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Should John Brown, Killer Of Grand Ole Opry Star David ‘Stringbean’ Akeman, Be Released From Prison?

July 17, 2011



One of the most shocking stories to come down over the decades from the Grand Ole Opry is the one concerning the murder of David ‘Stringbean’ Akeman along with his wife.  It was ghastly, senseless, and horrifying.  Now these many years later the killer of Stringbean is again looking for a taste of freedom.

On Tuesday John Brown will seek a parole for the murder of Stringbean.

I say no!

The levels of depravity that John Brown committed in 1973, along with his cousin Marvin Brown, should never allow for a second chance.  The pair was sentenced to 198 years behind bars. The cousin died in prison.

Stringbean was a comic and banjo player that was best known for being dressed in his signature goofy get-up, an extra-long shirt tucked into super-short pants.

Stringbean and his banjo wasn’t preachy or political. The man just helped people forget a hard day at work or personal problems with his simple, funny songs like “Chewin’ Chewing Gum” on WSM radio.

It was known that Stringbean did not trust banks after having lived through the depression.  The Akemans were frugal and not wealthy in any sense of the word when it came to the music world.  It was rumored by some that they had money somewhere in their home.  That was enough for the Browns.

In 1996, 23 years after the murders, $20,000 in paper money was discovered behind a chimney brick in Stringbean’s home.

In the days after the murders, the 23-year-old John Brown told his sweetheart that he didn’t remember committing the crimes.

Didn’t remember waiting for hours at the couple’s home, drinking Akeman’s beer and ransacking the house with WSM playing in the background, as he tried to find the money that Akeman, 57, and his wife, 59, were rumored to have stashed there.

Didn’t remember shooting Akeman in the chest as Brown’s cousin, Marvin Douglas Brown, restrained him.

Didn’t remember shooting Estelle as she tried to flee, then shooting her in the back of the head where she had fallen, as she begged for her life.

What is just strange about this whole story is that the sweetheart that Brown was dating in 1973, and married shortly before his arrest, is still by his side and singing his praises.  She would have us believe that Brown is just short of being invited to the Rotary Club for a noon luncheon speech!  In reality he killed two people.

Debra Brown will be at John Brown’s parole hearing. She married him one month after the murders and a month before John Brown’s arrest. She says prison has made him a better man. He has taken every chance at improving himself, earning an associate’s degree and becoming a leader at Alcoholics Anonymous.

His wife, some clergy, and a host of others may all sing the praises of John Brown who shot a woman in the back, and a man who was being held down, but the words of the District Attorney seem more fitting to me.

Jurors thought prison sentences such as 198 years meant the killer would die behind bars, Davidson County District Attorney General Torry Johnson said in his plea to the parole board.

“Some crimes are so callous and depraved that no amount of ‘good works’ should justify the perpetrators release from prison,” he said in his 2008 letter to the parole board. “Some crimes are so cold-blooded and atrocious that the defendant should forfeit his right to ever be free again. Some crimes are so appalling and reprehensible that those responsible should be locked away forever in order to vindicate society’s interest in punishing evil.

“In this case, rehabilitation is irrelevant.”

Many are getting older, or have passed on, and so the idea is that perhaps we have forgotten about Stringbean, and will now allow for the killer to escape to freedom.  Not here at at CP.

I stand with Grandpa Jones and will not cede my ground.

John Brown must remain in prison for the rest of his natural days.

  1. Dale Hamilton permalink
    June 17, 2012 7:39 AM

    John Brown is an aversion, he made his bed, now he must lay in it.

  2. Randall Hancock permalink
    April 26, 2012 11:24 AM

    David Akeman (Stringbean) had a lot to offer , but he was killed. John Brown has nothing to offer. He should stay in prison till he dies.

  3. Denise Matysek permalink
    March 26, 2012 2:41 PM

    String and Estelle did not get a chance– so why give J. Brown any chances. It was the killing of Estella which was senseless and cowardly. J. Brown deserved the electric chair instead of time in prison.

  4. Ernie permalink
    January 2, 2012 9:39 PM

    If 20+ years of prison made him a better person, then another 50 years would make him awesome.

  5. pete fields permalink
    December 26, 2011 12:48 PM

    no do not ever let him out. he needs to pay for the wrong he has done. he wasent a child. he was well old enough to work for his money. two very nice people lost the life that night. that they were setting inside ther house. listen to him do his job to earn his money.everybody should have to watch the vidows of what they did before they decide.

  6. Eldred Mesher permalink
    November 19, 2011 7:23 PM

    Yes! Let John A. Brown ROT and DIE in prison, the bastard.

  7. garymartin permalink
    October 19, 2011 9:33 PM

    hell know die in jail john brown…..

  8. July 25, 2011 5:34 AM

    THE question and the only question is…WHY should he get out and live a life when he took one????

  9. Mike permalink
    July 18, 2011 2:37 PM

    I agree. The killer should stay locked up. He deprived Stringbean of his freedom, so he should have to forfit his.

  10. Moore permalink
    July 17, 2011 10:31 PM

    Not only NO but HELL NO!!!

Comments are closed.

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