(CNN) -- Authorities in Georgia say pro wrestler Chris Benoit strangled his wife and suffocated his 7-year-old son before hanging himself this weekend.
CNN.com asked readers to share their thoughts and reaction to the apparent murder-suicide. Below is a selection of their responses, some of which have been edited for length and clarity.
Jessica Allen of Sayre, Pennsylvania
It saddens me to see a man who was so talented, respected, admired and loved turn into something so horrible. I just can't understand why he would do such a thing. My heart goes out to their family and friends.
Mike Litvack of Bowie, Maryland
What happened here is very unfortunate and tragic. The wrestling business has become a terrible lifestyle for its employees. These men and women are on the road for 250+ days a year. They work several nights a week punishing their bodies day after day. Taking or even requesting time off often results in your release from the company.
This punishment leads to painkiller addiction. Pile on top of that the steroid use almost required to be employed in the business, and you have a recipe for disaster. I am not going to assume that any of this is the cause of these events, but someone should take a serious look at this business. When the life expectancy of a professional wrestler seems to be 45 years old or so, we have a serious problem.
Chelsy Carpenter of Hayti, Missouri
WOW. I do not believe Chris killed his wife and son. I am a huge fan of Chris Benoit, and I think someone went in their house and killed them, not Chris Benoit. I am extremely upset with this. I have cried and pray for the Benoit family. This is the just sad, and all I have to say is I love Chris, Nancy and Daniel.
Jennifer James of Lake Jackson, Texas
Understandably this is a HUGE tragedy for the entire Benoit family. I, for one, have been trying NOT to speculate as to the "WHY" of what happened over the weekend. Whether Chris acted in a rage or not ... it is a tragedy for him as well as for Daniel and Nancy. Let me explain why. ... Chris was an OUTSTANDING wrestler. He was entertaining and dedicated. Obviously he had things in his life that didn't mesh with the view that he projected to the world. Who are we to judge? What gives any of us the right? The best thing we can do is not glorify the horrible thing that happened and allow his and Nancy's extended families to begin the healing process. Rest in peace, Nancy and Daniel. Rest in peace, Chris. May you not harbor hate and vengeance, and may you sleep well.
Antonio Karantonis of Hershey, Pennsylvania
I am 33 years old and have been an avid pro wrestling fan for as long as I can remember. Chris Benoit was one of the best professional wrestlers of all time as far as wrestling ability is concerned; today, I would have placed him second only to TWA's Kurt Angle when it comes to wrestling ability. I am shocked by his actions, particularly with the murder of his own son; it is also perplexing that someone with Chris' level of success would have been willing to throw it all away and leave behind such a horrible legacy in exiting this life. I will remember Chris Benoit for being the excellent mat technician that he was and not the murderer that he will unfortunately be remembered as. I don't think the WWE should apologize for honoring his career last Monday on RAW. It was obvious by the comments of his cohorts and those that knew, traveled and worked with Chris that he was well loved, respected, and will be greatly missed. While I certainly do not condone nor excuse his actions, his professional accomplishments and in-ring ability have earned him a place in the WWE Hall of Fame, although the monstrous actions he took over the last few days of his life will prevent that from happening.
Carolyn Brown of Grand Junction, Colorado
My husband is an avid WWE/ECW fan, so I often watch these programs with him. I am saddened with the rest of the world to hear of the Benoit tragedy. I feel that the wrestling world, as with all sports, should be tested for steroids, because of the fact that they are role models for our youth. This is a sad day to try to explain this misfortune to my nephews who also watch WWE/ECW every week, hailing those wrestlers as "heroes" in their book! I hope this raises a RED FLAG to everyone using these drugs and to the managers and coordinators of these sports to take a look at what they are teaching our children.
N. Cordova of Yakima, Washington
Irregardless of Benoit's state of mind, any kind of "tribute" should not be paid to him.
Dan Lutzka of Lindenhurst, Illinois
I have been a wrestling fan now for 25 years. I'm 32 years old, and I have never seen anything like this before in my life. I'm torn on my feelings about this because of how much respect I had for him. But now I'm not sure what I'm supposed to feel about him. I have been upset since Monday, and I guess right now, I'm confused about why this happened.
John Smith of Chicago, Illinois
He had all the talent and was one of the best at what he did, and it is ironic for a person whose ring career demanded respect and whose legacy will never have it. Something was wrong here, and you can pin it on roid rage, because in the end, his finishing move was that of a coward.
Tabby Street of Elizabethton, Tennessee
My thoughts and prayers are with the Benoit family. This is a horrible thing to happen to a family. I have a really hard time seeing Chris take the life of his wife and son. I think there is more to this whole tragedy than what we really know. How do they really know Chris did this? Nobody has had one bad thing to say about Chris. Chris' fans and friends will miss him greatly. We love and miss you Chris. Rest in peace.
Elizabeth Newman of Calhoun, Georgia
This is such a tragic news story, just like so many others. Will we ever really know what went on in the mind of Chris Benoit? He was obviously a very troubled man. One thing that I am having a very difficult time with is, to my understanding, WWE is planning a tribute to Benoit. I am somewhat of a fan of WWE, but this is mind boggling that someone that has committed these acts can be the focus of a tribute. I don't feel that this is an appropriate response to this horrific tragedy.
Larry Jennings of Oak Lawn, Illinois
As a longtime wrestling fan, it's kinda heartbreaking to see a man who was supposed to be one of the "good guys" in real life turn out to be one of the "villains." Neither myself nor any of my friends who are varying degrees of fans can believe it. My heart goes out to the families, but the thought of this being "roid rage" to me seems sensational. I think that for whatever reason, the man just snapped. I just don't get it, and pray that I never do.
Maggie Tracy of Virginia Beach, Virginia
My heart goes out the remaining Benoit family. It was only a matter of time before something like this happened to open everyone's eyes up so they could see the effects of steroids on the user and every one around them.
Sheri Ann of Pompano Beach, Florida
I am totally shocked -- not that Chris Benoit is dead, but the fact he killed his family. What in the world could cause anyone to kill their own child? I liked Chris Benoit as a wrestler, and I am not gonna judge him in his death; but this news just blew my mind.
It sounds to me like the text messages were an outward cry for HELP. I think that the investigation did not look at all possible scenarios.
They jumped to a conclusion that Chris did this, and MANY OTHER things could have happened. I hope and pray Chris is in peace now, and I know his son and wife are in heaven. Thank God his other two kids did not live with them.
Josh Harrison of Granite City, Illinois
"Roid rage" doesn't last that long. It definitely does not last three days. Get real. The news media is always quick to point to drugs, especially since it's popular to defame a wrestler with steroid abuse. During the press release, that's the first question people started shouting. It's ridiculous to dumb down a tragic event such as this by summing it up with the answer "caused by performance-enhancing drugs."
Matthew Henry of Bloomington, Indiana
Many will point to steroids as a likely cause of this tragedy, while some, including the WWE, will deny such a connection to these murders. Whatever ultimately caused these deaths, the WWE will at some point need to face the fact that so many individuals in the "sports entertainment" business are meeting untimely ends. It should be important to note that unlike any other major sport, there is no off season for the WWE.
Derek Traquair of Calgary, Alberta
As a longtime fan of the old Stampede Wrestling and having grown up watching Chris Benoit, I am horribly saddened at the tragic end of his and his family's lives. I'm sure that many Calgarians considered him their hero: He was a wrestling purist and one of the most real people in an industry that is known for its outlandish characters. As details emerge surrounding the last days of his life, I only become more confused that any human being, let alone one that I've respected and admired since childhood, could be capable of such actions. My love, prayers and respect are for everyone ... including Chris ... who has been hurt by this.
John D. of Nutley, New Jersey
I have been a huge wrestling fan for the last 25+ years, and a fan of Chris Benoit as well. He was undoubtedly one of the greatest technical wrestlers and one of the hardest-working guys in the WWE, and throughout his career was regarded as a stand-up guy and wholesome family man as well. Unfortunately, we have now come to realize that while the former will always be true, the latter has proved to be false.
Words cannot describe the epic proportions of this tragedy, and my thoughts and prayers obviously go out to the Benoits' extended family. I suppose that we will never learn the entire truth behind what happened, why he did what he did, what events led up to it, etc. But this much we know: What he did to his wife and son was as evil as evil can get, and what he did to himself subsequently was as cowardly as cowardly can get. So much for his legacy. So much for all of the kind words and memorable tributes paid to him last Monday night on WWE Raw. I can't even imagine how those who paid tribute to Benoit are feeling right now. They thought they knew this man, but what is becoming quite clear is that no one may have really known who Chris Benoit truly was. Not his co-workers, not his supposed best friends, and not even his own family.