Former WWE Wrestler in Custody Over Wife’s Murder

Portland Police Bureau
Portland Police Bureau

A former WWE wrestler has been arrested after his 85-year-old wife was found shot dead in their home earlier this week.

Police in Portland, Oregon, say William “Billy Jack” Haynes, 70, is in police custody at an area hospital, where he’s being treated for a condition unrelated to the homicide of his wife, Janette Becraft.

“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,” police said in a press release.

Becraft was found dead in the couple’s Lents home on Thursday morning after a tense standoff with a man now identified by police as Haynes. Residents in the area were ordered to shelter in place as police sought to coax Haynes out of the house, believing he was still armed.

Becraft’s body was found after officers finally gained entry. No further details have been released on the circumstances leading up to her murder, but police confirmed in a statement that she died of a “gunshot wound.”

Brilynn Matthieu, a woman who lives in a separate part of the same house as Haynes and Becraft, told The Oregonian she had sometimes helped Haynes take care of Becraft, who suffered from dementia. She said the former wrestler had fallen and hurt himself on Tuesday but had left the hospital before getting treatment for his injuries because he was so worried about his ailing wife.

 William “Billy Jack” Haynes

William “Billy Jack” Haynes in a photo taken in 1984 for the WWE.

Wikimedia Commons / Florida Memory

“He came back and told her, ‘You know I couldn’t be away from you,’” she was quoted as saying. “And she just rolled her eyes in a cute little way.”

Her father, Thomas Matthieu, expressed shock at the tragic turn of events, noting that Haynes and Becraft “adored each other” and were “inseparable.”

“Everywhere they went they were hand in hand. It’s surreal,” he said.

Other neighbors interviewed by the newspaper were equally dismayed by Becraft’s killing, saying they’d never seen anything amiss between the couple.

Haynes gained fame in the wrestling world in the late 1980s, and he was a part of a class-action lawsuit filed against the company in 2014 alleging a failure to protect wrestlers against repeated head trauma. That suit was ultimately dismissed in 2019.

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