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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Legendary Moonshiner Popcorn Sutton Dead

Popcorn with his coffin

I first saw the news of Popcorn's apparent suicide on my RSS Feed from
AshVegas. This is so sad that the Feds have hounded this man to his death, and may his blood be on their hands, and forever stain the already blackhearts of the BATFE beyond redemption. 

I noted his latest arrest last year, and have found that he has quite a following online, with several webpages and Facebook pages [1] [2] dedicated to him, among the newest noting his demise. Both North Carolina and Tennessee claim him as their own. 

Moonshining is part of our heritage in the mountains, and the Feds will never stomp it out; if I have to, I'll take to the woods myself in order to preserve the tradition. 

Here is a portion of the report from WATE:

PARROTSVILLE (WATE) -- Marvin "Popcorn" Sutton, who gained fame and notoriety as a moonshiner, died Monday in Cocke County, sheriff's deputies said.

According to a Cocke County Sheriff's Office spokesperson, it appeared that Sutton, 61, took his own life in his Parrotsville home.

A Cocke County constable told 6 News his body was discovered by his wife.

Sutton was scheduled to begin serving soon an 18-month sentence in federal prison Friday.

He pleaded guilty in March 2008 to one count of felony possession of a firearm and one count of unlawful production of distilled spirits.

In a raid of three of Sutton's properties, officers found three stills and more than 800 gallons of moonshine being stored in an old school bus.

A later investigation turned up nearly 800 more gallons of moonshine.

Federal agents said it was the largest moonshine operation they had seen.

Source: WATE


If that was the largest operation the Feds have ever seen, then they are truly clueless. 

I am not a drinker, but I believe that I will drink a toast of shine to his memory. 

May there always be moonshiners in these mountains, and may the jack-booted thugs of the BATFE always be so utterly clueless in shutting it down. 

**Update 4.55am** The Last One [buy it here], a documentary about Popcorn, will be airing on UNC-TV on March 21, 2009.

**More links**

Scrutiny Hooligans pay their respects, and have good links to follow.

Ruminations from the Distant Hills had a good article about Popcorn in November, and I am sure he will follow up with more eloquent words than I hope to offer...

The R.I.P. Popcorn facebook group had passed 1,100 members as of 7am this morning, has now passed 2,000 at 8.20 am.

Here are a couple of videos in his honor, I grew up in this culture, and to me, just one of these people are better than the whole lot in Raleigh or in our nation's capital: