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by Casey Cipriani
May 6, 2014 12:17 PM
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Richard Linklater Invites Convicted Murderer and Subject of His Film 'Bernie' To Live With Him After Early Release

Bernie Tiede and Richard Linklater

After more than 17 year behind bars, convicted murderer Bernie Tiede may be freed into the home of filmmaker Richard Linklater, reports The Texas Tribune.

"Bernie," the 2011 Linklater film starring Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine and Matthew McConaughey, chronicled the 1996 murder of 81-year-old millionaire Marjorie Nugent by her 38-year-old companion, Bernhardt "Bernie" Tiede. Tiede was sentenced to life in prison after it was determined that he shot Nugent in the back and then stuffed her into a freezer.

But recently, Tiede's conviction has been the subject of new developments. Danny Buck Davidson, the Panola County district attorney who oversaw Tiede’s prosecution, said that evidence had come to light detailing Tiede's childhood sexual abuse from the age of 12 to 18. After the release of Linklater's 2011 film, new lawyers came on board to assist Tiede with his appeals. During their process, they noticed Tiede's collection of self-help books for victims of sexual abuse and decided to pry further into his past. New psychiatric evaluation determined that Tiede's shooting of Nugent was brought on by his traumatic history and that the shooting was the result of a "dissociative experience" triggered by Nugent's own abusive behavior towards Tiede. 

Davidson planned to file an affidavit with the court Tuesday agreeing that as a result of these enlightenments, Tiede's sentence should be reduced. The maximum term for a "crime of passion" such as this would have been considered is 20 years, and Tiede has already served 17. Linklater will be providing testimony for the potential release, and has reportedly offered up his own home for Tiede's rehabilitation. It is expected that Tiede will be released Tuesday on the condition that he receive counseling for sexual abuse, and that he live with Linklater in Austin.


  • POBLANOTRON | May 7, 2014 11:06 AMReply

    Ummm did you guys all skip over the part where it says Linklater is inviting a convicted murderer to move into his house? #CAPEFEAR

  • zabo | May 7, 2014 10:41 AMReply

    Excuses, Excuses, Excuses the man was given life and life is what he should do. As far as the people below me with their white man this and white man that are tired to say the least. And does the millionaire have a say in this cold blooded killers release. Let's for get the real victim and pretend we have a new victim. Bleeding Hearted Liberals should be made to spend just a measly 30 days behind bars and really see what these people (if you can call them that anymore) are all about!

  • Matthew | May 6, 2014 4:44 PMReply

    Thank the universe for people like Richard Linklater. He consistently makes mature, entertaining and beautiful movies, and is now backing up the sentiments expressed in 'Bernie' by opening up his home to someone with a prison record.

    Unfair? No doubt criminal justice around the world is rife with unfairness, bias and discrimination. However, to have served seventeen years of a twenty-year sentence, then to be given a conditional release seems contextually fair enough to me.

  • Vin | May 6, 2014 4:17 PMReply

    Stop assuming, Marc, as it can make one look foolish. The bible is not "my book," as I do not adhere to any religious views. I stand by my point, though. In a country with a spotty criminal justice system, Texas stands out as amongst the worst, most wretched offenders. A state where bloodlust, revenge and racism always trump justice. A repulsive place.

  • marc | May 6, 2014 5:18 PM

    i'm assuming you choose words for a purpose, so stand by your words or choose them with accuracy. the "foolish" still refuses to choose words with accuracy. if bloodlust and revenge trump justice, then why get your panties in a knot when justice DOES prevail? to suggest that the entire "state" is steeped in bloodlust, revenge, and racism, that it is a repulsive place, is not only inaccurate, but dismisses the very Texan Richard Linklater who, in part, is responsible for this small piece of justice. using words like "always" and "repulsive" highlights the fool.

  • laura | May 6, 2014 3:56 PMReply

    OY, really? Any one learn from Mailer & belly of the beast? BERNIE great comedy, antihero as protagonist in corrupt world. Don't lose sight. Whatever socialite 'did' to him doesn't exonerate bro's pathology

  • CrazyxCrazy | May 6, 2014 12:51 PMReply

    "he's being let off cause he's white ra ra ra"

    "The man be keeping us down ra ra ra ra"

  • Vin | May 6, 2014 12:32 PMReply

    God, I hate Texas.

    It's a place where wrongly convicted black people don't stand a chance of getting their case reviewed by anyone, even when the evidence of their innocence is plain as day (go ahead, Google it - you'll find more than a few cases).

    But a white murderer - hey, let's let him off on good behavior.

    What a wretched, wretched place Texas is.

  • Jeremy | May 7, 2014 11:57 AM

    I could say I hate Massachusetts because it's got the worst child protection laws and child abuse rates, but I'm not going to because I have never lived there. Ever been to Texas? If so, I can't judge. If not, then you can't judge. Most people I know who say they hate Texas are the ones who have never really lived there, other than through CNN or MSNBC.

  • marc | May 6, 2014 12:48 PM

    first, invoking 'god' it a good start, as - i'm guessing the bible is your book - god is responsible for more deaths than anyone, including innocent children (the 'flood', Passover), but we'll leave that to rest. hating "texas" is like hating any other part of the united states or world - there is injustice enough to go around. and yes, in texas, as in other parts of the U.S. there are any number of wrongly convicted people, and i would imagine, especially blacks. Yes, the evidence plain as day.

    but bernie's "good behavior" is not new, but has been his way his ENTIRE LIFE. if you knew ANYTHING about this case — having read the article that spawned the film, having seen the film (even though it was conceived as a dark comedy - and murder ain't funny) — you'd have a clue. but instead, you are a hater and prefer to lump in texas and texans as the issue. the issue is close-minded people like you, and THEY are the ones that wrongly convict black and white and brown and green and yellow. so thanks for contributing to what makes injustice wretched. next time, instead of reading a few words and not taking the time to do a little research - "go ahead, Google it" - just stay on the path you are on, with a homicidal god by your side and wrongly condemning a region and people you know nothing about.