Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Citizen Shane

Due to my interest in protection of civil liberties and prevention of political injustice, I recently stumbled upon the story of Shane Ballard. Shane ran for Sheriff of Lowndes County, MS in 2003. He was less than typical. Other than being an avant garde musician, and collector of odd and creepy things, he was also a personal friend of Charles Manson.

Shane's troubles began about the same time he was born. His father left his mother shortly thereafter. He never really knew his father, although he knew who he was. When Shane was 8 years old, his mother was killed in a very mysterious 'accident'. Being only a child, Shane was forced to live with relatives. As he got older, he learned of the suspicious circumstances surrounding his mother's death. Shane decided to run for Sheriff when he reached the legal age, party becuase of his political beliefs, but also so that he might find out what happened to his mother.

A filmmaker from Chicago, who had moved to Mississippi, decided to chronicle Shane's run for sheriff. Although he expected a lot less, Shane received 333 votes, giving him exactly 6.66% of the vote. The end of the film shows a satisfied Ballard reclining in a comfortable chair, contemplating his political future.

Shane may have shaken things, and some people, up a little too much. Within 2 months of the release of the film, titled Citizen Shane, both Ballard and the documentary filmmaker, Ron Tibbett, were dead. One from an auto accident, the other from 'carbon monoxide poisoning'.

Click Shane's pic at the top to download the film.

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