[Note to readers: This post should be two, as it covers both the movie Grizzly Man (the life and death of Timothy Treadwell), and Woody Harrelson and his dad, Chuck, and the discovery that Harrelson’s mother is an Oswald. Grizzly Man will be covered in more and better depth in a separate post very shortly. The part about Harrelson in this post starts about 2/3 of the way down. ]
Coming fresh off the realization that the death of Mathew Shepard was probably a hoax, and thinking back on other events in my life that were both gruesome and captivating, I decided to take a look at Grizzly Man, AKA Timothy Treadwell, AKA Timothy William Dexter.
For those not familiar, Treadwell was an advocate for Alaskan brown bears, and during the 1990s he lived with them, filmed them, anthropomorphized them, and was finally eaten by them in October of 2003. His then girlfriend, Amie Huguenard was also killed on that same day.
We saw Treadwell give a talk when we lived in Bozeman. He gave a slide show and was passing the hat, and seemed genuine. He named all the bears – doll-like names indicating that he thought of them as fuzzy friends. One thing I clearly remember from the talk was his view of the bear mating ritual. The male gets a whiff and stalks the female until she is in a receiving mood. He then has a one minute tryst with her, if that. Treadwell called it “making love.” I did think he was a little ’round the bend.’
With that connection, that Bozeman talk, we were always aware of his activities, and were very sorry to see him die.
I was able to locate Treadwell/Dexter in the Social Security death index, and Huguenard is there too. There is an interesting genealogical link to “Timothy William Winthorpe Dexter Treadwell,” and that leads back to Timothy Dexter. However, Wikipedia’s account of Treadwell’s life is remarkably free of spook markers, and indicates to me that he might really have died in that manner. That would make him, in my book, nuts.
Werner Herzog made a movie about Treadwell called Grizzly Man, and in it he largely uses Treadwell’s film that he shot while living with the animals. The only part of the movie that is suspect is a recording of the death of the two, supposedly made by a camera with its lens cap on as a bear assaulted and killed them. Herzog and another man (going on memory of the movie, many years ago) listened to the tape and grimaced, and decided it was not suitable for movie viewers to hear. That could either be real, or power of suggestion.
Let’s assume that Treadwell really died … I am settled on that. I am curious why he changed his name to “Treadwell.” That is a prominent family whose ancestors can be traced back to the Mayflower. The name Dexter is also prominent, but is also a wild goose chase, as it goes on for 250 pages on Geni.com. It is also in the peerage, but with only nine links, not that prominent.
We are told Treadwell/Dexter tried out for the part of Woody Boyd in the 1980s television show Cheers. The part went to Woody Harrelson. Treadwell’s father says he was devastated by that; it changed the course of his life. I am curious, knowing as I do that a juicy part like that would only be handed to a bloodliner. Why did Dexter think he had a chance? I would bet he thought he might have an inside track, being himself a bloodliner.
It all kind of dead ends, so to speak, and that is OK. It is nice to be able to write about something that by all appearances really happened. In fact, I would not bore you with it except for a discovery I made completely unrelated to Timothy Dexter/Treadwell.
The story about Woodrow Tracy “Woody” Harrelson’s father is related here by Wikipedia:
His father, Charles Voyde Harrelson, was a convicted contract killer (hitman), who received a life sentence for the 1979 killing of Federal Judge John H. Wood Jr. in San Antonio, Texas. He died in the United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility on March 15, 2007.
Back in the days when I thought JFK was really killed, Woody Harrelson was a person of interest to me, as was his Dad, Chuck, whom some even think to be one of the three tramps in Dealey Plaza. (If so, that would be him on the left.) Others claim that he confessed to having a part in the assassination while in prison. I wondered what Woody knew, and if he ever spoke publicly about it. It seemed odd that the son of a hitman was a major Hollywood star and was given roles like that of Mickey Knox in Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers.
Now that I am convinced that JFK did not die, I know that Chuck Harrelson presents just another rabbit hole. Woody would know that, and his persona and attitude would be just a smirk. He’s got nothing to say, nothing to add, and no, his dad never spent a day in jail. He had the Get Out of Jail Free card.
Just out of curiosity, I traced Woody Harrelson’s ancestry back, and yes, he is a bloodliner. His last American ascendant is Paul Harralson of New Kent, VA, who lived from 1610-1669. Names that could be linked to Harralson are all over the Peerage, from Harrel to Harrell to Harris to Harrison. So it should come as no surprise that the part of Woody Boyd went to a young man with lots of juice. One bloodliner beat out another for the part. The one who lost out also went on to lose his marbles.
I then went looking into Woody’s mother, Diane Lou Harrelson. My jaw dropped. See the image below:
Could these be the same Oswald’s that were in Dealey Plaza in 1963? It would make sense, as these people are all related. Mathis in his paper Looks Like JFK Was Gay somehow manages to link Oswald to the Kennedy’s and a host of other names in the Peerage, so here is another one: Looks like the Harrelson’s are connected to the Oswald’s too. Dealey Plaza was just a family reunion.