Did Woody Harrelson’s father, Charles Harrelson, really assassinate a federal judge, a crime for which he was convicted and sentences to life in prison? Or was he framed for it? How could Charles Harrelson — a supposed mafia hitman who was so broke he accepted a pittance to murder a man — afford Percy Foreman, one of the most celebrated criminal defense attorneys of his era, and the guy Jack Ruby asked to defend him? Was Charles Harrelson involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy? What does Woody Harrelson think about his father? Has Woody tried to keep a lid on his father’s conviction to protect his career?
None of these questions are particularly novel, and the fact that Woody Harrelson’s father was a hitman is not exactly a big Hollywood secret (it’s been written about here before). What’s new, however, is that someone is actually trying to explore these questions. He’s a journalist by the name of Jason Cavanagh, and he hosts a new Spotify podcast, Son of a Hitman, which does a deep dive into the crimes of Charles Harrelson. In doing so, he talks to Charles’ other two sons, as well as the family members of the Senior Harrelson’s victims.
It is a thorough, in-depth investigation of Charles Harrelson, so much so that Brett Harrelson — the son of Charles and brother of Woody — ends up learning a lot about his own father through Cavanagh’s investigation. One wonders, however, if Woody would have welcomed the investigation.
“Woody Harrelson doesn’t want it, and he has a lot of power in Hollywood, but I knew that it would eventually come out,” says the daughter of Jamiel Chagra in episode five of Son of a Hitman. Chagra was one of the biggest drug traffickers in the country back in the 1970s, a man who purportedly paid Charles Harrelson to assassinate United States District Judge John H. Wood Jr. The account of Chagra is an insane, multilayered story in and of itself, and that, too, is explored in Son of a Hitman, which will also touch upon the most insane conspiracy surrounding Charles Harrelson: Was he involved in the murder of JFK?
It sounds farfetched, and it is, but Cavanaugh follows that trail, anyway, to see if there is a trail that connects Charles Harrelson to JFK. Through five episodes, so far, there are a few breadcrumbs, and fans of Woody Harrelson, true crime, or podcasts would be served well to tune into Son of a Hitman to see if Cavanagh can connect the dots to JFK or definitively discover whether Harrelson was framed for the murder of a federal judge.
(Via Son of a Hitman podcast)