Billy Jack Haynes, a former WWE star, has been accused of shooting and killing his 85-year-old wife before an hours-long standoff with police.
Haynes, 70, legal name William Albert Haynes, was a fixture of the Portland wrestling scene and appeared at WrestleMania III. He is suspected of killing his “angel” wife, Janette Becraft, on the morning of February 8 at his home in the Lents neighborhood of Portland, Oregon.
Tactical teams swarmed the home after reports of a shooting, but Haynes refused to leave, leading to a two-hour standoff with police. He “eventually came out” and was taken into custody and was later brought to a hospital for another issue. When police searched the home, they found Becraft shot dead.
No motive has been released for the killing, and formal charges have not been announced yet.
Haynes had reportedly settled down at the house after retiring from wrestling alongside Becraft, who was the mother of another pro wrestler, Tod Becraft, who fought under the name Tod Ruhl.
The two were reportedly best friends and met as children. When Becraft’s husband Dwight passed away, she married Haynes.
An obituary for Tod Becraft, who died in 2021, reads: “Billy Jack Haynes was Tod’s best friend. They met when Tod was nine years old. After Dwight passed away, Janette and Billy Jack married. Janette named her guinea pig Lil’ Todster, after her beloved son.”
Becraft’s daughter, Kim Becraft Finlay, wrote on Facebook: “You are now flying with the Angels. They are lucky to have such a beautiful soul. Love you Mom.”
Her niece, Sue Becraft, wrote: “When a family member is murdered, as my Aunt Jan was this past Thursday morning in Portland, all that comes flooding back is the endless work her daughter did to get her away from her abuser,” wrote her niece Sue Becraft. “Hearing the pain and heartbreak in her voice as she tells me ‘He shot her this morning, she didn’t make it.’”
“She loved her mother deeply and did all she could, but services she called to help her, only failed her and Jan.”
The two were well known in the area, according to neighbor Steve Odry, who told local outlet KOIN, “He was telling me all kinds of stories about old wrestling and I told him how I used to go watch him.”
Another neighbor, Brelynn Matthieu, called it a “tragedy,” adding, “I was pretty decently close to both of them and loved them very much. It’s a really sad day, all around.”
“[Haynes] is in police custody at a local hospital while he is being treated for a medical condition unrelated to the homicide or his contact with law enforcement,” said police. “Once he is released from the hospital, which may be days from now, he is expected to be booked into jail. Haynes’ charges will be released once he is booked.”
Haynes is best known for his time in WWE between 1986 and 1988, and he was known for fighting in WrestleMania III. He retired from the ring in 1995 after fighting in New Japan Pro Wrestling and then WCW and USWA.
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