Former Pro Wrestler Billy Jack Haynes Is Suspected in the Murder of His Wife

He retired from the ring in the early 1990s and hung around Portland.

Billy Jack Haynes in October 1984. (Florida State Archives)

The former professional wrestler William Albert “Billy Jack” Haynes was arrested on suspicion of murder Feb. 9 after an hourslong standoff with police in the Lents neighborhood. This afternoon, police announced he is suspected of killing his wife, Janette Becraft.

Haynes, 70, grew up in Portland and made a name for himself in national wrestling circles in the mid-1980s, wrestling in the World Wrestling Federation and, notably, in Wrestlemania III. After Haynes’ career faded, he returned to Portland and opened a gym and a regional wrestling promotion.

Related: Katherine Dunn chronicled Haynes’ effort to launch the Oregon Wrestling Federation.

He retired from the ring in the early 1990s and hung around Portland, a hulking figure slowed by chronic knee injuries and, he would later allege in an unsuccessful lawsuit against the WWF, head injuries from repeated blows in the ring.

Portland police sent crisis negotiation and tactical teams to Southeast 100th Avenue on Friday morning, locking down the neighborhood after a report of a shooting. The man inside the home eventually surrendered to police. That man, who police now say is Haynes, is in police custody at a local hospital. Police say he’ll be booked in jail and formally charged in the coming days.

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