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Johnny Cash Mural Making Headlines Following Perfectly-Aimed Prank

Photo Credit: Beth Gwinn / Redferns / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Beth Gwinn / Redferns / Getty Images

There are a number of murals across the United States that are dedicated to Johnny Cash, but only one has recently been in the news. Located in Cash’s hometown of Kingsland, Arkansas, the mural, which is painted on the town’s water tower, has sprung a leak in a rather unfortunate place.

Sign indicating the birthplace of Johnny Cash – Kingsland, Arkansas. (Photo Credit: Jimmy Emerson, DVM / Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The leak is the result of the actions of 38-year-old Timothy Sled, who fired a weapon at the water tower on May 10, 2022. The shot hit the mural directly where Cash‘s crotch sits and, as such, it now looks as though the musician is urinating over Kingsland.

Sled was arrested and charged with two felony counts – impairing the operation of a vital public utility and criminal mischief. If convicted, he faces up to 16 years in prison.

The mural features a six-foot, two-inch silhouette of Cash holding a bright red guitar. It was painted on the water tower in March 2021, and has been a source of pride for the small town of around 500 residents.

The leak has become somewhat of a tourist attraction, with locals and those from nearby towns stopping by the water tower to catch a glimpse at the rather unfortunate (and, frankly, hilarious) prank. However, while amusing, it is causing the town to lose an estimated 30,000 gallons daily, at a cost of $200 per day.

Before the leak can be repaired, crews need to empty the 50,000-gallon water tower in its entirety. According to Mayor Luke Neal, the cost of repairs will likely be around $5,000.

Johnny Cash performing on stage
Johnny Cash performing on stage at the Festival of Country Music, Wembley Arena. (Photo Credit: David Redfern / Redferns / Getty Images)

While frustrated over the incident, Neal is also impressed at how precise Sled’s aim was. Speaking with news station THV11, he said, “Just the placement of where it was at I mean it was, you could tell someone was trying to be funny.”

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This isn’t the first time the water tower has been shot with a firearm. A similar incident occurred in 1993, decades before the mural was painted.

Clare Fitzgerald

Clare Fitzgerald is a Writer and Editor with eight years of experience in the online content sphere. Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from King’s University College at Western University, her portfolio includes coverage of digital media, current affairs, history and true crime.

Among her accomplishments are being the Founder of the true crime blog, Stories of the Unsolved, which garners between 400,000 and 500,000 views annually, and a contributor for John Lordan’s Seriously Mysterious podcast. Prior to its hiatus, she also served as the Head of Content for UK YouTube publication, TenEighty Magazine.

In her spare time, Clare likes to play Pokemon GO and re-watch Heartland over and over (and over) again. She’ll also rave about her three Maltese dogs whenever she gets the chance.

Writing Portfolio
Stories of the Unsolved