HED:Pusser biographer expands on “Twelfth of August”


HED:Pusser biographer expands on “Twelfth of August”

By Jane Clark Summers

Daily Journal Corinth Bureau

REAGAN, Tenn. – Buford Pusser biographer W.R. Morris has recently released an expanded edition of “The Twelfth of August,” the book which inspired the “Walking Tall” hit movie about the legendary lawman.

Aug. 12, 1967, was the day that the former McNairy County, Tenn., sheriff was ambushed and his wife murdered.

It was also the day, Morris said, that Pusser served final notice on the Mob that the South was not big enough for them both.

“Sheriff Buford Pusser named Kirksey Nix as one of the gunmen who killed Pauline Pusser and shot off half of the lawman’s face during a predawn ambush,” Morris writes in the news release.

Pusser named Nix as the ringleader of an assassination team that murdered Pusser’s wife, Morris said.

In the expanded edition, Morris writes that Nix also conspired with former Biloxi Mayor Pete Halat to kill Judge Vincent Sherry and his wife, Margaret, in their Gulf Coast home on Sept. 14, 1987.

Nix was the architect of the death plot and it was carried out with help from Halat and others, he said.

Recently, a federal grand jury indicted Nix, Halat and three others in connection with the Sherry murders. All five pleaded innocent and are awaiting trial.

Nix was never charged in connection with the 1967 ambush on the Pussers. He is currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole in the Louisiana State Prison for the 1971 Easter Sunday murder of a New Orleans grocer.

Morris, a veteran journalist, has been investigating Kirksey Nix and members of the Dixie Mafia since 1968.

Published by Cherokee Press of Reagan, Morris’ latest book is an expanded biography about the legendary sheriff. The original “Twelfth of August,” published in 1971, sold more than a million copies.

The book inspired the “Walking Tall” movie which depicted Pusser’s law enforcement career when he was sheriff of McNairy County from 1964-1970.

Morris said copies of “The Twelfth of August” will be shipped to bookstores nationwide this week. Copies also may be ordered by sending $19.95 plus $3 shipping and handling to National Booksellers, P.O. Box 63, Reagan, TN 38368.

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