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Thread: 1968, Body Found At The Mouth of The Brazos River

  1. #11

    Default Re: 1968, Body Found At The Mouth of The Brazos River

    In this same time period, movie star Woody Harrelson's dad, Charles Voyde Harrelson and another man had abducted a man from Houston and dumped his body in Brazoria County. A partially dug grave had been abandoned in Fort Bend County on Levee road that was originally thought by investigators to have some connection with this Jane Doe, but it turned out to be related to the man Harrelson and the other man had abducted and eventually dumped in a remote area of Brazoria County.

  2. #12

    Default Re: 1968, Body Found At The Mouth of The Brazos River

    The Brazosport Facts
    Thursday November 14, 1968

    GRAND JURY INDICTS TWO IN BERG MURDER

    A murder with malice indictment and a sealed indictment were returned by the Brazoria County Grand Jury late Wednesday against two persons connected with the death of wealthy Houston carpet company executive Alan Berg, 31.

    The open indictment was against Charles Voyde Harrleson, about 30. Harrelson has not yet been arrested, but a warrant has been issued for his arrest, according to the Sheriff's Department. He was described as a large man, slightly over six-feet-tall and weighing about 185 pounds.

    Sheriff Robert Gladney said Harrelson had been traced as far as Kansas City before he dropped out of sight.Gladney said the accused man had lived at various addresses in Houston and apparently had no employment record.

    The identity of the person in the sealed indictment will not be revealed until 9 a.m. Friday, District Attorney Ogden Bass stated. "I think many people will be shocked by what is contained in the sealed indictment."

    He said he could not reveal the reasons the Grand Jury had for returning the unusual sealed indictment.

    "To reveal the reasons would destroy the advantages that a sealed indictment has," he said.

    The indictments were returned at about 5 p.m. Wednesday, after the Grand Jury heard testimony from six witnesses, including one mystery witness, possibly a woman.

    The witness was shielded from view when moved to and from the jury room, once behind the Sheriff and a second time by officers holding a blanket across the corridor.

    Gladney said the witness is being held in protective custody for an undetermined period of time, "Identification of the witness could possibly cost a life," the Sheriff stated.

    Other witnesses included the Sheriff, Houston homicide Officer Jim Pierce, Claude Harrelson, brother of the accused man and a Houston polygraph operator, Nat Berg, father of the dead man and Crawford Booth, a former nightclub owner and aquaintence of Charles Harrelson.

    Investigation of the case in Brazoria County began last Friday when the location of Berg's decomposed body was given to the Sheriff's Dept. by Houston Private Investigator Robert Leonard.

    From Leonard's description, the Sheriff's Department found the remains of the body off County Road 257 about three miles west of the San Luis Pass Bridge. The body had been dumped in a clump of cedar trees. Berg had been missing since May 28.

    Sheriff Gladney said "We are sure this is a case of for-hire murder. I believe Alan Berg was forcibly abducted from a Houston nightclub, taken to Fort Bend County and shot and then transported to Brazoria County and dumped."

    Gladney said that the alleged murderer apparently tried to bury the body in Fort Bend County off Levee Road, but due to an inadequate shovel and the hardness of the ground apparently decided to dispose of the body in a remote area.

    "The Fort Bend County Sheriff reported finding a shallow and empty grave with traces of blood around it on the same day Berg disappeared. "We believed at the time the grave was connected with another body that was found near the mouth of the Brazos River," the Sheriff said.

    "As far as the motive is concerned we don't have any firm idea. It could be any one of several reasons." Gladney said. District Attorney Bass indicated he felt there could be several reasons for the killing. "We have a few ideas about the motive but we don't know for sure," he said.

    One of the first witnesses called Wednesday was Crawford Booth, 37, a Houston investment broker and former nightclub owner.

    Booth stated, "I don't know why I was called to testify today, I can only guess it was because I knew Charles Harrelson."

    He said they had met when he owned the Backstage club but that he had not seen Harrelson for several months. He denied ever having any business dealings with Harrelson or that Alan Berg's name was ever mentioned.

    The brother of the accused man, Claud Harrelson, about 40, refused to give any details about the case. Claud Harrelson left the courthouse after his testimony was completed without speaking to newsmen.

    He did speak to Sheriff Gladney prior to leaving, he told the Sheriff he was a former police officer. Harrelson appeared red-eyed and tired after leaving the jury room.

    Nat Berg, the father of the dead man, taled freely before and after his testimony. "The last few months have been a litt.le piece of hell. We have been told Alan was alive, that he was dead, and that he had been seen. There were so many leads we didn't know what to believe," he stated.

    "The man who played the key role in the case was private investigator Robert Leonard. It was Leonard who recieved a tip on the location of Berg's body. Leonard has been working on the case since the middle of June," he said.

    The investigator said "An assistant and I went out to the site where the body was reported to be and searched a large clump of cedar trees. It was there we found the remains of Alan Berg."

    Leonard was not called to testify but accompanied his client, Nat Berg, to the courthouse.

    The dapper detective, very different from the paper=back version of "private eyes" said his firm deals primarily in industry-connected and law firm investigation work. "Very seldom do we engage in cases where a serious law violation such as this is involved," he said.

    Leonard stated that the private investigation into Berg's disappearance had reached a dead-end a short time before he received the vital tip. "Prior to finding the body, we had reports that Berg had been seen in almost every part of the country, of course none of these proved to be true," he said.

    District Attorney Bass, who looked exhausted after the Grand Jury returned the two indictments said "As far as we are concerned, the case has been solved. We don't expect any more indictments."

  3. #13

    Default Re: 1968, Body Found At The Mouth of The Brazos River

    Apparently Harrelson's girfriend, Sandra Attaway, was also indicted for this murder. She telephoned Alan Berg before the abduction to set him up on a blind date at a Houston bar called the Brass Jug. I don't know who the blind date was with. Attaway accompanied Harrelson during the abduction, the killing in Fort Bend, and the dumping of the body in Brazoria. I wonder just who this Jane Doe really is. Harrelson had been going to a club called the Backstage, our Jane doe had a slip on that had the label "movie star." Just interesting. I still don't know if they ever solved the identity of the Jane Doe but I know they still hadn't by November 18, 1968.

  4. #14

    Default Re: 1968, Body Found At The Mouth of The Brazos River


  5. #15

    Default Re: 1968, Body Found At The Mouth of The Brazos River

    San Antonio Express-News (TX)
    March 21, 2007
    Edition: METRO
    Section: A Section
    Page: 01A

    Topics:
    Index Terms:
    News - Local

    Judge Wood's assassin dies of heart attack
    Author: Maro Robbins and Guillermo Contreras; EXPRESS-NEWS STAFF WRITERS





    Article Text:
    Charles Voyde Harrelson, hired assassin of a San Antonio federal judge, professional gambler and father of movie star Woody Harrelson, died last week in the maximum-security cell where he was serving two life sentences.
    A heart attack apparently claimed the 69-year-old inmate in his sleep last Wednesday, said Dorothy Twellman, the coroner in Fremont County, Colo., where Harrelson was held at the federal prison known as "Supermax."
    Not the most notorious inmate in a lockup that holds the likes of Unabomber Ted Kaczynksi, the hit man nonetheless inspired considerable hyperbole and was prosecuted four times in three murders.
    Harrelson had reportedly claimed credit for a dozen contract killings by 1982, when he was convicted of firing the sniper's bullet that killed U.S. District Judge John H. Wood outside his townhome on Broadway.
    "Anyone whose life he touched suffered from it," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Ray Jahn, one of the federal prosecutors who convicted Harrelson in the local federal courthouse that by the time of trial already bore the name of the slain judge.
    Harrelson, born in the Southeast Texas town of Lovelady in Walker County, was the youngest of six children. He came from a law enforcement family.
    An uncle was a prison warden, another a Houston detective. Harrelson went the other direction, beginning a string of marriages, odd jobs and crimes after a stint in the Navy.
    Discharged in 1959, Harrelson moved with his first wife, Dianne, to Los Angeles, where he peddled encyclopedias and was charged with robbery.
    While in jail, he became what he called a "snitch." He allowed police to record his conversations with an accused killer. As a reward, he received five years' probation, which was later expunged from his record.
    Moving to Texas, Harrelson sold dental equipment and eventually divorced. The couple's three sons, Brett, Jordan and Woody, stayed with their mother.
    Charles Harrelson married a second wife, Betty, in 1965 and eventually settled in Houston. By then, Harrelson said he was gambling full time.
    "He was what they call in Las Vegas a 'card mechanic,"' said Thomas Sharpe, the lawyer who defended Harrelson. "He'll hand you a deck of cards, you shuffle them, he'll cut them and give you the cards he wants you to have."
    In 1968, he was arrested in separate murders in Brazoria and Hidalgo counties. He was acquitted of one, the slaying of bookie Alan Berg, but went to prison for shooting Sam Degelia Jr., a Hearne grain dealer, as part of a $2,000 murder-for-hire.
    Released in 1978, he married for a third time the next year, this time to Jo Ann Starr.
    Five months later, Wood was dead, slain May 29, 1979, on his way to work.
    An intense manhunt ensued, eventually focusing on Harrelson, by then in jail on unrelated charges. He was charged with murdering the judge on behalf of Jimmy Chagra, an El Paso drug kingpin then facing trial in Wood's court.
    Harrelson, then 44, claimed innocence, but testimony during the 12-week trial convinced jurors that he'd received $250,000 to pull the trigger.
    "He would only kill for money," said Jack Dean, a retired Texas Ranger and U.S. marshal who dealt with Harrelson several times during his career. "He wasn't a homicidal maniac; he was just an old boy who had no qualms about killing people."
    Harrelson received two life sentences, and Chagra was sentenced to 30 years after a separate trial. Released in 2003, Chagra is believed to be in the federal witness protection program.
    An escape attempt from an Atlanta prison led to Harrelson's transfer to the "Supermax."
    In 1987, Harrelson married yet again, this time to Gina Adelle Foster. Serving as the inmate's proxy during the ceremony was Woody Harrelson, then appearing on the NBC comedy "Cheers."
    A decade later, the actor, who couldn't be reached for comment, bankrolled an extensive appeal for his father.
    "I can't attest to whether he's guilty or innocent," Woody Harrelson said at the time. "But a lot of sources lead me to believe it wasn't a fair trial."
    The appeal led to a series of hearings in 1997, but the appeal ultimately failed.
    By the time the Supreme Court refused to review his conviction in 2004, Charles Harrelson had long before given up. He'd years earlier told the Dallas Morning News, "I'll probably die right here in this facility, which is fine."
    mrobbins@express-news.net


    Caption:
    Charles Harrelson PHOTO: MUG


    Memo:
    SETTING IT STRAIGHT: Because of incorrect information provided to the Express-News, this story on incorrectly reported Charles Voyde Harrelson's birthplace and the occupation of a man he was acquitted of killing. Harrelson was born in Walker County and attended high school in Lovelady, which is in Houston County. Also, newspaper accounts described Alan Berg as a carpet firm executive and salesman. (20070322)
    Copyright (c), 2007, San Antonio Express-News. All Rights Reserved.
    Record Number: 9771305

    Record 1 of 11

  6. #16

    Default Re: 1968, Body Found At The Mouth of The Brazos River


  7. #17

    Default Re: 1968, Body Found At The Mouth of The Brazos River

    Friday June 7, 1968

    The Brazosport Facts

    BODY IS STILL A MYSTERY

    The Sheriff's Department is checking out an inquiry from Liberty, Tex. regarding possible identification of the mystery body found at the mouth of the Brazos River.

    According to Chief investigating officer Jimmy Jones one call has been received from the Liberty Police regarding a girl who has been missing from there for several months.

    The girl's description does not tally with certain parts of the description issued in the coroner's report, Jones said.

    However, someone from the Liberty girl's family will be permitted to view the body to see if they can possibly identify it.

    Jones stated that he does not feel that this particular call is promising.

  8. #18

    Default Re: 1968, Body Found At The Mouth of The Brazos River

    I wonder who the missing girl was from Liberty?

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