Candy Montgomery isn’t the only true-crime Texan with her own series. Next up, Rex Cauble is getting the spotlight in a new HBO series about him and the Cowboy Mafia’s marijuana empire.

Based on Lawrence Wright’s 1980 Texas Monthly article, the upcoming show will document Cauble’s rise to power, his Western wear empire and his subsequent counts of racketeering that he adamantly denied until his death twenty years ago. The show comes out of the licensing deal that Texas Monthly has with the streaming giant that includes both the show on Cauble and the upcoming series starring Elizabeth Olsen of Marvel fame as the vengeful Candy

Rex Cauble wasn’t only well known in Dallas-Fort Worth for his Cutter Bill Western clothing stores and banking empire, but also for friends like late former governor John Connelly and President Jimmy Carter’s sister, Ruth Carter Stapleton. His Cutter Bill Western World brand had two locations, one in Houston and one in Dallas, and was cited to be the “Neiman Marcus of Western wear.” The in-store price tags on his clothes reflected the nickname, and the duds appealed to the wealthy class in Texas that lived on large ranches, drove large pickup trucks, and wore custom leather cowboy boots — a clientele that thrives in North Texas to this day. 

Cauble was known to be against drug use and abuse and contacted a doctor to help his son with his marijuana addiction. When the news broke that he was behind the largest drug bust to date, Texas’ proverbial jaw hit the floor.  

Besides the variety of locations, the show has the advantage of the court of public opinion:  But was Rex Cauble a Cowboy Mafia kingpin? Kimber Fountain of the Galveston Monthly Magazine claims Cauble to be the “guiltiest innocent man in Texas,” while Charlotte Thornburg from Texas Women’s University says that while Rex Cauble wasn’t guilty of drug crimes, he certainly wasn’t innocent, citing several cases of a bad temperament and a former daughter-in-law who in her interview with Thornburg claimed Rex was “‘an abusive psychopath.’” Cauble endured seven years of prison before being let out for good behavior but was excluded from his shares in Cauble Enterprises by his wife and adopted son. For decades Cauble tried to rebuild his lost fortune having lost his marriage years prior and with a jailbird reputation. 

There has been speculation on whether the show will be filmed in Texas. Several familiar places around DFW make an appearance in the story, including the Fort Worth and Mesquite rodeos, downtown Denton, Port Arthur and Tyler. Even though neither iteration of Candy Montgomery’s show was filmed here, Rex Cauble’s story takes place in many more familiar landmarks that would be hard to reproduce in a studio or other state.  

So far, details about the show are scant. All that has been released is the casting of Emmy award-winning comedian Henry Winkler as Rex Cauble. Winkler’s son Max Winkler is set to produce, but as of writing, no release date or trailer drop has been announced. 

Sarah Hornstein

Sarah Hornstein is a freelance journalist from the DFW area. She lives in McKinney with her cat, her book collection, and her growing vinyl obsession. You can usually find her sitting in a local coffee...