11.10.2019

HEE HAW STAR STRING BEAN AND WIFE MURDERED NOV 10 1973


String Bean Akeman Hee Haw star, singer-songwriter, musician, comedian, actor and semi-professional baseball player was murdered along with his wife Estelle on Nov 10, 1973, at their cabin outside of Nashville. Two crappy burglars came to rob them as it was common knowledge that the Akeman's kept a lot of cash at their home.

Estelle was found on the left and String Bean at the cabin

Akeman was modest and unassuming, and he enjoyed hunting and fishing. Accustomed to the hard times of the Great Depression, Akeman and his wife Estelle lived frugally in a small cabin at 2308 Baker Road, near Ridgetop, Tennessee. City Confidential profiles this case, you can watch it here.


Their only indulgences were a Cadillac and a color TV. Depression-era bank failures caused Akeman not to trust banks with his money.


On Saturday night, November 10, 1973, Akeman and his wife returned home after he performed at the Grand Ole Opry. Between the two they had over 5,000.00 hidden in their clothes! Both were shot dead shortly after their arrival.

The killers had waited for hours. Their corpses were discovered the following morning by their neighbor, fellow Hee Haw star Grandpa Jones. The robbers made off with less than 250.00.



A police investigation resulted in the convictions of cousins John A. Brown and Marvin Douglas Brown, both 23 years old. They had ransacked the cabin and killed Stringbean when he arrived. His wife shrieked when she saw her husband murdered. She begged for her life, but was shot as well.

Marvin Brown died of natural causes in 2003, at the Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary, in Petros, Tennessee, and is buried in the prison cemetery.



John Brown was incarcerated in Lois M. DeBerry Special Needs Facility in Nashville. He was granted parole and released in 2014 after serving 41 years of a 198-year sentence.


David and Estelle Akeman are buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens in Goodlettsville, Tennessee. During the remaining production of Hee Haw, the scarecrow was left as a memorial.

Bluegrass artist Sam Bush recorded "The Ballad of Stringbean and Estelle", which tells the story of their murders, for his 2009 album, Circles Around Me. The song was written by Bush, Guy Clark, and Verlon Thompson and was nominated by the IBMA for Song of The Year in 2011.

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