Pusser, Buford Biography
biography of Pusser, BufordBuford Hayse Pusser
12 December 1937, Finger, Tennessee, USA
21 August 1974, Rt. 64, McNairy County, Tennessee, USA (road accident)
Buford Pusser was elected sheriff of McNairy County, Tennessee, on a platform of cleaning up the county, which was justifiably regarded as the most corrupt, crime-ridden county in the state, if not the U.S. Several organized-crime rings, based mainly in Nashville, ran the criminal enterprises in McNairy County, including gambling, prostitution, bootlegging, narcotics, auto theft, etc. Pusser was a huge man, tough as nails and incorruptible, which was a major departure from the character of law enforcement in that county for generations. His crimefighting efforts began with his firing of virtually every deputy in the McNairy County Sheriff's Department, long known to be corrupt from top to bottom, and putting his own men in those positions, including the first black deputy in the state's history (who was later murdered by the county crime syndicate). Rather than using firearms to subdue criminals, Pusser carried a gigantic wooden club, several feet long and very heavy, and used it when the need arose, which was often. He was attacked numerous times by criminals he was attempting to arrest, and they often wound up with fractured skulls, broken limbs and serious damage to various internal organs after coming up against Pusser and his "equalizer". When the organized-crime gangs realized they couldn't buy him out, and how deeply his actions were cutting into their revenues, they put out a contract on his life. There were several attempts to carry out that contract (he either killed or wounded his attackers), but the most serious incident occurred when the car he and his family was riding in was ambushed; his wife was killed and he was shot numerous times, requiring substantial surgery and a major facial reconstruction. In the end the syndicate apparently won; Pusser died in 1974 when the car he was driving veered off the road and crashed. Though it was officially ruled an accident, most locals believed he had been deliberately run off the road in a successful assassination attempt. This belief was further strengthened when all subsequent requests for a full-scale investigation of the incident were denied by Tennessee state authorities and the case was quickly closed and the records sealed by court order.
- 'Pauline Pusser' (5 December 1959 - 12 August 1967) (homicide)
- Carried a big thick oak stick around with him everywhere he went
- Former sheriff of McNairy County, Tennessee, long regarded as one of the most corrupt counties in the state, if not the country. His efforts to clean up the county resulted in several attempts on his life--in one of which his wife was killed--and many believe that his death in an auto accident was not an accident but murder.
- Son of 'Carl Pusser' (qv).
- _Walking Tall (1973)_ (qv)
- _Walking Tall Part II (1975)_ (qv)
- _A Real American Hero (1978) (TV)_ (qv)
- _Final Chapter - Walking Tall (1977)_
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- Walking Tall (1973) (technical advisor)