Frontal Lobe Theory
Following his death, Benoit was revealed to have suffered from CTE resulting from repeated concussions afflicted during his career. In order to understand Benoit’s behaviour, this paper will take a bio-behavioural approach. Specifically, frontal lobe theory will be applied to the behaviour displayed leading up to and during the murder-suicide. In essence, while other causes can explain the behaviour displayed during the crime to some extent, frontal lobe theory can provide the most compelling explanation given the evidence.
Firstly, it is important to preface with a brief outline of frontal lobe theory and its context within bio-behavioural theories of crime. A bio-behavioural approach to understanding crime attempts to attribute criminal behaviour to differences in brain and biochemical functioning (Wortley, 2011). This approach falls within the broader psychological framework to understanding crime at an individual level. What …show more content…
The most significant piece of evidence suggesting that this applied to Benoit is the diagnosis of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopothy (CTE) following a post-mortem examination of his brain (Lewis, 2007). CTE, which was previously known as punch-drunk syndrome and dementia pugilista, is characterised by carious changes and deficiencies in the brain including cerebral atrophy (Gavett, Stern & McKee, 2011). Benoit’s father Michael, could not understand what drove Benoit to kill his family, despite being known as a family man to all those who knew him. Thus, Michael turned his son’s brain over to the Sports Legacy Institute (SLI) for assessment. Shockingly, brain scans revealed extensive brain trauma and discolouring that resembled that of an 85 year old Alzheimers patient. Dr Julian Bailes, who had also examined the brains of various NFL players who had committed suicide, described Benoit’s brain as the worst case of trauma he had ever seen (Carrido, 2011). To understand what caused the damage, one only has to look at his history of repeated head injuries and chronic concussions during his career as a wrestler. As with most physical sports prior to the consequences of repeated concussions being realised, the WWE had few safety regulations to prevent concussions and assess the extent of damages before putting wrestlers back in the ring. Consequently, Benoit received dozens of chronic