HBO’s ‘Alabama Snake’ is a documentary movie by Theo Love that examines the tale of Glenn Summerford, who was once the pastor of the snake-handling Church of Jesus With Signs Following in Scottsboro, Alabama. We say once, as he is now behind bars for attempting to murder his wife, Darlene Summerford, with a venomous 5-foot rattlesnake.
According to a press release, the “details of the investigation and trial that followed has haunted Southern Appalachia for decades,” which is why this film became necessary. So now, if you’re here curious to learn more about Darlene and what she’s currently up to, here’s everything you need to know!
Who Is Darlene Summerford?
Darlene Summerford and Glenn Summerford’s relationship was one that lasted for a long time. By 1991, they had been married for over 16 years and had a total of ten children from their current and previous marriages. But over time, their association had taken a toll. Glenn’s church members have even gone on record to say that the couple fought a lot in the late 80s and early 90s, with the tension amongst them reaching its peak during September of 1991.
There are tales of Glenn’s alcohol abuse that led to physical violence and Darlene’s infidelities with other congregants and Glenn’s children from his previous marriage alike. But everything truly changed on October 4, 1991, when Darlene was bitten twice by a rattlesnake after Glenn forced her to stick her hand inside a cage full of them. He was drunk and angry, thinking that she was involved with another preacher behind his back.
Thankfully, Darlene managed to escape, call the police, and receive the proper medical treatment. “He took a pipe and hit the cages real hard, so the snakes got real mad and then grabbed my by the hair and said he would push my face in there if I didn’t stick my hand in there,” she later told the jurors. “He said I had to die because he wanted to marry another woman.”
Where Is Darlene Summerford Now?
When Glenn stood trial for his wife’s attempted murder in early 1992, Darlene, who by that time had healed from her injures, made sure to testify against him. Apart from telling the jurors what had transpired that day, including details like the fact that Glenn also had a gun in his hand, Darlene refuted all the infidelity claims against her as well. She maintained that, despite their troubles, it was Glenn who wanted to pursue another relationship, not her.
However, a defense witness, a then 23-year-old woman, told jurors that Darlene told her “she got Glenn so drunk he passed out and went out to the shed to get a snake to put on him, but it bit her instead.” On cross-examination, this woman denied having any relationship with Glenn. But a witness came forward to reveal that she had stayed over at the couples’ home several times without Darlene’s knowledge, making her lose all credibility.
Therefore, Glenn was convicted and sentenced to serve 99 years in prison. “I feel like justice was done,” Darlene said after the court case ended. “Thank the lord they convicted him.” And now, as far as we can tell, Darlene, a former snake-handler herself, still resides in Alabama. But, unfortunately, as she is not on any social media platform, and neither does she often speak publicly about her ordeal, not much else is known about her.
Read More: Where Is Glenn Summerford Now?