Rockin’ Rebel Death – Murder-Suicide
1966-2018 (Age 52)
ECW alum Chuck “Rockin’ Rebel” Williams and his wife, Stephanie Burtnett, were both found dead on the morning of June 1st, 2018 after an apparent murder-suicide inside their Chester county, Pennsylvania home.
Investigators first confirmed a firearm was involved, but did not immediately confirm which of the two ultimately pulled the trigger. It was later revealed in a press release from the West Goshen Township Police, that Chuck Williams was the gunman: “Initial indications support that Stephanie Williams was shot by her husband. Charles Williams then fatally shot himself.”
Rockin Rebel’s Wrestling Career
Trained by Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express, Williams spent the early 90s with ECW, wrestling under the moniker “Rockin’ Rebel”. He squared off with Tazz, Shane Douglas, and many other notables before transitioning to tag team action with Jimmy Jannetty.
In ’95, Williams left ECW and hit the indie circuit – bouncing around various promotions over the next two decades.
Rockin’ Rebel Death
On Friday, June 1st, 2018 at 6:30am, family members discovered the bodies of Williams and his wife inside their West Goshen, Pennsylvania home – both dead from gunshot wounds.
West Goshen Township Police were called, and a preliminary investigation is pointing toward a murder-suicide.
Police have also confirmed that children were inside the home, presumably the couple’s twins – they were unharmed.
A neighbor told CBS Philadelphia “there were arguments between the parents and they were loud and the language used was extremely nasty. It scared me.”
Williams had been active on Facebook in the days leading up to his death. His last Facebook post states “a little love will go along way…”
Rockin’ Rebel Tributes
It appeared many of Williams’ former colleagues were holding off on posting tributes on social media – likely because details about what exactly transpired were not initially confirmed by investigators.
Still, a few close to the family chimed in, including fellow ECW star, The Blue Meanie.
The WWE, who resurrected ECW in 2001, did not release a statement.
On June 25, 2007, the WWE hosted a tribute episode of Raw in remembrance of Chris Benoit – the company quickly pivoted after learning the horrific circumstances of his death.
On June 21, 2018, Kyros Law announced that Chuck Williams brain would be donated for CTE research. Attorney Konstantine Kyros commented:
“Out of this immense tragedy, the family hopes to find some answers. They made the difficult decision to study Chuck’s brain for CTE in the hope that it may provide clues as to what happened. This is not the first time the family of a professional wrestler has been confronted by horrible events and there are obvious parallels to the Chris Benoit Tragedy.”