Jim Dunaway
No. 78
Position:Defensive tackle
Personal information
Born:(1941-09-03)September 3, 1941
Columbia, Mississippi, U.S.
Died:May 12, 2018(2018-05-12) (aged 76)
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:277 lb (126 kg)
Career information
High school:Columbia (MS)
College:Ole Miss
NFL Draft:1963 / Round: 1 / Pick: 3
AFL Draft:1963 / Round: 2 / Pick: 9
Career history
Career highlights and awards
  • 4× AFL Allstar (1965–1968)
  • 2× AFL Champion (1964-1965)
  • Super Bowl Champion (VII)
  • All American (1962)
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

James Kenneth Dunaway (September 3, 1941 – May 12, 2018) was an American football player. A defensive tackle, he played college football at the University of Mississippi, and played professionally in the American Football League for the Buffalo Bills, as part of a defensive line that held opposing runners without a rushing touchdown for a pro football record seventeen consecutive games in the 1964 and 1965 AFL seasons.[1]

Murder charge and aftermath

On July 27, 1998, Dunaway's ex-wife, Nonniel Dunaway, was found dead in a half-empty swimming pool.[2] An autopsy revealed that she had a fractured skull and was unconscious when she was placed in the water by her assailant where she drowned. Prior to this event, she had won a divorce judgment which gave her more than 800 acres (3.2 km2) of property that the couple owned, $1,800 a month in alimony and half of Dunaway's NFL pension. They had been divorced since 1995 and Dunaway was planning to appeal.

Dunaway was charged with her murder but a grand jury chose not to indict Dunaway of the charges.[3] In response, his children filed a wrongful death lawsuit, alleging that Dunaway was responsible for their mother's death.[4] In 2002, Dunaway was found liable and ordered to pay $579,000 to his children.[5]

Coincidentally, Dunaway had been a teammate for three seasons of star running back O. J. Simpson, who was similarly found responsible for his ex-wife's death after being acquitted of her murder in a controversial trial in 1995.

See also


  1. ^ "Celebration of Life Service to be Held for Ole Miss Great Jim Dunaway".
  2. ^ "Ex-Dolphin Charged With Murder". www.cbsnews.com.
  3. ^ "PLUS: IN THE NEWS; Dunaway Charged In Ex-Wife's Death". The New York Times. Associated Press. 31 July 1998.
  4. ^ BabyTate. "Jim Dunaway, the True Notorious Big". Bleacher Report.
  5. ^ Teitelbaum, Ben (21 June 2013). "Football, Crime, and Allegations Against Aaron Hernandez". The Daily Beast – via www.thedailybeast.com.