Anonymous editor gets wrestler suicide scoop on Wikipedia

Here’s quite an amazing edit on Wikipedia, in which an anonymous person, editing from the IP address 69.120.111.23, modifies the article on Chris Benoit to read “However, 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” (editing addition in italics). In case you hadn’t yet heard, Chris Benoit was a WWE wrestler who pumped his seven-year-old son full of non-prescription hormones for several weeks, then killed his wife and his son in a murder-suicide. This edit to Wikipedia was a full half day before these horrific events were reported by police to the media.

So who was anonymously editing the article with information that wasn’t known to the public yet? Chris Benoit himself? One of those friends that he sent text messages to after killing his family but before offing himself? Another edit an hour later by a different anonymous IP address, 125.63.148.173, reveals more information, modifying the article to read “However, Chris Benoit was replaced by Johnny Nitro for the ECW Championship match at Vengeance, as Benoit was not there due to personal issues which according to several pro wrestling websites is attributed to the passing of Benoit’s wife, Nancy” (addition in italics).

So, is it possible that wrestling fansites knew what had gone down a full twelve hours before anyone else did? If so, where did they get this information from? This requires further investigation, and indeed, Wikimedia Foundation Volunteer Coordinator Cary Bass says that he has already contacted the proper authorities. Unfortunately, it won’t be nearly so easy to track this down on wrestling fansites as it would be on Wikipedia, as every edit on Wikipedia leaves an entry in the page’s history that is associated with a timestamp. Unless someone finds some discussions in wrestling forums that are marked with timestamps, anyway.

Update, June 28: Looks like the Associated Press is carrying this story now. Nyah nyah, scooped you guys by a day. Fox News also has a story.

Update, June 29: The anonymous user is claiming this was just an unfortunate coincidence.

2 Responses to “Anonymous editor gets wrestler suicide scoop on Wikipedia”

  1. Notizblog » Der Wikipedia-Mord Says:

    […] Familiendrama wird anonym in der Wikipedia gemeldet, bevor die Polizei die Medien informiert hat. War es gar der Täter selbst? Here’s quite an amazing edit on Wikipedia, in which an anonymous person, editing from the IP […]

  2. Swatjester Says:

    Duno if you missed it, but the police cleared the anon.