“Popcorn” Sutton, RIP

Friday, March 20th, 2009

Another shining moment for government paternalism.

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24 Responses to ““Popcorn” Sutton, RIP”

  1. #1 |  JS | 

    I’d probably do the same thing. I bet the government is pissed because he cheated them out of the joy of putting another citizen in prison.

  2. #2 |  dsmallwood | 

    he owned a Ford Fairlane ?!? he died in style too. poor guy.

    and i feel terrible for all those people that he forced moonshine on. maybe they are the real victims.

  3. #3 |  Christian McClellan | 

    Johhny Knoxville who interviewed Popcorn has a good write up as does hit & run.

    The tombstone he pre-selected and kept at the foot of his porch reads only “Popcorn Said Fuck You”. I feel tremendously sad, but in some way lifted by his final act of defiance. At his sentencing he told the court he told the court that he “would like to die at home and not the penitentiary” – I’m glad he got his wish and heartily second the Fuck You.

  4. #4 |  chancelikely | 

    If there aren’t six country songs about this guy by this time next week, I’ll be very disappointed.

  5. #5 |  jwk | 

    He was a legend here in TN. May he rest in peace – surrounded by the hills he lovedm, his still and no ATF agents hounding him through eternity. Hopefully, there will be some ‘shine in heaven.

  6. #6 |  JS | 

    chancelikely-“If there aren’t six country songs about this guy by this time next week, I’ll be very disappointed.”

    Lol Are you kidding? The flag waving goosestepping country music industry would never criticize the government nowdays. Don’t you know that’s unpatriotic?

  7. #7 |  Cynical in CA | 

    Thursday morning April 4
    Shot rings out in the Memphis sky
    Free at last
    They took your life
    They could not take your pride


    Another martyr of the State.

  8. #8 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    This was just the ending, and is sad enough. But before the state takes your life, you spend your earnings trying to defend yourself.

    Been a looooong time since I’ve been proud of anything the state has done.

  9. #9 |  John Jenkins | 

    I am a little confused about the “nanny-state” reference in the original post.

    Sutton was convicted of possession of a firearm after conviction of a felony and of selling untaxed alcohol to undercover agents. I guess that you could argue that the alcohol tax is some kind of nanny-state safety regulation (recalling that alcohol taxes go way back, See, e.g., the whiskey rebellion).

    So let’s set aside all of the alcohol-related stuff. Recall that one of Sutton’s prior convictions was for assault with a deadly weapon. Possession of a firearm AFCF under 18 U.S.C. 922(g) is punishable by a fine and up to five years in prison. Given that, the nanny state reference seems incorrect.

  10. #10 |  Marty | 

    what a great nickname!


  11. #11 |  MacGregory | 

    The state wants all of us to be victims. Even if they have to make us one themselves.
    Here in WV, ‘shiners are pretty much ignored. Unless ofcourse, anything that even resembles cannibis is spotted nearby on a flyover.
    May he R.I.P. I sure would have liked a taste.

  12. #12 |  Chris in AL | 

    I believe this guy was featured in a History channel documentary about “Hillbillies” last year. If I am thinking about the right guy, he was quite a character.

    Sad story. RIP Popcorn

  13. #13 |  Chris in AL | 

    He was the same guy. He was even an author, lol

    Me and My Likker


    sorry, no linking skills

  14. #14 |  Woog | 

    John Jenkins said, “Possession of a firearm AFCF under 18 U.S.C. 922(g) is punishable by a fine and up to five years in prison. Given that, the nanny state reference seems incorrect.”

    I am unfamiliar with the details of this fellow’s life. Therefore, assuming that the state charged the man with possessing a firearm while otherwise a free man (out and about outside of a jail, not harming anyone else), why in the world would the state have cause to prevent a free man from exercising one of his inalienable rights? Are cops any more apt to leap out of a cell phone should a prior felon, having served his time, come under attack by criminal assailants?

    “Felon in possession of a firearm” is one of the most odious breaches of the US’ supreme law.

  15. #15 |  Jesse | 


    Have you not heard John Rich’s song about the bailout?

  16. #16 |  ktc2 | 


    Now that the Ds are in control they hillbillies will be just fine with criticizing the government again, and doubly so now that the president is black.

  17. #17 |  World B. Free | 

    The Deil’s Awa Wi’ Th’ Exciseman

    (Note: An Exciseman was a collector of excise taxes on certain home commodities and licences for certain trades.
    They were generally not well liked by the population. )
    TUNE: The Hemp-Dresser

    Burns Original
    Standard English Translation

    The Deil’s Awa Wi’ Th’ Exciseman

    The Deil’s awa, the Deil’s awa,
    The Deil’s awa wi’ th’ Exciseman!
    He’s danc’d awa, he’s danc’d awa,
    He’s danc’d awa wi’ th’ Exciseman!
    The Deil cam fiddlin thro’ the town,
    And danc’d awa wi’ th’ Exciseman!
    And ilka wife cries: -‘Auld Mahoun,
    I wish ye luck o’ the prize, man!
    ‘ We’ll mak our maut, and we’ll brew our drink,
    We’ll laugh, sing, and rejoice, man,
    And monie braw thanks to the meikle black Deil,
    That danc’d awa wi’ th’ Exciseman!
    ‘ There’s threesome reels, there’s foursome reels,
    There’s hornpipes and strathspeys, man,
    But the ae best dance ere cam to the land
    Was The Deil’s Awa wi’ th’ Exciseman!’

    The Devil Is Away With The Exciseman

    The Devil is away, the Devil is away,
    The Devil is away with the Exciseman!
    He has danced away, he has danced away,
    He has danced away with the Exciseman!

    The Devil came fiddling through the town,
    And danced away with the Exciseman!
    And every wife cries: -‘Old Mahoun (Devil),
    I wish you luck of (with) the prize, man!

    ‘ We will make our malt, and we will brew our drink,
    We will laugh, sing, and rejoice, man,
    And many good thanks to the big black Devil,
    That danced away with the Exciseman!

    ‘ There is threesome reels, there is foursome reels,
    There is hornpipes and strathspeys, man,
    But the one best dance ever came to the land
    Was The Devil Is Away with the Exciseman!’

  18. #18 |  Michael Pack | 

    I have no problem if people want to make shine.If you want to sell it it needs to be taxed and regulated,some of it is pure poison due to poor sanatation and ingredents.That’s one of the problems with the illegal drug supply,I have a friend in Whiteville N.C,who makes shine with his hunting buddies.Flavors it with parsimions.

  19. #19 |  Woog | 

    Michael Pack, let the buyer beware. Prosecute the seller in the case of fraud, but other than that, butt out.

  20. #20 |  JS | 


    “Now that the Ds are in control they hillbillies will be just fine with criticizing the government again, and doubly so now that the president is black.”

    Yea I hadn’t thought of that but I bet you’re right. It’s only when God’s party is in control that they get all patriotic. And Jesse, no I haven’t heard that bailout song.

  21. #21 |  Robert | 

    He just didn’t pay off the right people. I lived there for 40 years so I’ve heard a few things.

  22. #22 |  Pinandpuller | 

    Well it was after Prohibition was abolished that the unconstitutional Firearm act of 1934 came in to give the Treasury agents someone else to harrass.

  23. #23 |  DBN | 

    My family is from the mountains of east Tennessee, not far from where Popcorn lived. Although I never met him, I’ve known a number of men like him, and am descended from quite a few of them.

    They’re gentle, except when moved by hot blood or drink, and yes, fiercely independent and almost invariably bizarre in some way. In fact, in the mountains, having a touch of strangeness is respected. Anything that makes you more unique, more individual is a kind of virtue.

    I don’t feel sorry for him. It sounds like he lived his life more fully than most of us could hope for. This terror of death is mostly a modern invention, anyway. When my grandfather died, 200 people attended the funeral from four different states. When you’re part of a community that preceded you and outlives you, when you see yourself as part of a seemingly endless chain connecting your ancestors to your descendants, death loses some of its power. My grandmother knew hundreds of members of the family, their names, their relations, their stories. It seems that rootless moderns like myself, who’ve lost a lot of that, are the ones that have more trouble with death. We see ourselves as the universe, and death becomes the unbearable end of everything.

  24. #24 |  popcorn sutton | Business, Technology, Fashion, Entertainment, Media | 

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