Murderer living with Hollywood director

Photo: Cordon Press.

Director Linklater (far right) and Bernie cast members Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey and Shirley MacLaine.

A convicted murderer has been released from prison early in the US and has moved into a house belonging to the Hollywood film director who made a film about the grisly crime.


Prosecutors in America have agreed that Bernie Tiede, 55, should not serve his full life sentence for the murder of Marjorie Nugent.

Tiede met Nugent in 1990 at the funeral of her husband R.L. “Rod” Nugent, who made his fortune in oil and banking.

The pair began a relationship, taking holidays around the world together. Ms Nugent eventually signed a will, leaving her estimated $10m fortune to her younger companion.

After Ms Nugent, 81, disappeared in 1996 Tiede became known in their town for his generosity and gift-giving, starting several scholarships and giving away cars.

Ms Nugent’s body was found in a freezer at her Carthage home. She had been shot in the back four times with a .22-calibre rifle.

A jury convicted Tiede of the crime in 1999 and sentenced him to life behind bars.

However, Tiede has been released after details of his life and his relationship with the victim have been examined.

Psychiatrist Edward Gripon, who examined Tiede, testified that Tiede and Ms Nugent had a highly complex and abusive relationship.

The expert said that those difficulties, combined with Tiede having been abused when he was younger, pushed him to kill Ms Nugent in a “brief dissociative episode”.

The court does not believe that Tiede will experience those same circumstances that led him to kill again.

Judge Diane DeVasto has agreed to let Tiede live with director Richard Linklater. He is staying in an apartment above a garage at a property in Austin, Texas, belonging to the director.  

Linklater co-wrote and directed the 2012 black comedy Bernie, which stars Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey and Shirley MacLaine. The film centres on Bernie Tiede and his crime.

Linklater also directed Dazed and Confused and School of Rock.



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