The Tragic Death of Chester Bennington
and the link that is obvious with Chris Cornell's death
Chester Bennington was the dynamic singer for Linkin Park; he was also best friends with Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell. Two months after the death of Cornell, Bennington was found dead in his private residence in Los Angeles.
It has largely been speculated that the two apparent suicides were linked. I am also convinced that the two deaths are related, but not how many conspiracy theories have suggested.
Bennington was born on 20th March 1976 in Phoenix, Arizona. His mother was a nurse, and his father was a police detective working on child protection cases. This was especially ironic as at the age of seven, an older friend abused Bennington. The abuse continued until he was thirteen; Bennington would later state that he didn't tell anyone in case people thought he was gay.
At eleven, Bennington's parents divorced and his father gained custody of him. This caused him to spiral down; he started to abuse drink and drugs and was bullied at school. His only solace was to write songs to comfort himself.
Bennington moved in with his mother when he was seventeen, who recognized his drug habit and grounded him until he stopped. Shortly after this, he was offered an audition by Jeff Blue from Zomba music for a place in Linkin Park. The audition was a success, and along with Mike Shinoda, he started his music career. The group released their first album, Hybrid Theory, in 2000.
Personally, Bennington had a turbulent time with relationships. In 1999, he adopted the son of Elka Brand who he was in a relationship with. The same year he married Samantha Olit and fathered one son, the couple divorced in 2005. In 2006, Bennington adopted Brand's second son.
In 2006, Bennington married model, Talinda and the couple went on to have three children making Bennington a father of six. He would also be granted the honour of being Godfather to Cornell's son, Christopher.
The Death of Chester Bennington
Bennington was away with his wife of twelve years; he told her he was going home for an evening to work on a television commercial; he arrived home alone.
He was found on 20th July 2017, aged forty-one, hanging from a door, an almost identical death to Cornell's. His driver made the 911 call when he came to pick him up at 9 am. The housekeeper had found the body; she could be heard crying in the background of the call. Bennington's wife and children, thankfully, were still out of town. No suicide note was found, but a half-empty bottle of alcohol was beside the body.
His autopsy initially revealed that he had a tiny amount of MDMA in his system, although subsequent tests for this returned negative. Ultimately authorities ruled that he was not under the influence of drugs.
Although he battled depression and addiction for many years, several of his friends stated he was in a good place at his time of death, better than he had been for a while. This was when fans started linking his murder to that of Cornell's.
Rumour started that Cornell and Bennington had been working on a documentary called 'The Silent Children,' uncovering high-powered Washington politicians in a child sex trafficking scandal. The identical deaths were cited as further proof that both men had been murdered, and their death made to look like suicide. Those producing the documentary denied that either singer had had anything to do with the program. However, that has not stopped the speculation.
The Link Between the Deaths
There is no doubt in my mind that these two deaths were connected, but not in the way many conspiracists have said. Bennington was close friends with Cornell; they were family, and his friend's death affected him more than anyone knew. He could not see a life without his friend beside him. That is why the two deaths were so similar; Bennington chose to end his life the same way his friend had.
I can't imagine a world without you in it - Chester Bennington on Chris Cornell.
Bennington had talked about suicide before; he had spent a lifetime battling his demons. Drink and drugs had been his coping mechanism to deal with depression and childhood trauma. Finally, reaching the pit of despair, he took his own life. Many people who decide to end it all appear happy leading up to their death; they have chosen to be free of pain.
This should not be a story about a conspiracy and documentary; this should be a story about mental health and how men are not given the same help and support as women. But, unfortunately, men's mental health is not spoken about and hidden; had it been more of an open subject, maybe Bennington could have got the help he needed to deal with the grief of losing his friend.
If anyone needs further proof of the cause of Bennington's death, they need to look no further than the date he took his life; the 20th July 2017 would have been Chris Cornell's fifty-third birthday.