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I’ve always had a soft spot for Woody Harrelson.
He seems like a solid guy, has spoken about the need to get high to handle a “brutal dinner” with Donald Trump, and his antics at last year’s Wimbledon were a joy to behold.
Woody’s success is all the more remarkable when you consider that his father, Charles Voyde Harrelson, wasn’t exactly the ideal role model.
In 1980, Charles was arrested in Vanhorn, Texas, whilst hallucinating from injecting cocaine, claiming that there was a bomb inside his car.
As one might do in such a situation, he had pulled over to the side of the road and was firing shots at his vehicle. He then held himself hostage when police arrived, threatening to shoot himself and claiming that he had shot John F. Kennedy.
Police had been looking for Charles in connection with the murder of a judge, execution-style, who was due to preside over a high-profile trial involving marijuana kingpin Jimmy Chagra.
Told you he was interesting. Further details via the Telegraph:
The life and crimes of Charles Harrelson are now the subject of Son of a Hitman, an investigative Spotify podcast by journalist Jason Cavanagh. Speaking with witnesses, lawyers, law enforcement, and relatives of his victims (of both convicted and alleged crimes), Son of a Hitman paints a damning, ruthless portrait of Charles V. Harrelson: a murderer-for-hire; a woman-beater; a con-man; a drug mover and user; and debt collector.
One wild story even has him smuggling weapons into Cuba with Jack Ruby, the man who shot Lee Harvey Oswald. The sister of one murder victim described Harrelson as “cold as ice… there was nothing in his eyes.”
Here’s a snippet from that podcast:
What makes Charles, and the podcast, so interesting is that there are many unanswered questions and doubts over what exactly is true, and what really occurred all those years ago:
But did Charles Harrelson really kill Judge Wood? There are questions hanging over his guilt: a witness testimony under hypnosis; a conveniently-found rifle stock; and modus operandi that doesn’t fit the man. In an archive interview, replayed in Son of a Hitman, Woody Harrelson said: “I think that it was not a fair trial… I‘m not saying my father’s a saint but I think he’s innocent of that.”
Woody had also said be believed his father was a secret CIA operative. “I shouldn’t get into this right now,” Woody said. “This is where we’re going to get into trouble… I know it’s true.”
Here’s part of that interview:
The Telegraph article goes into further detail on Charles and Woody, including the theory that the former may have been involved in JFK’s shooting. Read that in full here.
If you’re keen on adding a new podcast to your list, you can find all the episodes of Son of a Hitman here.
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