A 15 year old East Texas murder case is resurfacing on the big screen. In 1996, Bernie Tiede shot and killed Marjorie Nugent, known as the richest woman in Carthage, Texas. But now, this tragedy has been transformed into a dark comedy.
"You have to remember films are made to entertain, this is not a documentary," said Danny Buck Davidson, Panola Coutny's Criminal District Attorney.
Davidson tried the real case in 1998 and is portrayed in the movie by Matthew McConaughey. He says, while the movie, in his opinion, leans towards Bernie's point of view, most of the scenes resemble how things really unfolded 15 years ago.
Davidson said, "He(Bernie) was so well liked, that when she(Marjorie) was found and he was charged, everyone thought, 'oh, no he coulnd't have done that.' Had he not confessed it would have been a real hard trial."
In his official confession, Tiede admits to shooting Nugent in the back several times inside the garage of her home, before dragging her body to a freezer where she stayed for 9 months. Officials say it's the reality of this tragedy that shouldn't be overshadowed by the hype of the new movie.
"This was a murder that was planned," said Davidson. "Even if she was hated, she didn't deserve to be shot in the back, put in the freezer, and her estate looted at the hands of her murderer."
Davidson says the community supports the movie because, although it is a dark comedy, it does not make a mockery of the murder. The movie is currently playing in select threatres across the country. It will come to Ark-La-Tex theatres soon. The movie will have three showings at the Carthage Twin Cinema from May 11th-13th and will open at the Robinson Film Center in Shreveport on June 1st.