Wikipedia Article Listed Nancy Benoit's Death 14 Hours Before Bodies Found
February 9, 2021
Fox News is reporting that Chris Benoit’s profile entry on the Wikipedia website was changed to note that he missed the WWE Vengeance pay-per-view, “due to personal issues, stemming from the death of his wife Nancy” 14 hours before the Benoit family was found dead.
The edit was made a minute past midnight Eastern Time. It was an anonymous edit from the IP address 22.214.171.124 using the Internet service provider Optimum Online. The IP was traced to a (so far) anonymous user originating in Stamford, CT, which of course is the headquarters of World Wrestling Entertainment. Then just one hour later after the first edit reversion, another anonymous edit by 126.96.36.199 using unwiredAustralia.com.au, a wireless Internet service provider, was made adding about the aforementioned personal issues: “which according to several pro wrestling websites is attributed to the passing of Benoit’s wife, Nancy.” That edit was reverted just under 20 minutes later, with the comment: “Saying ‘several pro wrestling websites’ is still not reliable information.” Further investigation shows that the IP address used to make the first edit is located in Connecticut, but the IP address is not linked to any computers or servers used by the WWE. The second edit was made by a computer in Australia from a wireless network.
You can see the Wikipedia edit in question at this link. If you have a Wikipedia account set to EST, it says “Revision as of 00:01, 25 June 2007”. WikiNews.org also has more on this story, which you can read here.
Web Time Stamps Indicate Benoit Death Reported About 14 Hours Before Police Found Bodies
Thursday , June 28, 2007
By Blane Bachelor
An anonymous user operating a computer traced to Stamford, Conn. — home to World Wrestling Entertainment — posted an entry to pro wrestler Chris Benoit’s biography on Wikipedia.org announcing the death of his wife Nancy about 14 hours before police in suburban Atlanta said they found her body along with her husband’s and that of their 7-year-old son, FOXNews.com has learned.
Employees at Wikipedia.com said the posting went live on their site on Monday at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. Police, however, said they found the bodies Monday at 2:30 p.m. EDT.
Wikipedia.org’s computers are set to record Standard and Universal Time, a spokesman told FOXNews.com.
The posting reads: “Chris Benoit was replaced by [[Johnny Nitro]] for the ECW Championship match at Vengeance, as Benoit was not there due to personal issues, stemming from the death of his wife Nancy.”
The posting was apparently made in reference to Benoit’s scheduled appearance on Sunday night at an Extreme Championship Wrestling event in Texas, with the last phrase noted in red to indicate an edit made to the original entry.
An employee from Wikipedia.org told FOXNews.com that he called and left a message with investigative authorities in Fayetteville, Ga., at around 11 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, after the posting was brought to the attention of the St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Web site.
“I chat with other editors on IRC — Internet relay chat — and somebody pointed it out to me on a relay chat and that it came from a Stamford connection, and that it took place at midnight Eastern Standard Time on Monday morning,” said Wikipedia.org volunteer coordinator Cary Bass. “I called and left a message with the police department.”
The computer-generated time and date stamp of the Benoit entry are listed as 4:01, 25 June 2007. Wikipedia.org lists its entries according to Universal Time, also known as Greenwich Mean Time.
A message left by FOXNews.com with Lt. Tommy Pope of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department was not immediately returned.
Investigators so far have ruled the Benoit killings as a double homicide-suicide.
Wikipedia.org claims to be one of the largest reference Web sites, and is written collaboratively by users from around the world. Approved users can make submissions and change entries that are posted on the site almost immediately. Bass said the site is constantly monitored to correct inaccuracies.
Bass said when there is a high-profile case, such as the Benoit killlings, Wikipedia.org limits postings to registered users, which is now indicated at the top of the Benoit entry. According to the listed history on the Benoit entry, the computer used to post the 12:01 a.m. entry had a Stamford, Conn., Internet Protocol — or IP — address, a numeric designation that is assigned to every computer with an Internet connection, and that same address has been used to post about a dozen other messages on the site, dating back to May 16, 2007.
FOXNews.com also has learned, through widely posted Web reports, that former pro wrestler Sherri Martel, who was found dead on June 15, was linked to former wrestler Kevin Sullivan — ex-husband of Nancy Benoit.
Martel, who had a reputation as one of the top managers in pro wrestling, was found dead at her mother’s home in near Birmingham, Ala., on June 15. She was 49.
Investigators, who have not yet determined Martel’s cause of death, say foul play is not suspected but that Martel did not die of natural causes.