Bernie Tiede worked as a funeral director in a small Texan town. Picture: CBS/48 HoursSource:Supplied
Bernie Tiede worked as a funeral director in a small Texan town. Picture: CBS/48 HoursSource:Supplied

Why everyone loves this killer

A SMALL town filled with wealthy widows attracted a seemingly nice funeral director, who would later start a relationship with a rich woman 40 years his senior.

But some believe he had a chilling plan that left her dead and him a millionaire.

Bernie Tiede had dealt with a lot of death in his family. His mother died in a car accident when he was young and his father died a short time later after spiralling into alcoholism.

He had dark demons himself - he claims he was molested by his uncle when he was 12.

Marjorie Nugent and Bernie Tiede. Picture: CBS/48 Hours
Marjorie Nugent and Bernie Tiede. Picture: CBS/48 Hours

 

Tiede got a job at a funeral home in Carthage, Texas, in the 1980s to help others deal with the grief of losing loved ones.

He was 33 when he met 81-year-old widow Marjorie Nugent in 1990. He helped organise her husband's funeral. Soon after, the pair appeared to fall in love, Tiede quit his job and travelled around with her and she changed her will, leaving $5 million to her new man.

Six years after meeting, Tiede shot Marjorie in the back four times and dumped her in the freezer at her home. Months later, after Marjorie's son reported her missing, police discovered her body wrapped in a white sheet, frozen.

It was a crime so bizarre it inspired the dark-comedy movie Bernie, which stars Jack Black.

Following the movie and his work in the community, Tiede had established a strong fan base, with many encouraging the courts during his trial to give him a break.

CBS program 48 Hours explored the bizarre case and how so many people could like him, despite his crime.

News Corp Australia

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