Bernie Tiede

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Abilene, Texas
Birth Sign
Abilene, Texas

Bernhardt ‘Bernie’ Tiede II is a convicted murderer in the United States who worked as a mortician. Majorie ‘Marge’ Nugent, an 81-year-old widow, was murdered by him. On November 19, 1996, a murder occurred at Nugent’s home in Carthage, Texas. They used to live together and knew each other before the murder. Tiede was described as a saintly man who was not only soft-spoken but also dedicated to his work before the infamous crime. He met Nugent at her husband’s funeral and decided to leave his job to work as her personal assistant. Nugent made him the sole heir to her multimillion-dollar estate, oblivious to his intentions. He committed the crime in the most unusual way possible and managed to keep it hidden from the rest of the world for nine months. Tiede went on to live a normal life after she died in the freezer. He also spent more than $500,000 of her money during this time. He confessed to killing Nugent in 1997 and was sentenced to 50 years in prison, which was later increased to 99 years.

Childhood and Adolescence

Bernhardt Tiede II was born in Abilene, Texas, in the United States on August 2, 1958. Bernhardt Tiede, a native of Olgenow, Russia, was his father. In 1926, he and his family immigrated to the United States. Tiede’s mother was Tiede Srfirst .’s wife, Lela Mae Jester.

Tiede Sr. taught music and directed the choral program at Our Lady of the Lake College in San Antonio, Texas, as well as Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He has also taught at Kilgore College in Kilgore, Texas, and McMurry College in Abilene, where he served as a director of the McMurry Chanters.

Tiede’s father was a church music director and a vocal performer in addition to teaching. When Tiede’s mother died in an automobile accident when Tiede was a child, he married again.

Tiede Sr. married Clara Kathryn, his second wife, in 1963, and Tiede gained a stepmother. Tiede’s father, on the other hand, died when he was fifteen years old. He graduated from Cooper High School in Abilene, Texas, in 1976.

Later Years of Bernie

Bernie Tiede worked as a mortician before meeting Majorie Nugent. People often referred to him as “the town’s most good-hearted man.”

Tiede met Nugent at her husband’s funeral in March 1990. He was assisting the assistant director at Hawthorn Funeral Home at the time. They were instantly attracted to each other.

In just a year, he earned her trust and persuaded her to change her mind. Tiede was left the entirety of Nugent’s $5 million estate after she disinherited her son. Tiede left his job as a mortician in 1993 and no longer serves as her personal assistant. He’d even taken on the role of her business manager and travel companion.

On November 19, 1996, Tiede assassinated Nugent. With a.22 rifle, he shot her four times in the back. He put her body in a freezer at her Carthage home after the murder. He went on to live a normal life after killing her, lying to people about her whereabouts.

It was discovered that she was missing nine months later when her estranged son, Rod Nugent, returned to Panola County. Nugent’s body was wrapped in a white sheet and stored in the freezer when Rod and his daughter entered the house.

Tiede confessed to his crimes when he was taken in for questioning. He also revealed that he cleaned Nugent’s body and put it in the freezer after killing him. He also spent the majority of her money on gifts for his Carthaginian friends.

He was sentenced by a jury to 50 years in prison, but he appealed his sentence. The courts determined that there was enough evidence against Tiede to convict him of murder.

Bernie Tiede went ahead and filed a writ of habeas corpus after his conviction, alleging that Nugent had abused him. She also provoked him, which brought back memories of his uncle’s sexual abuse. The Texas Criminal Courts of Appeal approved his appeal after hearing his side of the story.

People had mixed feelings about Tiede; some remembered him for his kindness, while others wanted to see him behind bars. Rod Nugent, Nugent’s son, blamed Tiede for his mother’s estrangement.

He was found guilty of murder and given a life sentence. Rod filed a lawsuit against Tiede, accusing him of defrauding Nugent of more than $3 million.

Incarceration and emancipation

In 1999, Bernie Tiede was admitted to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and was assaulted by his fellow inmates. However, he was frequently described by prison officials as a “model prisoner” who took health classes and willingly sang in the prison choir.

Tiede was serving a life sentence until May 2014. However, District Attorney Danny Buck Davidson and visiting Judge Diane Devasto agreed to let him out on $10,000 bail from his life sentence. Tiede had been sexually abused several times as a child, it was discovered.

Tiede shot Nugent, according to his attorney Jodi Cole, after a violent incident with her resurfaced old memories. Dr. Richard Pesikoff, a forensic psychiatrist, supports this theory.

Tiede penned a handwritten confession because he had received several threats that his private videos would be leaked, it was also revealed. Following the presentation of new evidence, Davidson admitted that he would have sought a lighter sentence for Tiede.

The release of Tiede shocked Nugent’s family, who blamed the trial on Richard Linklater’s film “Bernie.”
Tiede lived in filmmaker Richard Linklater’s garage apartment after his release in 2014 until his resentencing in 2016. On April 6, 2016, the resentencing trial began.

Merrell Rhodes, Nugent’s sister, presented new evidence, claiming that she was always afraid of her sister. JoeRhodes, Merrel’s son, also confirmed that the movie’s portrayal of Nugent was accurate and that his aunt was abusive. Despite this, on April 22, 2016, a jury of ten women and two men resentenced Tiede to 99 years or life in prison. The charges of theft against him were dismissed. The 99-year prison sentence was upheld by a Texas appeals court in August 2017.

Estimated Net Worth

As a Junior United States Senator in 1999, Tiede’s net worth is estimated to be around $3 million and $160,000 per year.


Bernie, a film based on Bernie Tiede’s life, was released in 2011. Richard Linklater directed the film, which starred Jack Black as Tiede. The film received critical acclaim for its direction and realism in depicting the true story.