Owensboro can claim Johnny Depp, but does Johnny Depp claim Owensboro? He was a very young child when he moved away, meaning he likely doesn't have very many memories of the city.

THE BIRTH OF THE JOHNNY DEPP/OWENSBORO CONSPIRACY THEORIES

But that didn't stop conspiracy theories from ramping up at warp speed once his breakthrough career move, 21 Jump Street, landed on the FOX Network in 1987.

I remember when the crime drama premiered and Owensboro jumped onto the entertainment map. And it wasn't very long afterward that those theories started flying--many of them having to do with Depp's grandmother. I'm sure you heard the same ones I heard, or at least similar ones. "I'm pretty sure I just saw over on (fill in the blank) avenue. He's in town visiting his grandmother." "I heard he slipped into town to visit his grandmother; she's in the hospital." "Johnny Depp's over on the west side. I just saw him. I think he's visiting his grandmother."

HOW WOULD WE EVER KNOW IF JOHNNY DEPP WAS IN OWENSBORO?

It was always his grandmother. And, hey, that's a good reason to sneak into a town that would pop its noggin if ANY of these sightings had EVER been confirmed by way of, oh I don't know, a PICTURE. Like this one, for example, that questions whether or not he was in Owensboro when it was taken:

If KITCHENS all looked exactly alike in Owensboro homes and the look and style were UNIQUE to Owensboro homes, well, you MIGHT have an argument. I ran across this photo from a couple of years back, and it occurred to me...I HAVEN'T heard any Johnny Depp rumors in a while. Of course, his film career is no longer the white-hot career it once was. That might have something to do with it, absent any other real reason.

THE JOHNNY DEPP 'SHOE' RUMOR

(By the way, despite the claim, there's no way to know if this was taken in Owensboro.)

Oh wait, here's another one...I used to hear that the ONLY place Johnny Depp would buy his shoes was Simon's over in Henderson. Again, there was absolutely NO way to prove that was true.

It makes me wonder if other towns our size around the country that can claim famous native sons or daughters crank out the rumor mill in a similar fashion.

It might be fun to find out.

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