Former professional wrestler William “Billy Jack” Haynes appeared in Multnomah County Court in Portland, Oregon, on Thursday, February 29th. Haynes faces charges of Murder in the Second Degree and Unlawful Use of a Weapon following the death of his wife, Janette Becraft, aged 85, in Portland several weeks prior. The trial is set for April 11th.

Haynes, known for his tenure in the wrestling world, including stints in the WWF, WCW (under the mask of Black Blood), and various other territories, was apprehended on the morning of February 8th after a two-hour standoff with law enforcement officers. Gunshots had been reported at his residence in the Lents area of Portland.

Authorities responded to reports of a shooting at 6000 SE 100th Avenue around 9:52 a.m. local time that day. Haynes, 70, initially resisted cooperation with law enforcement, leading to the deployment of a special tactical team and crisis negotiators. After a two-hour standoff, he was taken into custody, during which time the local neighborhood was advised to shelter in place.

Janette Becraft, Haynes’ wife, was discovered deceased within the residence. Subsequently, an investigation was launched, with the Medical Examiner determining her cause of death as homicide by gunshot wound.


In an interview with Portland FOX affiliate KPTV FOX 12, Brilynn Matthieu, a neighbor with connections to the family, described the situation as tragic, highlighting her close relationship with both Haynes and his wife, particularly in light of her recent care for Becraft, who suffered from dementia.

While Haynes had gained notoriety in recent years for his controversial statements and conspiracy theories during interviews, he was once a prominent figure in the wrestling world, particularly in the Pacific Northwest territory. Known for his rugged persona and formidable in-ring abilities, Haynes’ career spanned various territories and promotions.

His most notable stint came in the WWF, where he wrestled from June 1986 to January 1988. Despite initial success, including feuds with notable wrestlers such as Hercules Hernandez and Randy Savage, his tenure was marred by incidents and controversies, leading to his eventual departure.

Following his wrestling career, Haynes remained active in the Portland area, even launching his own promotion, The Oregon Wrestling Federation. However, disputes and controversies continued to follow him, including a brief stint in WCW and involvement in the WWE CTE lawsuit, which was ultimately dismissed in 2019.

As Haynes awaits trial for the charges against him, his once-celebrated wrestling career stands overshadowed by the events unfolding in the courtroom.

Steve Carrier

Steve is the Founder of RingsideNews. He has been writing about professional wrestling since 1996. He first got into website development at the time and has been focusing on bringing his readers the best professional wrestling news at it's highest quality.

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