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The Truth About Woody Harrelson's Contract Killer Father

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With his Texas twang and laid-back attitude, Woody Harrelson is a truly unique talent. His father, Charles Harrelson, didn't have much to do with raising Woody, but they still have a lot in common. What they don't have in common is their occupation. Charles Harrelson was a hitman.

Born in 1938, Charles Harrelson was a man who couldn't stop moving. He grew up in Texas and joined the navy, and after getting his fill of the deep blue sea, started selling encyclopedias in Los Angeles. It was around this time he married Woody's mom, Diane, but Harrelson wasn't what you'd call a great husband.

Years later, after divorcing Woody’s mom and remarrying, Charles Harrelson decided it was a good idea to start killing people for money. He even got himself some business cards that read, "Have gun will travel" and "Hitman." During his time as a contract killer, it's rumored that Harrelson was asked to murder at least 20 people, including carpet salesman Alan Berg and grain salesman Sam Degelia, Jr. Thanks to a superstar attorney named Percy Foreman -- the same lawyer who represented the killer of Martin Luther King, Jr. Harrelson was able to escape with a bunch of “not guilty” verdicts and lighter sentences.

Eventually, however, Charles Harrelson’s luck ran out.

When a drug lord in some legal trouble hired Charles Harrelson to take out a federal judge, everything changed. The judge, John H. Wood, was getting ready to leave for work in May 1979 when Harrelson shot him in the back with a rifle. The judge died on the way to the hospital, and the killing absolutely shook the nation. It was the first time a federal judge had been assassinated in the United States, and President Jimmy Carter condemned the killing as, quote, "an assault on our very system of justice." Soon, there was a $200,000 reward, and Harrelson wouldn't last long with every law enforcement agent in the country on his trail. Keep watching the video to see the truth about Woody Harrelson's contract killer father.

#WoodyHarrelson #CharlesHarrelson

Who was Charles Harrelson? | 0:16
Murdering a federal judge | 1:13
How Woody learned the truth | 2:58
Murderous roles | 4:08

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