkerton detective. Much of my life was spent as a newspaper reporter, sports writer and daily columnist. Published three books on high school sports in Ohio and Indiana. I write mystery fiction for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and others. Three books, Normandy 1944 - A Young Rifleman's War, The Hoosier Hot Shots, and From Devout Catholic to Communist Agitator are now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers. So are four collections of short mysteries: Jack Eddy Stories Volumes 1 and 2, Midland Murders, and The Rough Old Stuff From Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

What Pushed Chris Benoit Over the Edge?


Last night I gathered up all my courage and watched the Larry King Show, which is asking a lot of any man. The subject interested me, though - the murder-suicide involving wrestler Chris Benoit. A number of former wrestlers were interviewed along with present-day star John Cena. Like everyone else, they couldn't begin to understand what caused a man they liked and respected to kill his wife, young son and himself.
This unhappy case reminds me of the time when I was ten or eleven and a man living a few blocks away acted in much the same way. At the family home on Third Street, William Slabaugh shot and killed his wife, two children and then himself. The kids were a boy my age and a girl a couple of years younger. It turned out Slabaugh had been having severe headaches for a couple of weeks. He complained to friends, people at work and family members, even saw two doctors about the problem. No one did a thing to help him. He had an appointment with a third doctor, but it was scheduled several hours after he picked up his gun. An autopsy revealed that a brain tumor was behind it all.
It seems strange to me that all the talk about Benoit centers on steroids and other drugs. Why hasn't anyone mentioned the number of times a professional wrestler suffers a hard blow to the head? Watch Monday Night Raw or Friday Night Smackdown some time to see what I mean. They take a terrible pounding several nights a week and as Sylvester Stallone said, you can't fake a fall.
It was pointed out on the King program that a professional wrestler is twenty times more likely to die before the age of forty-five than a professional football player. They didn't explain why. It seems that somebody might be interested in finding out.
As for Chris Benoit, they should be checking to see how many times he landed on his head after jumping or being thrown from a great height. The unfortunate event took place over two days time so that isn't 'Roid Rage at work. What was it, then, that turned him into a killer? This was a man who loved his family so much that he'd fly home even when he could be with them only six or seven hours before boarding another plane and heading back to work. I hope they're closely examining his head.

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