Bernie Tiede, Inspiration for Richard Linklater/Jack Black Film, Going to Jail for 99 Years to Life


Bernie Tiede, who was the real-life inspiration for the wonderful 2011 Richard Linklater film Bernie, has been sentenced to 99 years to life for killing Marjorie Nugent in 1996. Tiede, a mortician, was portrayed with astonishing empathy by Jack Black (Roger Ebert notably campaigned hard for Black to get an Oscar nomination). He began a relationship with Nugent, 40 years his senior, and allegedly endured emotional abuse from her, later calling her "evil." She was portrayed by Shirley MacLaine. He ended up shooting her in the back four times with a rifle and hiding her in a freezer for nine months, which is, of course, the most rational way to end a relationship. Tiede was convicted in 1999 and released by the state of Texas in 2014 when details surfaced about his being abused as a minor. He then moved into a garage owned by Linklater in Austin, Texas, which was a (rather unusual) condition of his release. The 10-person jury cogitated for 4.5 hours before slapping Tiede with the new 99-year verdict. We can't wait to see Linklater make a movie about this.