Longtime Jackson County sheriff tells life story

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JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -- John McDaniel, better known as "Johnny Mac," served as the Jackson County, Florida Sheriff for 28 years. For all those years, he carried all 32 precincts.

Now, his former coworker, Rebecca Dodson, has written a book about his life.

"It took her three and a half years," McDaniel said. "I said, 'Girl, are you gonna make this thing be my epitaph?' And she said, 'No.'"

McDaniel's time as Sheriff wasn't exactly what you would describe as normal. His father was murdered just before he became sheriff, and his wife was murdered toward the end of his administration.

"He's suffered personally several times in his life," Dodson said. "He never let that stop him. He never let that deter him in trying to serve the people and I felt like there was a lot of history there."

The book, titled "The High Sheriff", details McDaniel's life all the way back to his early years.

"I had several people call me and say, 'Boy, you brought back memories,'" McDaniel said.

Dodson said it was an honor to share McDaniel's story.

"For his life to be out there and everybody to be able to read it and enjoy it, it just means more than words can say," Dodson said.

Though his story is one of both accomplishment and tragedy, McDaniel proves good can come from bad.

"It brought me closer to God," McDaniel said. "That's about the only thing I can say; it brought me closer to God."

"The High Sheriff" has been in the top five of its genre on Amazon for several months now.

It's available online on Amazon and Barnes and Noble's websites.