Two years before Woody Harrelson won over TV audiences with his role as the slow-witted, kindhearted bartender Woody Boyd on Cheers, the actor's father, Charles Harrelson, was sentenced to two life terms for the slaying of a federal judge in San Antonio. It was his third alleged murder — at least on record. Thirty-seven years later, EW can exclusively reveal that Spotify is releasing Son of a Hitman, a 10-episode podcast investigating the life and crimes of Charles Harrelson, with new interviews from his family members and more.
Debuting in May, the podcast will chronicle a real-time investigation by host and journalist Jason Cavanagh, featuring in-depth conversations with Woody's brothers, Brett and Jordan, as well as on-the-ground reporting with those who knew Charles before and after his arrest. (Woody has not participated in the taping of the podcast as of publication of this article.)
Charles, a professional gambler and hitman, was arrested in 1979 for the assassination of U.S. District Judge John Wood Jr. He had previously been acquitted in the death of Alan Berg, a carpet salesman, and convicted in the murder of Sam Degelia Jr., a grain dealer, serving five years. Charles died in prison in 2007, and much of his life has turned into myth, leading Cavanagh to try and separate the true-crime fan fiction from the cold truth.
Son of a Hitman will bring to light revelations about Charles’ relationship with the law, why he claimed to have been involved in the JFK assassination (you read that right), and what his sons believe truly happened.
On April 28, ahead of the podcast launch, EW will have an in-depth interview with Cavanagh and Brett Harrelson to go behind the scenes of the investigation.