Contract Killer Charles Harrelson

Charles Voyde Harrelson, born in Texas on July 23, 1938, and father of actor Woody Harrelson.

Charles Harrelson mugshot, 1960

Charles Harrelson worked as an encyclopedia salesman in California and was also an accomplished gambler. He also had a side job – he was arrested and convicted of armed robbery in 1960. He was sentenced to five years for this conviction, but only served a matter of months. His son, Woodrow, would be born on July 23, 1961.

A young Woodrow Harrelson

Charles Harrelson left the family home in Houston, Texas, in 1968, leaving his wife Diane and three sons behind. This was the last that Woody heard of him until hearing a news report of his father’s arrest in 1981.

Charles Harrelson (credit: AP)

Charles Harrelson had been arrested for the assassination of US District Judge John H Wood Jr, who was shot dead outside his home in San Antonio, Texas, in May, 1979. Harrelson had been hired by drug dealer Jamiel Chagra – who was due to appear in front of the judge on the day of the murder. Harrelson was eventually sentenced to two life terms for the killing.

John Howland Wood Jr

Woody attempted to have his father’s conviction overturned in order to secure a fresh trial, after it came to light that Jamiel Chagra had renounced his previous statements stating that someone other than Harrelson had shot the judge. This was unsuccessful, and Charles Voyde Harrelson died of a heart attack in his cell at Supermax ADX Florence in Colorado on March 15, 2007.

Woody Harrelson

There have been claims made about Charles Harrelson’s involvement in the assassination of John F Kennedy, though nothing has ever been proven. Charles himself once told police that he shot Kennedy, however, he was high on cocaine during a six-hour standoff at the time. The FBI have apparently discounted any involvement by Harrelson. Even so, it is believed in some ‘conspiracy’ circles that he had connections to Jack Ruby, and he’s believed to be the tallest of the ‘three tramps’ photographed at the scene. The rumors persist…

The Three Tramps

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