Former professional wrestler, William “Billy Jack” Haynes Jr., is under suspicion for the fatal shooting of his 85-year-old wife, Janette Becraft, in their Portland, Oregon residence. Portland Police Bureau officers were dispatched to the scene on Southeast 100th Avenue shortly before 10 a.m. on Thursday, following reports of a shooting.
Upon arrival, officers attempted to engage with Haynes, 70, who refused to cooperate and instead barricaded himself within the property. In response, the Special Emergency Reaction Team and the Crisis Negotiation Team were called in to manage the situation. The standoff lasted several hours, during which time local residents were advised to secure their homes and stay indoors.
The standoff concluded when Haynes surrendered to the authorities. Upon entering the property, officers discovered Becraft’s body, the victim of a gunshot wound. Haynes is currently in police custody at a local hospital due to an unrelated medical condition. Upon his release, he will be formally charged, although the specific charges have not yet been disclosed.
Haynes, known as “Billy Jack” in the wrestling world, had a notable career in the 1980s and 90s. He is perhaps best remembered for his participation in “The Battle of the Full Nelsons” at the World Wrestling Federation’s WrestleMania III in 1987. His career spanned the Pacific Northwest and Florida markets, but was largely curtailed by injuries. In 2016, he unsuccessfully attempted to sue the WWF, alleging negligence regarding wrestlers’ head injuries.
The news of the alleged murder has left neighbors in shock. Local resident Steve Odri described Haynes and Becraft as a friendly couple. He recalled Haynes inviting him over for a beer, describing him as an “average Joe” and a childhood hero. Breelyn Matthieu, who cared for Becraft during her struggle with dementia, shared that Haynes had recently been hospitalized for broken ribs following a fall. She recalled him expressing his eagerness to return home to his wife.