Wrestling superstar Chris Benoit strangled his wife and smothered his son over a three day period, before hanging himself with weightlifting equipment, according to police.
Police investigators announced the grisly findings at a press conference this morning (AEST).
"Mr Benoit had sometime, possibly Friday, murdered his wife by asphyxiation. Sometime shortly after that, the same for his son Daniel and sometime later ... committed suicide by hanging himself in the basement area," officials said in a statement from the Fayetteville Sheriff's Department.
Even more shocking, Benoit's son, Daniel, was apparently found with needle marks in his arm.
According to Atlanta District Attorney Scott Ballard, the boy was being given Human Growth Hormones because the family thought he was undersized.
In a bizarre twist, Ballard said it appeared the wrestler choked his seven-year-old son to death late Saturday or early Sunday morning, more than a day after killing his wife.
The bodies of the 40-year-old wrestler, his wife, Nancy Benoit, 43, and son, Daniel, were found in three separate rooms at their Atlanta home on Monday.
Mrs Benoit was bound at the wrists and feet, with a towel wrapped around her body and blood underneath her head, according to officials.
A Bible was reportedly found near each one of the bodies.
World Wrestling Entertainment staff asked police to check on Benoit after they were alerted to a series of "curious" text messages he had sent to friends, reportedly during Sunday's Vengeance TV wrestling program.
In one of the messages, Benoit said that his wife and son were sick.
In another message to a neighbor, Benoit said that the house door was open and the pets were outside.
"Our assumption is that that was an effort to try and get somebody to come find the bodies after the suicide," Ballard said.
However, police say they believe Benoit died on Saturday. Authorities understand he used a cord from one of his workout machines as a makeshift noose.
Toxicology tests will show whether steroids or prescription drugs, both found inside the Benoit home, could have been a factor in the deaths. Steroid abuse has been linked to angry outbursts known as "roid rage".
Mrs Benoit had filed for divorce and a restraining order against her husband in 2003, telling a judge she was "intimidated by threats of violence".
Yet when Benoit ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â€Â nicknamed 'The Canadian Crippler' ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â€Â won the world heavyweight championship in 2004, he hoisted the belt over his head and invited his wife and child into the ring to celebrate.
Asked by the Calgary Sun newspaper that same year to name his worst vice: Benoit replied: "Quality time with my family is a big vice. It's something I'll fight for and crave."
But as the investigation continues, it's Benoit's history of domestic abuse which has been brought into the spotlight.
In the papers, Nancy claimed that Benoit, "lost his temper and threatened to strike the petitioner and cause extensive damage to the home and personal belongings of the parties, including furniture."
She also said she was "in reasonable fear for petitioner's own safety and that of the minor child."
Three months later, she withdrew the divorce papers and a judge cancelled the proceedings.
Benoit met his wife on the wrestling circuit during the mid-1990s.
Then, she was the wife of fellow wrestler Kevin Sullivan. As part of the scripted show, Benoit and Nancy acted as if they were having an affair.
But a real life romance developed and Nancy left Sullivan for her new love.
Now, in the aftermath of the killings, some friends of Benoit have been unable to accept he would harm his family.
"He was very happy with his wife and he loved his son Daniel," Ross Hart, a friend of Benoit and member of the Hart wrestling family, told the Edmonton Journal.
"This would be very uncharacteristic of Chris to do anything self-destructive. I find it very hard to believe that he would end his life or his family's."