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Betty Jean Necessary murder 2/26/1970 Kingsport, TN *Freddie Bowen convicted and sentenced to 99 years in prison*

If anyone has a picture of Betty Jean Necessary that they would like to share, please let me know. Thanks!

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Her Shallow Grave

Freddie Bowen


35 Responses

  1. this is so sad, the first time i ever heard about betty jean was when i worked at a gas station and met her sister, i also signed the patition, and i also did a essay on capital punishment and why it is a bad thing. i wrote about betty jean and my english teacher took it the wrong way, but however i did receieve an A because he said that he understood, this young lady didnt deserve to die and i’m glad that the person who killed her is no longer alive, nor walking on this earth.. R.I.P. betty jean

  2. I remember Betty Jean murder as if it was yesterday. I went to brookside elem. school at the time of the murder. On the night her body was found you could stand on my front porch and look towards bloomingdale and see all the flashing lights that on the road. Then i went to work at the cemetery where Betty Jean was buried at and i made sure her grave was kept in tip top shape. I never knew her personally but when murder strikes close to home it affects us all. R.I.P. Betty Jean. He is in hell now burning for what he did to you.

  3. My father was the police officer that transported Betty Jean’s killer to prison. He was also working with search party to find her body. I remember my father crying when he came home. Betty Jean will live in the hearts and minds of many people for years to come. I recently saw the movie Lovely Bones. Betty Jean was the person who came to mind.

  4. I would like for Veronica to contact me because I am writing a book on the murder of Betty Jean Necessary. My husband is a police officer in Kingsport and he has helped me a great deal on this case. There is more to this case than what people know.

  5. I was in the 5th grade @ Jefferson elementary.
    My Uncle was a Kingsport police officer working that night.
    I was living with them @ that time.
    Many details not made common knowledge.

  6. My husband also works at Kingsport Police Department and he has helped a great deal with this project. Is there anyway that we can talk?

  7. Would love to.
    Let me know.

  8. The reason I really would like to speak with you is that this wasn’t his only murder.
    I am wondering if your husband can find an old report that was made by Mrs. Stair and Miss Smith of Thomas Jefferson elementary in Highland, Kingsport.
    Maybe some info I have can link him to others.
    This I know first hand.
    My uncle who raised me was Charles Nunley. While on duty he shot a man and he went down hill very quickly.
    Has passed and buried at East Lawn.
    Let’s find away to talk I don’t want to post my Phone# with the exception of discussing this with you.

  9. Hi Eli:
    You can reach me at the e-mail address: and I am also on Facebook, just request me as a friend- either way. My husband wants to know when these reports were made, year/month. I know he killed before, he killed and got by with it. Who did Mr. Nunley work for and when did he work there? I asked my husband and he was not familiar with his name but he has only worked at KPD since 1991.

  10. I cannot get through can you send a email and maybe we can link up.


  11. I tried several times and can not get through.
    On face books if you recieve an invitation from Rose Whittaker please respond. That’s my wife.


  12. That was my ant she was my dad’s sister

  13. I was in the 6th grade in Kingsport when Betty Jean was murdered. It had a profound and long-term effect on me. When in was 7, a male grabbed me on the way home from school and attempted to rape me. My German Shephard, Prince, heard my screams and came running after the young man. I have an image in my mind of what he looked like back then, but would like to see a picture of Freddie Bowen to see if it is the same man. Unfortunately, I can not find one on the internet. Can anyone help me?


    • I was never able to find one and he has since died.

    • I have a couple of what he looked like then and also the one that was in the paper from when he died- it was on the front page. There are a couple more of two other men that I could send that were known to be friends to Freddie. I could scan them and email to you if you would like me to. I can understand why you want to see the pictures and hopefully if nothing else this may be able to resolve any questions you may have. As I have mentioned before it is my belief that Betty was not his only victim.

      • Matina,

        I do agree with you. I would love the pictures if you want to send them. My email address is on the right said of the page near the top.

      • Thanks you, Matina. Please email the pictures at

      • Matina,

        A couple of others want the photos too, so if you send them to me, I will forward them on. I don’t want to post emails on here.

      • in response to you wanting information on the murder of Betty Jean Necessary,i think you should find out if the family wants have tried to contact my family multiple times and have been rejected. if all you’re trying to do is make a dollar,then get a job,because anyone who finds a need to make a buck off a tragedy like this has some real deep issues of they’re own.this family has been through enough, without some local busy body re-opening an already gaping wound!!!!!

      • I lived in Kingsport at the time Betty Jean died. Betty Jean’s mother and father (Dorothy and Walter) would visit our home and spend time with my family. I’m curious, about the photo with friends of Freddie. Do you know the names of the other men in the photo?

        • I don’t know who the person in this picture is because the picture on this website is not of Freddie Bowen. I have a couple of pictures of him so if you would like I can send you pictures of Freddie Bowen that I have from the newspaper.

          • Thanks for the offer but I don’t need a photo of Freddie Bowen, I was just wondering if Paul Cupp was in the photo referenced in this blog. He would visit our house with Walter and Dorothy at times.

            Anyway, after reading this blog and having old memories and emotions resurface, I think it best to let things be. Teresa and I played as children on Hill street, behind General Shale back in the day. Betty was a few years younger than me. When thinking about that sad time, my heart still aches for the entire Necessary family. God bless them and hold them tight.

          • I am not sure of Paul Cupp, the name is not familiar with me. Do you care if I ask you some questions about Betty? Did you know her? I have ran across some friends and school mates that went to school with her, some remember things about her and others do not remember anything.

            Thank you,


          • I don’t recall Betty personally, I played with her older sister Teresa on Hill Street. (Hill Street no longer exists, it used to be behind General Shale). I really can’t add more than that. My mother may have more info. I’ll ask her about the Necessary family. Thanks, Teresa

            Date: Sun, 9 Sep 2012 18:02:41 +0000 To:

          • Thank you that would be wonderful.

      • Is there any way you can send me a scan of the pictures of F Bowen and his friends? Agree there is much more to this story. Was anyone able to contact the people about the incident at Thomas Jefferson?
        This tragedy seems heavy on the heart of many.

      • He did much more damage to her than just shoot her. She was tortured and legend says he chewed her up with his teeth. My Aunt went to school with her and my grandparents lived close by where she died. My Aunt and uncle own property now that is really close to where she was found. I think it really impacted my Aunt because they all walked together. He actually thought he was getting her sister. I would think that his public record prison photos should be available somewhere.

  14. This was my great grandmother I of course don’t know much but I don’t want anyone to forget her I didn’t get to meet her but I know she didn’t deserve her fait it’s Been a while now my family doesn’t like to talk about it much anymore. But I think we should people need to know her story so nothing like this will happen again

    • I know it can’t possibly be pleasant or easy to talk about something like this and there is nothing that we can do to bring her back but I feel sure that Betty would want something positive to come from her death. I can only put myself in the position but even if this was me or somebody in my family I wouldn’t want the killer to win and to avoid the subject is letting Fred win over and over again. My main objective of the book I am writing is to give Betty a voice so she can tell her story and give her family a chance to tell about their experience if they will.

    • this is why idiots shouldn’t have computers! my aunt was 12 years old, they’re is no way she was your great anything.this is why nobody knows the true story,its because no one thinks before they speak,but then again a brain is needed for thought.

      • So sorry John. My Aunt went to school with your Aunt and her sister. My grandmother used to tell us horror stories and shudder about what happened. It was our education to stay safe when we were little. It sounded like a horrible thing. I am sorry there are attention seekers who try to claim some special connection to get a moment of attention/fame.

    • She was a child. How could she be your Great Grandmother. Really???

  15. Hi my name is brycen i am 9 i live on the land were she was killed and my uncle used to use it as a party place about a week ago me and my uncle rode are dirtbikes over to the cave where she was murdered

    • Hi Brycen, did you go to see out of curiosity or for the fun of it? You must remember that Betty Jean was part of a family, my family, my mom was 10 when she was murdered. Her murder is a HUGE black mark on our history because of what that twisted sicko did to her. From the stories I have been told of her over the years, she was a very sweet girl. She would have been a cousin of mine (maybe 2nd or 3rd, I’m not 100% sure). Please just be respectful.

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