Thursday, December 22, 2016

Sad times in a family

I've probably talked about my love for the late country singer Jean Shepard more than a dozen times here, and since she passed away in September, I believed she would be at her eternal rest, but no.
Jean and Icie Mae

Here's what happened last Friday night at the home she shared with her widower, Benny Birchfield, in Hendersonville, Tenn.

Her granddaughter, Icie Mae Hawkins (Jean's first husband was the great Hawkshaw Hawkins and Icie's father is Jean and Hawkshaw's older son Donnie) had moved into the Birchfield home to help care for her grandmother, and had been living there until her estranged boyfriend, Travis Sanders, showed up with a large knife. All this was going on around 3 AM as Benny arrived home, and he called downstairs to see what the commotion he was hearing was about.  

He went down to investigate and wound up being stabbed in his head, neck and arm by Sanders, who had already mortally wounded Icie with his knife.  Birchfield shot him dead, and will not face charges, according to the local district attorney.

Hawkshaw and Jean
Death and sadness at this most holy time of the year. Jean Shepard knew great loss here on earth when Hawkshaw died in a plane crash along with Patsy Cline and Cowboy Copas in 1963.  She was pregnant with Hawkshaw, Jr, at the time, and now from heaven on high looks down to see her granddaughter killed and her widower stabbed repeatedly by a guy the granddaughter was trying to break up with.
Benny and Jean

Benny Birchfield "has recovered a lot. I talked to him and he’s looking a lot better," Det. Sgt. Jim Vaughn of the Hendersonville PD said.

Jean Shepard recorded dozens of country hits over a career ranging from the early 50s to just recently, as her health failed.  Listen to her speak and testify here and join me in wishing her the peace she and her family so deserve.

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