“He came to me one afternoon, his face all serious,” his friend Chuck told us. “I said, what’s up, Trent? And he said that he was finally going to live his life according to God, with no exceptions whatsoever. I told him that was great, and offered him a beer. He said that nowhere in the Bible does God drink beer, so he wouldn’t have any. I thought that was odd, but whatever. I didn’t know what was coming next.”
It was from that day forward that Trent’s behaviour became increasingly frustrating for his fellow residents.
“We were sitting eating in our dining room, minding our own business,” said Gladys, a local. “Then suddenly Trent turns up on the lawn with a megaphone telling us that we were being sinful for eating shellfish. Then my son came home from his friend’s house, and Trent proceeded to try to rip his t-shirt off. Something about it being a mixed fabric. We had to call the police in the end.”
Trent was responsible for several similar incidents, including one particularly violent incident when he physically attacked someone collecting firewood in the local woods, all the while screaming, “It’s the Sabbath! It’s the Sabbath!”
It was at this time that Trent abandoned his family home and began to live on the top of a local mountain. Most of the residents found it a relief, and decided to accept Trent’s new mountain-dwelling lifestyle, but that opinion soon changed.
Local sheriff Bill Dwight said to us: “He tried to harangue people using his megaphone, but the voice just couldn’t carry that far. So he started setting fire to bushes when hikers were near, and then hiding behind them and telling the hikers how to live their lives. Which was annoying enough, but we have a lot of dry vegetation out there. Trent caused two huge wildfires that needed the resources of two states to combat it. At that point we arrested him, but the church bailed him out, unsure whether to consider him godly or not.”
Despite escaping jail, things were not to end well for Trent. Not long after being released, he gathered together all of the local low paid Mexican workers he could find, and offered to find them a better life. He led them into the desert and began taking them in random directions for several weeks, promising them every day that they would soon reach the Promised Land. Without sufficient food and water, his followers began to fall dangerously ill. One of them escaped and managed to inform the police about what was going on, and a statewide hunt for Trent was mobilised.
Sadly, they were too late. Trent and his followers walked one night into the town of Oakbriar, which Trent decided was the Promised Land, and they began to invade people’s homes and live in them as if they were their own. Chaos and violence broke out all over town, and Trent was shot for trespassing when he walked into a terrified family’s front room at eleven pm and demanded payment of taxes in the form of sheep. He died at the scene.
Trent’s wife, Mary, spoke to us about her heartbreak:
“He used to be a lovely man: kind, giving, generous. But he always thought a bit too much of himself. Then one day we had an argument. I accused him of having a god complex, and I said, sarcastically, that no wonder he married someone called Mary, because that’s just what God would do, and it was like something clicked in his brain and a light went on in there. That’s when it all began.”
She added: “He always did take things a bit too literally.”