- "I’ve had it with this shit. Every time we clear one murder, two more spring up. It’s like crab grass."
- ―Bud Dearborne[src]
Bud Dearborne is a major character in the first, second, third and fifth seasons. He is played by starring cast member William Sanderson and debuts in the series premiere "Strange Love". He is the former sheriff of Bon Temps and was the working partner of Andy Bellefleur. He worked at the Bon Temps Police Station.
Sheriff Dearborne is shown to be a man of few words. He is much more contemplative than his co-worker, Andy Bellefleur. He seems to be a bit smarter than Andy in some aspects but he is also suspicious of vampires, just because they are vampires. He enjoys square dancing with his wife. After retiring in the third season he returns in the fifth season to serve as a secondary antagonist.
During the first season, Bud is seen at all murder scenes. He investigates every single one of them, but proves not very successful.While he is well respected in the town of Bon Temps, he goes out of his way to show his distaste for vampires and vocally objects to Sookie's relationship with Bill. He doesn't believe Jason is the murderer in the first season. Despite the blatant prejudice he shows Bill, he regularly scolds Andy for being unfair and biased in his dealings with suspects.
Bud is an active character in the first season, due to a number of murders that take place in Bon Temps. He is first seen investigating the murder of Maudette Pickens. Bud and Andy Bellefleur show up at a work site of Jason Stackhouse, to question Jason about Maudette. Bud asks Jason about his relationship with Maudette. He first denies having a relationship with her, and tells them that he barely knew her. Jason finally admits to having sex with Maudette the night before, but tells them that it wasn't anything out of the ordinary. Andy tells Jason that they saw the video tape Maudette made of her and Jason, and Bud tells him that they have to take him in for questioning. ("Strange Love")
At the police station, Bud and Andy show Jason the tape of him and Maudette. At the end of the tape, Jason believing that he had killed her, finds out that Maudette was still alive when he left her. Bud had to let Jason go. Next, Bud is seen pulling up with Mike Spencer to the destroyed mobile home of the Rattrays. Bud finds Sookie there and tells her that it is a restricted crime scene, and wants to know why she's there. She tells him she heard what happened and wanted to see. Bud questions Sookie about her involvement with the Rattrays and the vampire that he heard she had been seeing. He tells Sookie he can't understand how a tornado could have killed the Rattrays. Bud tells Sookie that she's a good girl and he hates to see her go down the wrong path. Sookie tells him he's lucky that no ones forcing him to watch. ("The First Taste")
Dawn Green was the next victim Bud investigated. He was called out to Dawn's house after Sookie went there to see why she hadn't shown up for work. As Bud questions Sookie about the murder scene, Sookie listens to everyone's thoughts. Jason Stackhouse is once again handcuffed and taken in for questioning, since he was the last known person to see Dawn alive. When they get to the station Bud and Andy start questioning Jason. Unbeknown to Bud and Andy Jason had taken a whole vile of V while he was in the back of the police car. It affected Jason in a very personal way, and he went to the bathroom. While he was in the bathroom, Andy criticized Bud for laughing at him. Bud tells Andy he doesn't think Jason killed Dawn. Bud and Andy hear Jason yelling from the bathroom, and run to the door. As they try to get him to come out, Tara shows up. Tara tells Bud that he is illegally holding Jason, and that she was his alibi from the night before. ("Escape from Dragon House")
Bud is next shown sitting in the audience at The Descendants of the Glorious Dead meeting. He, along with most of the town came to hear Bill Compton speak. Later that night, Bud and Andy went to Bill's house to question him about vampires. ("Sparks Fly Out")
As Bud and Andy stand over the body of Adele Stackhouse, Sookie listens to their thoughts. Sam, sensing her distress, gets her attention. Sookie goes outside for some air. Bud and Andy stand in the house talking about what kind of a person could do such a thing to an old woman. Andy suggests that it might be Jason, while Bud seems sure that it was a vampire. Bill walks in and they start questioning him about his whereabouts during the murder. Mike Spencer takes Gran's body out, and Bud tells Sookie to call him if she remembers anything. Bud shows his respect by attending Adele's funeral. ("Cold Ground")
Bud stands talking to a fireman in front of a burned out house. He tells the fireman this is one way to get rid of vampires. Sookie drives up, having waited at Bill's house all night for him to come home. She runs past Bud and Andy and says "is Bill in there". Bud tells her it's hard to tell since it's so messy. They tell her there's four bodies. ("Burning House of Love")
Bud asks Sookie if she is OK and if she needs some water. Scared that Bill could have perished in the fire, Sookie wants a closer look. Andy tries to stop her, but she pulls away, and runs to the burned coffins. As she runs back to leave Andy asks her if she is OK. Bud, sitting in the patrol car, calls Mike Spencer to tell him they ID'ed the human body that was found with the burned coffins. Bud tells Mike that it was Neil Jones, Mike's assistant. Bud said that he would understand if he wanted someone else to do the body. Mike told him that he owed it to Neil. After Bud hung up he and Andy discussed how upset Mike was to learn that Neil had been a fangbanger. Next Bud and Andy go to Sam's Trailer to question him about the night the vampires came to his bar. Sam tells Bud that he wouldn't mind if they didn't find the vampire killers. ("The Fourth Man in the Fire")
After Jason and his girlfriend Amy Burley spent the night on a wild V trip, Jason wakes up to find her dead beside him. He calls the police, and yet again, is brought to the station for questioning. As Andy rants to Jason about knowing that Jason was the killer all along, Bud asks Jason how it happened. Jason being in a V induced stupor from the night before, tells Bud he doesn't remember. Jason in a state of confusion, tells them that he and Amy had been taking V. He tells Bud that he must be the killer, because they are dying all around him. He says he just can't figure out why he did it. Jason asks Bud to lock him up, so he can't hurt anyone else. Bud tells Andy Bellefleur to lock him up. ("To Love Is to Bury")
At Merlotte's, sitting in a booth, Andy tells everybody about how Jason confessed to the murders. As he rambled on about his version of the arrest, Bud looking disgusted, says "it didn't exactly happen that way", and walks off. Later, René tries to kill Sookie, and ends up getting killed himself. They all find out that he was the real killer all along. Bud tells Andy that the D.A.'s dropping charges on Jason. Andy starts to pitch a fit, when Bud tells him not to screw up things worse. Bud tells him "you're the one who brought him in, you can let him go". Boiling with anger, Andy unlocks Jason's cell and lets him go. ("You'll Be the Death of Me")
In the second season, Bud investigates yet another string of murders. Maryann Forrester framed Sam for Daphne Landry's murder. Maryann takes Bud over when she demands to see Sam in his cell at the police station. Eventually, Maryann turns him into a mindless, orgy-loving sex freak like every other inhabitant of Bon Temps. After Maryann's departure, the still-conscious Andy Bellefleur and Jason Stackhouse take notice of Bud's odd behavior under Maryann's influence, which includes dancing around.
We start out season two with another murder scene. After Andy had too many drinks at Merlotte's, he, Sookie and Tara find a body in his car. Bud shows up and calls Andy over to him. Bud tells Andy he should call it a night and go home. Andy tells Bud he needs him there, Bud tells him he's over worked and drunk. After Sookie finds out Tara knew the victim, she talks her into telling the police what she knows. Back at the station, Bud tells Tara that the name of the woman killed was Nancy LeGuare. Tara tells them she knows her as Miss Jeanette and that she had a voodoo bus in the woods. Andy accuses Tara of knowing more than she says, and when he gets too forceful, Bud makes him go outside. Bud tells Andy he's done for the night, and that he might be considered a suspect. Tara's mother, Lettie Mae Daniels, comes in and Bud takes her to Tara. Tara tells her mother that Miss Jeanette was a con artist, and she stole their money. Later back at Merlotte's, Bud finds Andy drunk again, and tells him he's embarrassing himself. Bud tells him he's taking him off the case. ("Nothing but the Blood")
In the third season, Bud is to investigate the discovery of a damaged, headless corpse. Right at the discovery scene, he decides to quit his job, stating he is sick of investigating an endless string of murders. He initially gives his sheriff star to Kenya Jones, but at his retirement party in Merlotte's, chooses Andy Bellefleur as his successor instead. Kenya is visibly shocked by this decision, mockingly stating: "Well, I guess the only way to get a promotion in this town is to drink like a fish, hallucinate farm animals and kill a black man." ("It Hurts Me Too") ("9 Crimes")
Sheriff Andy Bellefleur visits Bud for advice as how to be a good sheriff and how to deal with the negative aspects of the job. Bud however says that he is busy and rudely demands Andy to leave.("In the Beginning")
Sookie visits Bud at his house, having recently learned that he discovered the corpses of her parents. Bud says there were bite marks on the bodies, but they were assumed to be from the wildlife because vampires were considered myth to the common public at the time. Sookie proceeds to ask questions such as if he knew who Warlow was. When she finds that he doesn't she is knocked unconscious by Sweetie.("Everybody Wants to Rule the World")
Sookie awakens in Bud's pig farm, the headquarters of the group against supernaturals. Bud says that supernaturals have been trying to take over the world for years. Sweetie walks in and asks Bud to give Sookie Ginger Ale laced with Oxycontin. He says she isn't part of the conspiracy but Sweetie correctly convinces him of Sookies non human status by explaining that she looks and talks like humans but is not human due to her abilities. Sookie tries to plead with Bud by saying he was meant to protect people and he states how he IS protecting people and that the law does nothing but gives monsters equal rights and sends patriots to jail and how the law gave him cancer and a sexless marriage. Sweetie goes on to say how she plans to start a war against supes and make their existence illegal. When Sookie tries to use her inhuman abilities to read her mind, Sweetie forces Bud to give her the Ginger-ale. ("Everybody Wants to Rule the World")
With Sookie knocked out, the Obamas try to kill her and Hoyt by feeding them to the pigs. Sam saves Sookie. Bud calls him a dirty shifter and attacks him but is quickly defeated due to the shifters inhuman strength while Sweetie retreats. Sam proceeds to fight the surrounding Obamas until Jason, Andy and the rest of the police arrive. Bud proceeds to raise his weapon against Sam until Andy calls him out by name. Bud removes the mask, hesitates and once he realizes he is caught, makes an attempt to attack Sam stating "Humans rule!" until Andy is forced to shoot him. The bullet hits him in the heart and he falls to the ground dead.("Everybody Wants to Rule the World")
|Season one appearances|
|"Strange Love"||"The First Taste"||"Mine"||"Escape from Dragon House"|
|"Sparks Fly Out"||"Cold Ground"||"Burning House of Love"||"The Fourth Man in the Fire"|
|"Plaisir D'Amour"||"I Don't Wanna Know"||"To Love Is to Bury"||"You'll Be the Death of Me"|
|Season two appearances|
|"Nothing but the Blood"||"Keep This Party Going"||"Scratches"||"Shake and Fingerpop"|
|"Never Let Me Go"||"Hard-Hearted Hannah"||"Release Me"||"Timebomb"|
|"I Will Rise Up"||"New World in My View"||"Frenzy"||"Beyond Here Lies Nothin'"|
|Season three appearances|
|"Bad Blood"||"Beautifully Broken"||"It Hurts Me Too"||"9 Crimes"|
|"Trouble"||"I Got a Right to Sing the Blues"||"Hitting the Ground"||"Night on the Sun"|
|"Everything Is Broken"||"I Smell a Rat"||"Fresh Blood"||"Evil is Going On"|
|Season five appearances|
|"Turn! Turn! Turn!"||"Authority Always Wins"||"Whatever I Am, You Made Me"||"We’ll Meet Again"|
|"Let's Boot and Rally"||"Hopeless"||"In the Beginning"||"Somebody That I Used to Know"|
|"Everybody Wants to Rule the World"||"Gone, Gone, Gone"||"Finally"||"Save Yourself"|