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By Mike Johnson on 2024-02-22 13:05:00

For those who have asked, former WWF star William "Billy Jack" Haynes remains hospitalized, which is why he has not been officially arrested and charged in relation to the death of his wife in Portland, Oregon several weeks ago. is told that charges are forthcoming once Haynes is released and can be booked into jail and face arraignment.

Haynes, who was a massive star in the Portland territory and had runs in the WWF in the late 1980s, WCW (under as mask as Black Blood) as well as Florida, World Class Championship Wrestling, Jim Crockett Promotions, New Japan and other territories was arrested Thursday morning 2/8 after a two hour standoff with police after gunshots were reported coming from his home in the Lents area of Portland.  

Authorities received reports of a shooting at 6000 SE 100th Avenue around 9:52 a.m local time that day.

KOIN Channel 6, which was on the scene for the arrest, stated that Haynes, 70 (who had not been identified at that point) was not cooperative with the authorities who initially responded, leading to a special tactical team and crisis negotiators being brought to the home.  After two hours, Haynes was taken into custody.   His local neighborhood was ordered to shelter in place during the standoff.

Local reports stated that Janette Becraft, 85, of Portland, Haynes’ wife, was found dead in the home.  Once Haynes was taken into custody, authorities began a homicide investigation.  Haynes was questioned overnight and remains in custody.

The Medical Examiner has determined Becraft died of homicide by gunshot wound.

Sgt. Kevin Allen told on 2/10, "I can confirm that the man we detained last night remains in police custody this morning. He has not been booked into jail or charged with a crime, so we are not releasing his name at this time. I’m in communication with detectives and we will update the news release as soon as there is a development to report." 

Brilynn Matthieu, a neighbor with ties to the family, was interviewed by Portland FOX affiliate KPTV FOX 12 stating, “It’s a tragedy all around.  Finally, being able to process the severity of the proximity of how close we were in nature.  It’s my dad and I live and help take care of them. Recently, I was just taking care of his wife who had ongoing dementia. I was pretty decently close to both of them and loved them very much.”

Other Portland media outlets identified the person taken into custody as a former professional wrestler but Haynes’ name was not revealed.  Multiple reports have identified Haynes ahead of the Portland Police officially naming him.

Haynes in recent years had become more known for outlandish claims and conspiracy theories made while doing shoot interviews but at one point was one of the most popular talents for Don Owens’ Pacific Northwest territory in Portland.  

With a chiseled physique and a hat and nickname taken from the 1971 film Billy Jack (for which he was threatened with a lawsuit from the actor who starred in the film, Tom Laughlin, resulting Haynes’ real life last name being added to his ring name), Haynes’ rugged toughness and tenacity as a performer was never in question.  He utilized a full nelson as his finisher during a period where fans still could believe it was a true finishing move.   With a background in boxing and street fighting, Haynes' toughness was never questioned.

After training under Stu Hart in the Dungeon, Haynes wrestled in Stampede for a short time, including teaming with Bruce Hart on occasion.  He shifted to the Don Owens territory for a feud with Rip Oliver and then began making his way across the territory system including Texas for The Von Erichs’ World Class Championship Wrestling and Eddie Graham’s Championship Wrestling from Florida, where he feuded with Kendo Nagasaki over the Florida Heavyweight Championship.  In Jim Crockett Promotions, Haynes and Wahoo McDaniel feuded with Ole and Arn Anderson.  He was about to begin a program with The Barbarian when he butted heads with the office and left.  Haynes didn’t often remain in places for long periods of time if he wasn't happy.

His most famous run on a national level was for WWE, where he wrestled from June 1986 through January 1988.  Originally brought in as a babyface, he feuded with Hercules Hernandez over who had the strongest full nelson, including a double countout at Wrestlemania 3.  He challenged Randy Savage for the Intercontinental Championship on live events as well.  After the Hernandez feud had climaxed with chain matches on the live show tours, Haynes was downshifted into a tag team with Ken Patera based on the idea they were both from Oregon.  

Haynes was done by early 1988, allegedly over refusing to lose in his hometown of Portland, although there were other mitigating factors.  There was an incident where Haynes, unhappy with being hit hard in the ring by Iron Mike Sharpe, got into it with him backstage at a show in Detroit and knocked Sharpe out, so there had been some heat on him.  Greg Valentine has also told a story in interviews that Haynes was actually fired after passing out on a flight to a point that a flight attendant thought Haynes was having a health emergency, leading to the flight landing.  Valentine’s version of the story was that Haynes had allegedly used GHB, which rendered Haynes comatose - and when Vince McMahon found out about the incident, Haynes was fired.

Haynes has claimed that during his WWF run, he was using his travel schedule to traffic cocaine at the same time, going as far as to claim he witnessed the murders in the infamous Boys on the Tracks case in Little Rock, Arkansas.

After his WWF run, Haynes returned to Portland and at different points, launched his own promotion, The Oregon Wrestling Federation.  He worked for WCW as a heel under a mask as Black Blood during a time where Dusty Rhodes was churning out lots of new characters for the company, but was quickly gone over a dispute in pay for a PPV bout against Big Josh (Matt Borne) for the 1991 Great American Bash PPV.  He did lots of independent shots in the Oregon area but was officially retired by 1996 beyond making appearances at conventions (which he drove to, not wanting to fly) and doing the aforementioned outlandish shoot interviews.  The last place he regularly wrestled was the USWA in 1995.

Haynes was part of the now-dismissed WWE CTE lawsuit as well, one of the first talents to sue the company.    In his lawsuit filed in 2014, Haynes alleged he was dealing with depression and exhibited symptoms of dementia due to his time in WWE.  The CTE-related lawsuits were dismissed in 2019 outright. will update when Haynes is officially charged by Portland police.

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