Oct 2, 2021 • 2M

Renaissance, Texas: Fantasy and Murder at the World's Biggest RenFaire [7]

It ain't easy being the Sheriff of Rennie town. Just ask Grimes County's own cowboy, Don Sowell.

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David Kushner
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“Renaissance, Texas” is a nine-part, serialized story I’m running exclusively in my newsletter. To read from the beginning with Post 1, click here.

Grimes County Sheriff Don Sowell.

In August, I caught up with Grimes County Sheriff Don Sowell by phone while he was attending a police convention in San Antonio. We spoke about the challenges of policing the Texas Renaissance Festival, and the murder of Brandon Smith.

“Nowadays, it seems like everybody’s going nuts.”

Sowell has been Sheriff there for 21 years. When I asked him about the crimes of Todd Mission, Texas, he said they’re a sign of the times across the country.

“What's happening around the country?” He told me in his thick southern drawl, “I tell you what, I'm not trying to sidestep your question, I'm just thinking what's happening around the whole country? Nowadays it seems like everybody's going nuts. Oh man. It seems like every time you turn on the news, there’s some crazy, crazy story again about something stupid: drive-by shootings and innocent children getting killed over nothing. I never seen anything like it. I don't know where we're getting into.”

In the next post of “Renaissance, Texas:” The verdict on the murder of Brandon Smith.