Dwana Pusser was the daughter of Buford Pusser, the former sheriff of McNairy County, Tennessee, who became famous for his crusade against crime and corruption in the 1960s. Buford Pusser was the inspiration for the movie series “Walking Tall”, which depicted his life and exploits as a lawman. Dwana Pusser followed in her father’s footsteps and became an advocate for law enforcement and his legacy. She also wrote a book about her father called “Walking On”, which was published in 2017.
However, on March 7, 2018, Dwana Pusser was found dead in her home in Adamsville, Tennessee, at the age of 57. Her death shocked and saddened her family, friends, and fans, who wondered what happened to her and how she died. The official cause of her death has not been made public yet, but there are some clues and speculations that may shed some light on this mystery.
The Autopsy Report
According to the McNairy County Sheriff Guy Buck, foul play was not suspected in Dwana Pusser’s death, but her body was sent to the Memphis Medical Center for an autopsy to determine the cause of death.The autopsy report has not been released yet, but it may reveal if Dwana Pusser died of natural causes, an accident, or a suicide.
Some rumors have been circulating that Dwana Pusser died by suicide, but no confirmed information supports this claim. However, it is possible that she may have suffered from depression or other mental health issues, as she had a tragic and traumatic past.
The Family Tragedy
Dwana Pusser was only 16 years old when her father died in a one-car automobile accident on August 21, 1974. He was 36 years old and had just signed a contract with Bing Crosby Productions to portray himself in the sequel to “Walking Tall”. His red sports car careened off Highway 64 near Selmer, Tennessee, crashed into an embankment and caught fire.
Dwana Pusser was not with her father at the time of the crash, but she had witnessed another horrific incident involving him when she was only eight years old. On February 1, 1966, Buford Pusser and his wife Pauline were ambushed by a group of criminals on New Hope Road near Corinth, Mississippi. Pauline was killed instantly by a shotgun blast to the head, while Buford was severely wounded by multiple gunshots. He survived the attack but lost his left eye and part of his jaw.
Dwana Pusser had to cope with the loss of both her parents at a young age, as well as the fame and scrutiny that came with being the daughter of a legendary sheriff. She also had to deal with the threats and harassment from some of the enemies that her father had made during his career. She once said that she had received over 300 death threats in her life.
The Legacy Preservation
Despite the hardships and challenges that she faced, Dwana Pusser dedicated her life to preserving and promoting her father’s legacy and supporting law enforcement. She traveled all over the country and abroad, speaking with law enforcement agencies and sharing her father’s story. She also managed the Sheriff Buford Pusser Home & Museum in Adamsville, which was her childhood home and where many of her father’s memorabilia were displayed. She brought some new items to the museum on the day of her death, such as the red flashing light that her father had in his squad car and a photo of him with Johnny Cash and Billy Graham.
Dwana Pusser was also involved in various projects related to her father’s life and work, such as documentaries, books, and movies. She wrote her own book about her father called “Walking On”, which was a personal account of his life and legacy from her perspective. She also collaborated with other authors who wrote books about him, such as W.R. Morris and Michael Dorman. She also appeared in several documentaries about him, such as “The Legend of Buford Pusser” and “Walking Tall: The Final Chapter”. She also consulted with filmmakers who wanted to make movies based on him, such as Kevin Bray, who directed the 2004 remake of “Walking Tall” starring Dwayne Johnson.
Dwana Pusser was passionate about honoring her father and his achievements, as well as helping other law enforcement officers who were inspired by him. She said that she wanted to keep his memory alive for future generations.
The Final Farewell
Dwana Pusser’s death left a void in the hearts of many people who knew her and admired her. She was described as a kind, compassionate, and feisty woman who cared deeply for her family and her father’s legacy. She was also a devoted mother to her son, Shane Garrison, and a grandmother to his children. She was buried at the Adamsville Cemetery, next to her parents.
Dwana Pusser’s cause of death may remain a mystery for some time, but her life and work will not be forgotten. She was a remarkable woman who walked tall in her own way, just like her father. She was a daughter of a legend, and a legend in her own right.