Bernie (2011) Script

I'm very honored to introduce our guest lecturer today.

He graduated from here about 15 years ago.

He's gone on to a fabulous career.

I can't think of a single person who's more qualified or more adept at the final procedures you've been studying lately.

Now you've learned the science, now's your chance to learn the art.

Students, Mr. Bernie Tiede.

Thank you, Professor.

Thank you.

It's always an honor to be asked back and I do it gladly because I feel... if even one thing I say or demonstrate today helps you in any way as you embark on your careers, then everyone will have benefited.

You, those who are grieving, and the deceased.

The nails have to be clipped, shaped and brought back to life.

And you must cast the nails to the person.

You wouldn't want a mechanic to have the nails of a flight attendant.

Would you?

It is very important to remove any unwanted nasal, ear, or facial hair.

We can never be too vigilant in the lookout for that one stray rogue hair.

The eyes are often a minor problem because they usually want to stay open.

It's almost like they want one last look at this miraculous world.

But with some Super Glue... a little dab will do you... and it's no more peeking.

Even though the features have been set during the embalming, you have to reassess and readjust because of continuing emaciation and dehydration.

Perfect expression of the mouth would be relaxed, natural, with a little bit of a smile.

Can't have him looking unhappy to be there.

And we must always be on guard for the mischievous lip drift.

Even the slightest hint of teeth can be disastrous.

You cannot have grief tragically become a comedy.

Then, after a foundation mixed with massage cream to prevent dehydration, even out coloration, then apply highlights.

Do not over-cosmetize.

Most of those who service the deceased apply far too much blush.

J ust a note to always remember:

Too much color does not make one look more alive.

The last detail to be managed is the deceased's body position.

Left hand over the right, over the umbilicus, in an attitude of ease, of repose, of retirement.

The position of the head is oh so important.

Neither star gazing nor navel gazing, but perfectly centered, turned ever so slightly to the right... in greeting.

He's now been cosmetized, he's ready to be dressed, and casketed.

♪ Love lifted me! ♪

♪ Love lifted me! ♪

♪ Looove lifted meee! ♪

♪ I was sinking Deep in sin ♪

♪ Off on the peaceful shore ♪

♪ Buried deeply Staying within ♪

♪ Sinking to rise no more ♪

♪ But the master Of the sea ♪

♪ Heard my despairing cry ♪ Bernie was a very charismatic man.

A loving person.

And he had the ability to make the world seem kind.

♪ Love looked at me ♪

♪ When nothing else Could help ♪

♪ Love lifted me ♪

♪ Love lifted me ♪ Real good with people, a real people person, always had his hand out, ready to shake it, never met a stranger, good with names, good with questions.

He could remember if your daughter was at Texas, and your son was at A&M.

He'd remember that and he'd ask you questions about those kids.

J ust made you feel real good about yourself.

♪ When nothing else could help now ♪

♪ Love lifted me ♪

♪ Souls in danger Look above ♪

♪ Jesus completely saves ♪

♪ He will lift you By his love ♪

♪ Out of the angry ways ♪

♪ He's the master of the sea ♪ If the people in Carthage were to make a list of those people that they thought would get to heaven, I am sure that Bernie would be right at the top of the list.

♪ Love lifted me ♪

♪ When nothing Else could help ♪

♪ Now love lifted me ♪ His personality was, just, like, magnetic, okay?

So people were drawn to him all the time.

And because of that, that personality, before too long, he was the most popular man in Carthage.

♪ Love lifted me Love lifted me ♪

♪ Looove lifted meee ♪

Carthage is in east Texas.

And it's totally different from the rest of Texas, which could be five different states, actually.

You got your west Texas out there with a bunch of flat ranches.

U p north, you got them Dallas snobs with their Mercedes, and then you got Houston, the carcinogenic coast all the way up to Louisiana.

Then down south, San Antonio... that's where the Tex meets the Mex.

Like the food.

And then in central Texas, you got the People's Republic of Austin with a bunch of hairy-legged women and liberal fruitcakes.

Of course, I left out the panhandle, and a lot of people do, but...

Carthage... this is where the south begins.

This is life behind the pine curtain.

And, and, and truth be known, it's a good place.

Carthage has such a good reputation that it's listed in The Best Small Towns of America, Volume Two as the best small town in Texas.

That's right. Page 157.

Oh, hell, most people live in Carthage because they were born here.

Carthage sits on what was once one of the biggest gas fields in the world.

Back in the gas boom of the 40s and 50s, a lot of people got rich around here.

Well, as I recall, we were gonna get a lot of the older people in town leaving for the sweet hereafter, and we got a little backed up in the cold room, frankly, I was looking for some help.

Bernie must've seen an ad or something.

He called from Louisiana and I hired him over the phone, not fully knowing what to expect.

These are our viewing rooms.

Oh, look at that, you've got these partitions.

That's so nice.

So, you got your associate's degree in Mortuary Science at State?

Yes, sir.

Play any ball over there?

U h, no no, sir.

I wanted to concentrate on my studies, as much as I loved football and whatnot.

Now here's our sanctuary.

It'll seat one twenty five.

Look at these green benches. I love them.

Yeah, we changed those.

We had them normal brown for so long and I was a little worried about this green. I don't know.

People don't complain.

I... I don't either, I think they're great.

Oh, I hit the jackpot with that guy.

He's the most qualified young man I ever met.

He was excellent at removals, an artist in the embalming room, could fix hair like nobody in the business.

Waited well on the families in the morning parlor, could sing like a bird.

He ran a funeral like a professional, any aspect of the funeral business:

Eulogizing, scripture reading, singing... man, he could do it.

But most of all, we're gonna remember Fred as our friend.

Our... really... close... friend.


♪ Amazing grace ♪

♪ How sweet the sound ♪

♪ That saved a wretch ♪

♪ Like me ♪ I'll walk you to your car.

You poor thing.

This is so hard.

It's just so hard.

You're very brave.

Here now.

Oh, honey, he was a magician.

He made all of us just look beautiful.

I mean, he could make your wrinkles all just go away, and he would, if, if you had a overbite, he'd fix it so it wouldn't be so sticky outie.

And he would take a bouquet of small white roses and put it in your hand.

I mean, he just made everybody look so beautiful.

Except too bad you were dead.

It seemed like no matter what happened to us, whether it was car wrecks or heart attacks or household poisons, or guns left locked and loaded around the house, or choking on a little piece of meat, in the end, he always made us look good.

Oh, you name the song, he'd sing it.

If country folks came in requesting an old gospel, he'd sing it.

Or trailer trash came in requesting Loretta Lynn, he'd sing that, too.

But as great as Bernie was at performing a service, he was even better at sales.

If you pardon my reach, Mrs. Thompson, this is a memory drawer.

It wasn't bullshit, he really believed that all those little touches were necessary.

He even came up with this idea:

For 150 extra...

"Oh, that I had wings like a dove, I would fly away and be at rest."

At this moment, as the casket descends into the ground, we now release a white dove symbolizing Mr. Callahan's soul... passing on to the next world, to the mystery of the great beyond.

Yes, I agree, that is a lot of money to put down in advance.

But there's a right way and a wrong way to approach this.

It was his idea to put up more crosses on the wall and change the lighting, make it feel more like a church or a sacred place, less like a business or an office.

Were you thinking interment or cremation?

I beg your pardon?

He means buried or burned.

Buried. We already have the plots.

I am so happy for you.

Can I tell you, I am not fond of cremations.

I just don't like the idea of someone spending eternity in something the size of a motel ice bucket.

I'd just soon drop you in a ditch by the side of the road.

Hey.

I want to keep it simple.

Yeah, this is... this is fine.

I see. Yeah.

Now, these composite wood with cloth we sell mostly to the county to bury the unclaimed, the indigent, and also no warranty, of course.

Warranty?

Oh, with our better caskets, we guarantee that your remains will be untouched by rainwater, pesky insects, burrowing animals searching for food...

Also, now tall are you, Mr. Eccles?

About 6'2".

Oh, dear.

These economy boxes are not very large.

We may have to make a leg adjustment to get a proper fit.

Leg adjustment?

Well, not necessarily break the legs but definitely bend the feet... No! No, I... I won't have it.

Then may I suggest... the Corinthian.

♪ J ust as I am ♪

♪ Without one ♪ I'm pretty sure the first time Bernie met Mrs. Nugent was at the time of Mr. Nugent's funeral.

♪ Was shared for me ♪

♪ And that thou be come ♪ Her husband, Dwayne, he was just a tough old typical old man.

And he liked to do business just a handshake, He would say things like...

I'll guaran-damn-tee yah...

He was some kind of exploration guy with a big oil company and he made a whole lot of money back in the 60s.

He was too tight to spend any of it but he liked to invest his money in everything he could.

♪ To thee who's blood can cleanse ♪

♪ Each spot o' land ♪ As a matter of fact, he even bought a bank here in town.

I believe it was '87, he bought the bank.

He run that sucker with a hard fist.

Just, I mean, he was kinda... abrupt, and the way...

I appreciate it.

The way he done business and stuff.

Of course, then after he died, well, then she took over and she started having a position that he had and if it was said that he was kinda disliked in the way he did business, you'd have to say that she was literally hated, 'cause that old heifer, she turned down loans just for a hobby.

She was just a mean old hateful bitch.

Hey. There's just no other way to put it.

She wasn't friendly.

She... she really wasn't, and she probably... there are people in town, honey, that woulda shot her for five dollars, ya know?

I mean, when you live in a small town, you've got to be friendly and nice to folks.

She would chew your ass at the drop of a hat.

I mean, she'd rip you a brand new three bedroom two bath double wide asshole. No problem.

I n the fourteenth chapter of the book of John, Jesus said, "Let not your heart be troubled."

Well, I heard that she hadn't talked to her sisters in over 20 years but when the mother died, she was right in there fightin' them over quilts and chairs.

Can you believe that?

And one of the sisters even wanted to donate land to the church, but she interfered because she didn't want the church to have it.

She didn't like that pastor.

He wore Bermuda shorts on his day off.

Friends and loved ones...

Everybody in town knew that Mr. And Mrs. Nugent weren't exactly friends with their son Dwayne Junior and his family.

He was a doctor out in Middleton, almost never came to visit.

One of his daughters had actually sued her grandparents trying to get at the money in that trust.

That made her so mad she never spoke to any of them again.

Let us pray.

Marjorie Nugent. She was... not a very nice lady and her nose was so high she'd drown in a rainstorm.

Mrs. Margy, she was the kind of person that I believe she was born old.

She was just born with this prune face.

That's pretty much the impression people got from her.

I got a buddy of mine, Louie.

He's a decent fellow I work for.

Mrs. Nugent took a broom to his ass one day.

Would you like me to get up and do the back in there?

Get out.

Oh.

Beautiful service. Thank you.

I'll see you on Sunday. Thank you very much.

He was great with the D-L-O-Ls.

That's what we all called the "dear little old ladies."

All the widows in town had crushes on Bernie.

J ust thought I'd bring you a hankie.

Oh, yeah, old Bernie.

He loved to hug and kiss on those older women.

At his age now, they were lucky to get the time of day from him.

Hi.

Hi, Mrs. Nugent, I just... wanted you to know I was thinking about you.

These times can be hard. Oh, thank you.

Okay.

I never asked him to do this and he wasn't getting paid to do it, but he would always stop by and check on the widows after he'd done their husbands' funerals.

He just really cared about them.

I mean, that guy was just a sweet guy, and they just loved him to death.

Room service.

Hi, I'm just dropping by again, Mrs. Nugent, to pay my respects.

I brought you some soaps and a little bubble bath to soothe you in the tub, and some chocolate cupcakes for a late night snack.

Come in.

That... would be my pleasure.

I n high school I wanted to be an evangelist to save the souls of my fellow students.

A lot of them were starting to drink and smoke and ride motorcycles and have premarital sexual experiences and all that.

Oh, yes please! Here you go, Bernie.

Thank you, Esmeralda.

When.

Miss Marjorie?

One time I got four teenagers to re-dedicate their lives to Jesus, but eventually I realized I was meant for other equally important things.

Oh, please, Bernie, touching all those cold bloated bodies. Please!

Don't you think you were meant to do something more?

No, no, no, no, Mrs. Nugent.

It isn't bad at all.

Their souls are already with the Lord by the time I'm involved.

It's just my way to serve and show respect for the lives they led and comfort all the loved ones that they leave behind.

Well.

And some day, if I'm lucky, many many years from now, I will give you such a beautiful funeral... with all the roses in East Texas.

I know it'll be the event of the season in Carthage.

You know, I think that Bernie was the one that got Marjorie back to church after her husband died.

Well, I know the Bible says Jesus turned water into wine, but it didn't say liquor store wine.

It had to have been non-alcoholic wine, because it didn't have time to ferment.

If Jesus could walk on the water, he could make any kind of wine he wanted to.

Fermented or not.

Right on the spot.

Morning, ladies.

Sorry to interrupt.

Mrs. Marjorie, it is so good to have you with us this morning.

I just want to put a bug in your ear now.

Many of you know we're hoping to start construction on our new prayer wing soon.

Well, I'm hoping I can count on a few of you to join the fundraising committee. Okay?

Think about it, now. God bless you.

♪ This is my story This is my song ♪

♪ Praising my savior All the day long ♪

♪ This is my story This is my song ♪

♪ Praising my savior All the day long ♪

♪ Perfect submission Perfect delight ♪

♪ Visions of rapture Now burst on my sight ♪

♪ Angels descending Bring from above ♪

♪ Echoes of mercy Whispers of love ♪

♪ This is my story This is my song ♪

♪ Praising my savior All the day long ♪ No, we'll take my car.

No, I insist.

Don't be silly, Bernie.

Good, I'll see you Saturday afternoon.

I'm... I'm looking forward to it, too.

Okay, Mrs. Nugent, bye.

Oh, so sweet.

That was Bernie Tiede, the assistant funeral director.

He's very sweet and very nice to me.

Can't think of anyone who's been that nice to me in 50 years.

Now, you!

You've got two minutes to explain these accounts to me.

Or three minutes from now I just might get myself another stockbroker.

I can explain everything, Miss Marjorie.

It's a very simple case of them changing their accounting statements.

They changed their formatting, it's re-formatted... in a different format.

Hey, listen.

I couldn't help but hear the end of that conversation.

I gotta tell you, Bernie, you have got to be about the bravest man in this town.

She isn't all that mean like everyone says.

Now you sure about that?

Well, she doesn't have anyone, Don.

She's a very lonely person. She needs someone.

I've asked her to accompany me this Saturday to the Van Clyburn Piano Competition in Fort Worth.

Well, have fun.

Ain't like she's the richest widow in town.

Hell, maybe she'll even pay for everything.

Don! Hey...

And if she does offer to pay for everything, order up a couple of them bottles of Dom Perignon.

You get her liquored up, You might get lucky.

No, Don!

He sincerely believed that... it was better to give than to receive.

Well, Bernie had a problem with money.

He was generous. Some folks say overly generous.

What he was was a buy-aholic.

And... hell, he'd walk into a store, seen something he liked, he'd buy the store out of every goddamn item he wanted and give the shit away.

And that's crazy.

But that Bernie, he liked to make people smile.

He wanted friends.

Acceptance, I guess, is what you call it.

And Bernie could do just about anything.

I mean, he could hang wallpaper in people's houses, and I've never seen any man do this, but he could make curtains for people and he was the head honcho for the Chamber of Commerce Christmas decorating committee.

That's a big thing in Carthage, too, a big thing.

Bernie was really smart.

He helped people do their tax returns, you know, financial counseling...

Anything that you pay for on the job that the company, the oil company doesn't reimburse you for, that's a tax deduction.

So, for instance, Toby, these work coveralls, did the company provide you with these?

No, we got to buy our own.

Bingo. That is a tax deduction.

And how about your lunch buckets and your steel toe workboots, they give you those?

Why, hell no. That's what I thought.

You kidding me?

That's tax deduction number two and three.

Thank you, Sheriff Huckabee.

You're listening to KGAS, the heartbeat of East Texas.

Now before we get to the school cafeteria menu, and the wedding anniversaries for the week, here's Bernie Tiede from Leggett Funeral Home.

Thank you, Jerry.

As some of you are already aware, Mr. Harvey Gunnolds left this world all too soon this past Wednesday after a brief hospital stay.

I used to love having him on the air.

I mean, every Friday people would tune in just to hear Bernie.

And when he did the obituaries, it wasn't like a so-and-so was survived by so-and-so kind of thing.

It was... let's see if I can remember...

Left in sorrow to mourn the passing of the beloved Mr. Gunnolds are Mima Gunnolds, his mother, Georgia...

And the way he would make them "look good" in death, well, he'd make them sound good, too.

Like Gunnolds was a drunk, always startin' shit wherever he went.

He finally got himself killed in a pool hall.

Now how do you say something nice about somebody like that?

Well, to Bernie, it was, "He was known..." for his social engagements and his... conversational abilities...

A kid would wrap his car around a tree and with Bernie it was... and yet, death slipped up on young Mr. Shotwell, as gentle as a fallen mist.

What happened?

I regret to inform you that four of your classmates have just been killed.

Now this is gonna happen to you if you drink and drive.

Is this what you want to happen to you?

It didn't make no difference what it was or who ask it, if it was good for the community, Bernie'd give it all he had.

All the time.

He was very serious about his commitment to Carthage.

Life is so beautiful, every moment a miracle, and yet in a blink it's gone.

Too young.

Too young!

Oh, he really had a way of bringing the community together.

Not just at the funerals and at the church, he organized a "Beautify Carthage" campaign, and he put on the very first East Texas art festival and invited artists from all around the region to display their works.

Are these all...?

I'm sorry to stop you, are these all done with that... the what's that called?

It's all chain saw.

How do you do that?

I wake up in the morning with an idea and cut away everything that ain't that idea.

Can I talk to you at some time?

Do you have a card? Yeah.

Because I have an idea I would love to commission.

I don't know if you work that way, but...

Look at that card, he put it on a piece of wood.

I'm gonna call you. Alright.

You're a gem. Thank you.

Thank you. Okay.

See you later. Bye.

Oh, yeah, Bernie took her everywhere.

He took her to the Van Clyburn Competition, took her up to the junior college to see some of the rehearsals of shows that he was working on.

Oh, yeah, he always had Mrs. Nugent.

♪ I've never Been in love before ♪

♪ Now all at once it's you ♪

♪ It's you forever more ♪

♪ I've never been In love before ♪

♪ I thought my Heart was safe ♪ He had come to a production in a local theater, and he thought it could be better so he volunteered to help out and pretty soon he was the musical director for one show, a director in another one, and an actor in almost all of them.

He just had a real knack for drama.

♪ Please forgive this Helpless haze I'm in ♪

♪ I've really never been ♪

♪ I n love before ♪

♪ I've never been In love before ♪

♪ Now all I want to be ♪ ♪ I saw them at a restaurant one time.

They was out to lunch together, and he reached over and kissed her on the cheek.

But it wasn't a kiss like you give your momma or your grandma.

It was more of a romantic, sexual kiss to me, you know?

He had that graoning sound in the back of his voice. It was kinda strange.

It just didn't look right to me.

The word was it wasn't a week after the funeral.

Mrs. Nugent gave Bernie Mr. Nugent's $ 12,000 Rolex watch.

Hell, for that kinda money, I bet he did kiss her.

I n a small town, people will always suspect the worst of someone.

But they'll also suspect the best.

So we just thought they were companions.

Look, it was widely assumed that Mrs. Nugent was paying Bernie to "accompany her" places.

Oh, I'd estimate they spent nearly a hundred thousand a year on vacations.

They went to Russia, Acapulco, New York City.

They went to Europe on the Queen Mary, always first class, always some spa, some resort, some... sittin' in some hot spring mineral peeling water bath.

Margy looked so much better.

You see pictures of her on these trips with Bernie.

She had nice hair, she looked good, she seemed happy, and she had Bernie to thank for that.

Marjorie realized she had everything in front of her.

She could do anything she wanted in her life, and she wanted to travel.

Money was no object but unfortunately, she had no friends or family that she wanted to travel with.

Until she met Bernie.

Hey, I'll tell you one thing for sure.

On that trip to Belize, they stayed in the same room.

And you know damn right well they saw each other in their underwear.

And I know for sure that when she went to Shreveport, to get some sexy lingerie at Doris' lingerie shop, she got herself a see through nightgown that showed her breasts.

I mean, give me a break.

What is a woman her age wanting to do showing her boobs?

Seriously.

Disgusting.

Bernie was a little effeminate.

I mean, an unmarried man in his late 30s, going to all the musicals with a bunch of old blue-hairs...

You know, I heard that he was gay, but he was such a good Christian man, everybody thought, you know, how could that be?

That dog don't hunt. Nah.

There was always talk about Bernie being a little light in the loafers but...

I always thought he was celibate.

He was a nice-looking man and there were lots of girls in the community who would've loved to have a date with him, but he never seemed to show much interest in that.

He stayed busy all the time and was working.

He had a tendency to hold on to another man's hands, touched too long after shaking it, and he had a subscription to men's fitness magazine.

Now if you've ever seen Bernie Tedie, you know darn well it wasn't for the workout tips.

And when you see him around town, if he wasn't at the church or at work in the funeral home, he would always be where we these doggone hemmed, starched shorts.

With his belt line... above the navel.

And the kicker is he always wore sandals.

Our Lord and Savior always wore sandals and he never married.

And he had 12 disciples and I don't think any of them ever married.

And the apostle Paul, he was a lifelong bachelor.

And you never heard anybody in the New Testament say that they was a bunch of queers.

No.

No, he had homosexual relations. I know that for a fact.

This ain't San Francisco, so around here we got a lot of "closet homosexuals."

And I know of at least two men that he had relationships with that were heterosexual.

Were.

Now one of the main things and why I have this job, and why I feel like I'm good at it is, you see, I'm naturally suspicious.

Sometimes I find myself waking up in the middle of the night.

I'll be staring off out through the backyard into the woods and I...

I'll be thinking about all the crime and mayhem happening out there, and that's... that's when I start putting it together in my mind.

I stop the criminal.

I wait, I watch, and I listen.

When the time's just right...

That's when I pounce.

Ain't nothing I enjoy more than the sound of a criminal that's just wriggling on the end of my hook, hey, you know, and folks like to see the D.A. At work.

But no county ain't gonna hire a D.A.

Who doesn't know that this is a full time job.

All the time.

One thing Danny Bucks is good at is getting Danny Buck re-elected.

And he gets his little photo ops in the paper, busting up the copper rings or the hub-cap rings, or the meth labs, but in slow times, Danny Buck be out digging up some shit.

Let me show y'all something.

You're gonna love this.

I call this my wheel of misfortune.

Now what I've done is, I've assigned numbers to all the suspected drug dealers around here.

If your number comes up, number eight, Danny Buck's come to get you first.

And not one of you dope pushers is gonna get away.

Not one.

The best trick I ever pulled is the time I arrested five deadbeat dads all at the same time.

You see, I was having trouble finding them.

Actually, what I did is I used the annual hands on a hardbody contest the one at the Dodge dealership on 79?

People were standing around for days and days with their hands on the pick up truck, and the last one with their hand on the truck wins it.

What I did, is I got a rig where they invited these five dads who aren't paying child support.

I figured the idea of a new truck might get 'em to come out of hiding.

Did it work?

You bet your butt it did.

Hey, get him!

I think we'd like to move some out of financials and into technologies, maybe a little more Apple.

And we'd like to get a thousand shares of Tommy Hilfiger.

I got a sneak-a-peek at the new line for the...

What is this "we'd like to" part, Bernie?

What do you know about stocks and investing?

You bury people.

You're a mortician. You're not an investment advisor.

No one uses the word "mortician" anymore, Lloyd.

It's "funeral director."

Or in your case assistant funeral director.

We just thought you were being a little conservative with Marjorie's account.

Hello? Lloyd?

He hung up.

No.

Something crawled up his butt.

This is Lloyd.

Lloyd! Don't you ever, ever speak to Bernie like that again, or I'll be moving my account.

I'm sorry, I got a little frustrated and I...

Don't be sorry, just don't do it.

Well.

I have a son and four grandchildren some of whom have threatened to sue me and have actually sued me and none of them visit or appear to care about me.

Also my son is a physician and amply provides for his family.

For the reasons stated, I am not including them as beneficiaries under my will.

I give, devise and bequeath my entire estate, real, personal and mixed, onto Bernhardt Tiede the Second, outright and simple.

To life.

Oh, thank you, Crystal.

Here you go.

Cheers.

Give pills, give me my pills, Bernie.

Pardon me?

You know I have to take my pills before eating.

You were supposed to bring them, so where are they? Give them to me.

I'm sorry, Marjorie, there must have been a little misunderstanding.

I'd be happy to go to your room and get them.

Excellent!

Okay.

She put his name on all her bank accounts, and then she gave him a power of attorney, which meant he could spend her money any way he wanted to.

And he did.


Been on the line for a while.

Won't let go.

Hello, Marjorie, I...

I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I thought I told you what I was doing this morning.

Well, I don't have my phone on while I am up there. You know that.

I'm sure we won't be late for lunch, but I'm on my way.

Okay. Bye-bye.

This is my life. Okay.

Somewhere along the way, Mrs. Nugent convinced Bernie to go to part time at the funeral home and go working full-time for her.

She got rid of all the usual help and it was just Bernie.

He was her business manager, travel companion, her servant.

Bernie! You should've been here hours ago!

But we still have time. We'll be there on time, Marjorie.

I need you to go by the cleaners and pick up my dress.

Now I've got to wear something else.

You fooling around with those damn planes all the time, Bernie.

I told you I was going to be...

Okay, you told me. What good does that do me?

Things change and I needed you here.

And because you never leave your cell phone on all the time, this is a pager.

You're going to wear it on your person at all times, correct?

Correct. Go get me a dress.

Okay. Hurry. Hurry.

Hurry, hurry. Hurry, hurry.

Marjorie, please.

I can understand chewing each bite of some food

25 times like chicken fried steak, but I don't think you have to chew your refried beans that many times.

It doesn't really make sense.

It's unnecessary additional work for your jaws.

Think of your poor TMJ muscle.

It can't be good for it.

It's inefficient. Think about it.

You this drives me crazy. Please stop.

This is like nails on a chalkboard.

Okay, go ahead, chew like that, chew like that all day.

Well, Bernie was so nice, so accommodating, so willing to keep from hurting other people's feelings, he just couldn't tell anybody to piss off.

Bernie, I'm still waiting.


Would you rather hear "Drama in Real Life?"

"Tips for Better Summer Tomatoes" or...

Tips for Better Summer Tomatoes.

"The best summer tomatoes..."

She was demanding, condescending, even conniving.

And she had intentionally put him in a dependent position.

She was jealous of his time, envious of his community status, and... overly generous to him.

So as to make him stick around.

So you just show people around the boat?

All around the boat?

Yeah, I give tours.

And I bartend in the captain's cabin.

Oh, you have a lot of jobs. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

You're a jack of all trades.

It's good though. The money's good.

Not bad. And you get to see the world, right?

Yeah, we do. That's cool.

Yeah. Marjorie?

This is Kevin who works here.

Hello, Mrs. Nugent.

Bernie, we're scheduled to be there now.

I'm ready. Okay. Be still.

Okay. Do you want me to get this?

Stop asking questions. Okay, you got it.

Thank you. Good, good.

Let's go. Thank you.

Let's go, let's go, let's go. Nice talking to you.

See you, Bernie. Yeah. Okay, bye-bye.

Okay, you want to look right down the lens and say "Egypt."

Egypt.

Okay.

Okay, everybody, let's work on the arrival of the Wells Fargo Wagon.

This wagon has all of our instruments on it so we're very excited about it...

U h-oh, hold on.

Grrr. So I want to have a pulse on each beat, and I want to have everybody's eyeline on the horizon going like this and I want some people to do this because everyone's doing this right now.

It's looking a little too uniform, okay?

One, two, three, four and oh!

And ho! That's it. Okay.

Very good, relax the pose.

This is only going to take a second.

If I don't call her, she will give me living hell.

Hello, Marjorie, how are you?

Can I bring you anything?

Can it wait till right after rehearsal?

We got another 40...

Okay, right away. I'll be there.

Bye-bye.

Can you clean this up?

I have to go right away. Thank you.

How's it going, Carl?

Old Mrs. Nugent just fired me.

What happened?

She said I stole a lawn mower.

Snuck it out to my place in Niggertown.

What?

Why does she think that?

Oh, she saw me leave with it, I was taking it to get it fixed.

Let me talk to her, okay Carl?

Don't go getting a new job just yet.

Okay. But I ain't going back up there.

Not today anyway.

I don't blame you.

I will get to the bottom of it and I will call you back. Okay?

So sorry about this.

Alright.

Oh, you just pop up whenever it's convenient for you!

J ust when you think it's fine for you, you come! Well, fine fine, fine, fine!

What happened with Carl?

I got rid of him! I caught him red handed!

God knows what else he's been stealing from me, Bernie!

He says he was gonna get it fixed.

That's what he says. Well, I don't think Carl...

And those flowers he's supposedly planted, they were supposed to bloom two weeks ago.

He's a lazy good fer nothin'. The man's never done anything!

I don't think that he would ever do anything like...

Why are you stickin' up for his kind?

Marjorie, you're making it very hard to be your friend.

I'm gonna come back some other time.

Oh, just go ahead, desert me.

J ust like everybody else, go ahead, go ahead, go ahead, go ahead.

Go, go, go! You hate me!

Marjorie, I am not going to take part in this argument. You know.

I know you hate me! No!

Like everybody else!

Oh.

Basically, it was like Bernie became her property.

You'll never leave me. Never.

He was her sole source of entertainment, had to do everything for her.

I truly believe the guy felt he was smothered, choked, unable to get his wind.

I don't know how the guy stood it. Well.

Come on, just pull the damn trigger.

I don't think I can. It doesn't feel aimed right.

Look, look, all I want is for you to shoot that armadillo that is digging up my garden, okay?

I mean, is that too much for me to ask, for you to be a man for once in your life?

Fine.

Now I'm holding you responsible for anything getting dug up in my garden.

Okay? You go out and fix those holes yourself.

Dig one you can fit in.

Let me see.

Did you go by the cleaners to pick up my dress?

Yes, earlier.

Did you lysol my kitchen counters?

Did you pick up the Preparation H from the pharmacy?

No, but I figured we'd go by there on the way to lunch. Do you still want to go to Jalapeño Treat?

I guess. Okay, hold still.

Jeez.

Will you be attending our dress rehearsal tonight?

No.


Marjorie?

Marjorie, are you okay?

Marjorie, say something to me.

Marjorie, can you talk to me?

Marjorie, can you say something?

Oh no, no, no, no, no!

Oh, Jesus, no, no, no, what have I done?

Oh, God! What have I done?

Please tell me what to do!

I'll do whatever you want me to do!

♪ Seventy six trombones Led the big parade ♪

♪ With a hundred and ten Cornets close at hand ♪

♪ They were followed by Rows and rows of the Finest virtuosos ♪

♪ So is the cream Of every famous band ♪

♪ Seventy six trombones Hit the counterpoint ♪

♪ While a hundred and ten Cornets blazed the way ♪

♪ To the rhythm Of march! March! March! ♪

♪ All the kids began to march ♪

♪ And their marching Still right today ♪ ♪

Great job, everyone.

It seemed like the flags were a little late, also I want to make sure that those fleahops are right.

Now I got off that time but I feel like I got off because one of you got off.

But it was a really great job.

Take five, we're gonna take it again from the top.

I don't think too many of us ever asked very many questions about Mrs. Nugent, and if we did, he would always have a very plausible explanation.

Hello, Billy, this is Bernie Tiede calling on behalf of Mrs. Nugent.

Yes, yes, she missed her holiday haircut appointment but she's asked me to tell you that she won't be coming back in.

She wants to try someone else.

Well, I'm sorry to say this but she says that you take too long and charge too much.

Billy, I'm sorry, but I'm just the messenger.

I was rather devastated at the very idea that she was not coming anymore after 30 years of being her friend, hairdresser, confidante sometimes, and she just was gonna vanish.

It was easy for her to disappear.

Nobody was looking for her.

Not her son, not her two sisters.

One of them lived here in Carthage.

They hadn't spoken in about 10 years.

You want to sign this for Mrs. Nugent, our generous benefactor?

Only person looking for her was her stockbroker.

Oh, God.

Hello?

Bernie? Bernie!

Wh... where's Marjorie?

I... I... I haven't spoken to her in over five weeks, I've left 11 messages.

She's with me right now, Lloyd, and I'm sorry I couldn't tell you earlier but she's had a series of small strokes.

I've been meaning to call you and let you know her situation.

No, she should not be attempting to talk. No.

No, you can't talk. The doctor said...

She's indicating for me to tell you hi from her.

He sends you all his best.

Okay, well, we'll be in touch when she's feeling better.

I n the meantime, let me know if I can help you with anything. Okay.

Okay, bye-bye.

Bernie knew better than touch my accounts.

But he was going after what would go into her bank accounts because that's where all the royalty checks went.

It's usually 50,000 a month.

Now he really started being generous.

He paid 5,000 dollars for the Shreveport orchestra to come over play the Messiah.

He bought a high dollar harpsichord for school.

He paid for the choir to go to Russia.

Well, yeah, he hired me back for more money, which is fine with me.

Oh, he bought jet skis, he bought nine cars, he bought struggling businesses, he paid 40,000 dollars for Carthage Awards.

That's a trophy shop.

He loaned the money to the Yokums over here, that opened up Boot Scootin Western Wear.

I guess that was Carthage's answer to Neiman's.

Bernie just told everybody to pay him back when they could.

You know, pay me when you can.

But they never did.

Bernie knew my twin girls' birthday was coming up, and he thought they should have a big nice playhouse, you know?

Little girls.

Bernie bought this playhouse for my girls.

Oh.

Thank you.

I just feel like I need to say, Bernie Tiede, God bless you, son.

You've done more to transform the town of Carthage than anyone else.

Oh, thank you. God bless you, Bernie.

Bernie could've bought a mansion for himself with the money.

But he kept that little house worth, maybe, 50,000.

Now he bought cars for folks that needed it.

And he paid cash for those.

But that old Lincoln he was drivin'?

He had it financed.

And he was usually behind on his payments.

No, there really wasn't any greed in him.

Almost everything he got from Mrs. Nugent, he gave to somebody else.

Lloyd seems to be pretty concerned.

He thinks the family should get involved.

Oh, good lord, you gotta be kidding me.

I don't know why Lloyd is so paranoid.

It's like I told him.

She's at the Scott White Nursing Home in Temple.

She didn't want everyone to know, 'cause she's afraid the family would come in and try to take over her affairs.

That sounds just like Marjorie.

That's Marjorie alright.

One hundred percent.

You know, Bernie, she's my sister, and I guess that I should love her.

But she's just mean.

She's just hard down mean.

Mm. Well, there's some goodness in there, too.

She used to tear up my toys, she pulled the heads off my dolls, she used to tear up my homework.

And next up is Mrs. Ida Parker.

Ida says she does not like knitting, crocheting, gardening, cooking fancy food, excessive housework, or artsy hobbies.

She's planning on doing these things when she gets old.

♪ Beautiful dreamer ♪

♪ Queen of my song ♪

♪ List while I woo thee ♪

♪ With soft melody ♪

♪ Gone are the cares of ♪

♪ Life's busy throng ♪

♪ Beautiful dreamer ♪

♪ Awake to my song ♪

♪ Beautiful dreamer ♪

♪ Awake unto me ♪

♪ Beautiful dreamer ♪

♪ Awaken to me ♪

Thank you.

So you saw Mrs. Nugent in April of this year?

You know, I believe it was April.

With your own eyes?

Well, you know, I didn't actually... see her that day, I...

I came to her house to get her to sign some documents.

Bernie comes to the door, says she's feeling poorly.

J ust then, he takes the documents back and she signs them.

I go on about my business.

Okay. It confirms a pattern.

I appreciate it.

Well, it sounds like Lloyd Hornbuckle called Wayne J unior up in Amarillo, and got him all riled up.

Oh, boy.

You know, I think Lloyd's just upset because he's losing commissions during her illness.

He can't move Mrs. Nugent's money around and keep taking his commissions the way he's used to, so...

It may be so, but Dwayne J unior says his money comes in every year for his kids from his dad's will.

It hadn't come in this year.

And it won't until Mrs. Nugent's in better condition to take care of such things.

The poor lady's in the hospital having suffered a major stroke.

She simply doesn't want to be disturbed.

Tell everyone for heaven's sake, to please have a little more patience.

Well, that's fine with me.

I don't want her disturbing me, if you wanna know the truth.

I'm sorry you had to get wrapped up in all this.

Oh, forget about it, Lloyd Hornbuckle's just a busybody.

I'll see you later, Bernie. Thank you, Sheriff.

Hello.

You are living in a wold of guilt.

All the police have to do is find one shred of evidence and it's off to hell you go.

Lloyd, is that you?

Lloyd? Hello...

Bernie, are you okay?

Yeah, I just...

Can I ask you something?

Of course.

It's so strange.

Do you believe a person could be capable of... an action... and yet to them it feels like it's not even them doing it.

Almost like Jekyll and Hyde?

Bernie, stop worrying, it's okay.

Someone's personal proclivities are nobody's else's business.

We all love you like you are, Bernie, no matter what.

♪ Shackled by a heavy burden ♪

♪ B'neath the load Of guilt and shame ♪

♪ Then the hand Of Jesus touched me ♪

♪ And now I am No longer the same ♪

♪ He touched me, Oh he touched me ♪ God bless you, Bernie. God bless you, Mr. Brown.

That was beautiful. Thank you.

You have a blessed weekend. God bless you too.

Thank you.

As always, Bernie, I love the songs.

Thank you. My sympathies.

Thank you, Mari Belle, it's always great to see you.

I'm so sorry Marjorie didn't hear that, I hear she's doing better.

Yes, some days it seems she's starting to feel better but...

I'm still afraid...

I'm gonna lose her soon.

Finally.

Nine months since I had last laid eyes on Mrs. Nugent, we got into her house.

Grandma?

Mrs. Nugent?

Grandma?

Nothing.

There's nothing.


Why would she tape her freezer shut?


Oh, my God.

Sheriff!

Sir, I'm a reporter for KCMchannel.

Ma'am, hold on.

Would you care to make a statement about what's going on?

Sheriff? Hey, Danny.

I n the freezer? Yeah.

All in one piece or chopped up?

All in one piece. Holy shit.

Frozen like a Popsicle.

Be careful.


Alright, get rolling, straight to Dallas, no stopping for coffee.

Alright. No sir, we ain't stoppin'.

We had loaded up the freezer with its contents intact for transport to the Dallas Medical Examiner's office where the forensic experts over there are gonna study it.

At this time, are there any suspects in the murder?

Oh, there's one man in particular I can think of I sure would like to talk to.

Hey, Sheriff, did you actually find him yet?

We're still looking for him.

He wasn't at Carthage aviation, Carthage Awards or his house.

Alright, look... we're gonna throw a net over the entire tri-county area to find our number one suspect.

We might be dealing with a madman here, a bonafide deranged killer.

Achieving goals, mastering skills, the opponent isn't the other team, it's really just yourself.

And if you've worked hard, and done the absolute best that you can, then no matter what the scoreboard says, you are the winner in the game of life.

You can hold your head high...

Mr. Tiede, may we have a word with you?

Of course. Right now?

Sure.

I'm gonna go talk to the police.

Gentlemen, you have earned yourself... a great dessert. Go, Rattlers.

I'm so proud of you.

This way.

How long you been thinking about killing her, Bernie?

I never thought of me killing Mrs. Nugent.

I'd... I guess I fantasized about her death, but I was never the one responsible for it.

She always died accidentally like... in a car accident or falling down the escalator at the mall in Longview.

I was always the one weeping by her open casket.

Comforting others, being comforted myself.

Why'd you want her dead, Bernie?

Mm, she had become so mean and possessive of me.

I... I couldn't face being around her any longer.

And then it just... happened.

I don't know. I shot her!

I shot poor Mrs. Nugent four times.

With the armadillo gun.

Then what?

Well, then the Lord called her Home.

I know I done wrong and I must atone for my sins. Oh!

Elizabeth, I just heard Bernie killed your sister Margy.

Oh, honey, no.

Marjorie's in a nursing home over in Timble.

No, no, she is in a deep freeze going to Dallas.

Nobody in a million years could've imagined that that could've happened.

Shock! I could not believe Bernie did this.

No way.

Well, it was fucking unbelievable. Nobody could believe it.

You know, I could see somebody wantin' to do that to her, but Bernie Tiede's the last person I woulda thought done it.

I mean, we were just shocked, just shocked. J ust disbelief.

The Bernie I knew was somewhat of a sissy.

And it just ain't no way I can see him ever killing anybody.

I thought they'd made a mistake.

You got this sweet guy, you got Bernie, who's just the nicest fella I'd ever met, and I've known him for a little while, and then you got... Mrs. Nugent who is not nice, not nice to a large degree, just evil.

So you got this sweetness and you got this evil, and they're kinda battlin' each other... and you know that something at some point's gotta give, something's gotta break and she was justs more evil than he was nice, I guess, and he just exploded.

We're all capable of that dark moment.

If we ever get angry enough.

He must've wanted to get caught.

All he had to do was put her body in one of his airplanes, fly her out over the Gulf and push her right out.

No body, no arrest.

A woman like that with a bad heart... he shoulda just shoved the pillow right over her face.

Then they probably wouldn't even done an autopsy.

A few days later, he'd be doing her funeral.

Oh, I just started shaking my head going, "Oh Bernie, Bernie, Bernie, Bernie."

Who in their right mind would kill their meal ticket?

It was crazy around here.

People were on Danny Buck like ticks on a coon dog.

Yeah, Danny Buck, you know Bernie didn't know anything about shooting a rifle.

He didn't go huntin', he wouldn't know a deer blind from an outhouse.

That he wouldn't.

There are not enough nice men in this town.

Leave poor Bernie alone, Danny Buck.

We don't even think he did it.

He confessed.

Danny Buck, you knew Mrs. Nugent as well as any of us did.

Did you ever stop to think maybe, just maybe Bernie did it in self defense.

Self defense.

Maybe it was a forced confession.

They could've beat it out of him.

He's too sweet to stand up under interrogation.

Look, there was no interrogation.

He walked in, sat down and told us everything.

Simple as that.

Well, hell.

Even if he did do it, she was so mean and ornery, she had it coming to her.

It's not as bad as people say it is.

He only shot her four times, not five.

You know what?

You people are as crazy as a coot.

I like Bernie Tiede as much as you do.

He did shoot her though!

I tell you what.

I don't claim to know what Bernie did or did not do.

I figure that's between him and God Almighty.

And the way I figure it, that's where it should stay.

Man, I hope I'm on that jury.

Yes, we need to be able to forgive someone who's done something wrong.

And no matter what the truth is, Bernie is going to need our prayers.

So, folks, we need to understand that tragedies are simply tests of our faith.

And right now, Bernie needs to know, especially during this testing of his faith, that God and this congregation have not abandoned him.

Good to see you, thanks for coming.

Good to see you.

God bless you for everything.

Reverend. Now listen, I understand you going all New Testament on him but... you got to at least take him off the prayer list.

Hey, I gotta stay neutral, everybody needs a preacher.

Neutral?

Reverend, basically you were supporting a criminal act.

You know, all I hear is poor Bernie.

Nobody's talking about poor Marjorie.

Hell, everyone seems to be forgetting that there's a lady, a member of this congregation, shot in the back four times and put in the freezer.

Danny, the Bernie you're talking about is not the Bernie this church knows.

The heck it isn't.

It sounds like the only Bernie you're choosing to remember is the one that donated 100,000 dollars to your church. Reverend.

Danny, look, I'm sorry you feel that...

It's been hard on everyone.

Alright, kiddos.

All the good that Bernie had done for everybody, or for us around here, it just... they come in, and then it was gonna get all.

Mrs. Nugent's money back that Bernie had spent.

We lost our airport, we lost our best store, cars, some people lost their houses, jet skis.

He spent 600,000 dollars of Mrs. Nugent's money.

No paperwork, anything?

A receipt?

I don't know, I mean... he just gave it to me, said I could have it.

Well, you know, at least they could've left some money for the church.

Hell,.

Here they come!

Although rumors have been circulating about a possible plea bargain to lesser charges or a probated sentence, District Attorney Danny Buck Davidson has shocked East Texas by filing first degree murder charges against Tiede, which could result in a life sentence.

Clearly, the tiny town of Carthage is buzzing with opinions over the murder.

He didn't shoot Mrs. Nugent in the back.

He didn't do it.

Bernhardt Tiede ain't no monster.

Ain't no jury gonna convict Bernie of first degree murder.

In fact, I don't know if a jury's gonna convict him of anything and I'll say this, if a jury as to convict him, they'll probably gonna give him probation.

They ain't gonna send him to the penitentiary.

I n the meantime, Bernie sits in the county jail where he's reportedly already become a popular inmate leading a Bible study group and cooking meals for the staff.

Now, we are going to line the bottom of the pie dish with cheese to provide a barrier between the liquid and the crust.

Now a lot of people use grated cheese, but I found that if you cut it in little quarter inch cubes, it does a better job of keeping the crust from getting soggy.

Now, we are going to sauté the broccoli lightly in olive oil till it's just bright green.

That keeps the flavor in.

If you put it in raw, it's completely flavorless.

I'm not saying we want the case totally dropped, but isn't there some way to keep Bernie from getting punished too much?

That's $ 14.74.

So let me ask you something, Mrs. Beck.

If someone came along and shot you in the back four times, would you still be fine with me not letting them get punished too much?

If I'm on that jury, Danny Buck, I'm votin' to acquit.

As far as convicting Bernie, I feed you straight. I mean, even with the confession in my pocket, I was a bit trepidacious.

I mean, it's like he cast a spell over the entire area.

All the little old ladies, Methodist church people, anybody he'd ever given anything to.

With Mrs. Nugent's money.

All the closet homosexuals. Everybody.

Everybody thought he was gonna get off.

But I had one card left to play.

And I went all in.

Trials are generally moved when the judge determines that the defendant can't get a fair trial locally.

And that's usually because the crime is so egregious and so well known that everybody in the community has already convicted the poor son of a bitch accused of it.

But in all the years I've been doing this for a living, I have never heard of the state seeking a change of venue because the defendant was so well liked that they couldn't get a conviction.

So when I heard that the judge had actually agreed to move the trial, giving in to Danny Buck's harebrained request, my first thought was, "Oh, shit."

Our donkey's in a ditch."

Bring in the freezer.

Let the jury be able to see where Mrs. Nugent spent the first nine months of her afterlife.

A poor excuse for a casket.

Boys, make sure it opens up to the jury.

There's some wild shit on both sides of the courtroom.

But, you know, this was the big stage the big town, the big show they'd been waiting for and they pulled out all the stops.

They wheeled in the actual deep freeze.

They projected pictures of frozen dead Mrs. Nugent.

And then they started bringing out the crying weeping relatives.

And then I went to the freezer.

And I saw underneath her corn and her steak and... her pot pies was... the top of her head.

It was so horrible.

No further questions, Your Honor.

When was the last time you talked to your grandmother?

U m, I don't remember.

Isn't it true that you and your brother sued your grandmother almost four years ago?

We were advised to by a lawyer.

A lawyer?

You mean, just some old boy come in off the street?

Or are we talking about your lawyer?

I guess he was working for us.

I'll say he was working for you.

He was trying to get your grandmother's money, wasn't he?

Did you ever speak to her after that?

I don't think so.

Oh, you don't think so.

Well, you know you didn't.

But you told us earlier that you were real close to your grandmother.

Now was that the same woman you were suing for money?

Is that the same woman that you have not spoken to in four years?

I felt in our hearts we were still close.

I knew he was in trouble when I saw that jury.

And Bernie was just gonna have to get up there and explain himself to a bunch of Saint Augustine cousin-countin' rednecks over there.

I mean, they got more tattoos than teeth and there ain't no brain in the whole dozen of 'em, and they're supposed to decide big things like this?

I mean, shoot, I wouldn't let 'em work on my car.

Now, Bernie, after you were arrested you gave a confession, correct?

Yes, sir.

How did you feel about Marjorie Nugent?

I cared for Marjorie deeply.

I loved her very much.

And I've sent letters from jail to her family asking their forgiveness for ruining Margy's life and the pain I've caused.

Well, if you cared for her, even loved her, why do you reckon you killed her?

I could probably describe it like being in prison to some degree.

She wouldn't allow me to have any friends, and I'm a people person. I got to have my friends.

She was very jealous and possessive of my time.

She had become so hateful.

I don't even remember picking up the gun that day.

It was like someone else was doing it.

So why did you leave the body there?

It would seem to me that if you didn't want to get caught, you'd find some way to dispose of it.

Oh no, no, no.

I could never do that.

That was never my intention.

Everyone deserves a proper burial.

And I was...

I was just waiting for my chance to give her one.

Thank you, Bernie.

I'll pass the witness.

So help me out here, Bernie.

On this trip with Mrs. Nugent to New York City, did you fly first class?

Yes, I believe we did.

Tell us the difference between like the first class seats and the regular old seats in the back of the plane.

I... I've never been up there.

I'd say the seats are a little larger maybe.

More comfortable.

Don't they have people waiting' on you and stuff too, you know?

I mean, people bringing you fancy food, and serving you whatever you want to drink and stuff like that?

Yes, the service is probably a little better.

Oh, so you like the first class treatment.

First class lifestyle, the best that money can buy.

I was accompanying Mrs. Nugent who usually preferred these things when she traveled.

So.

Now, on that New York City trip, it says here that you and Mrs. Nugent stayed at the... the Ritz Carlton?

That's a fancy hotel near Central Park, isn't it?

Yes, I believe that is where we stayed.

It also says here that while you were in New York City, you saw an opera.

And a Broadway play.

I think it's called "Les Miserables."

Les Miserable.

That's impressive.

What?

So culture is important to you.

I n what way?

Well, you seem to know all these fancy words and such.

Well, that one's not very difficult.

Not for you.

You know all about the high class life, don't you?

I... what... like what?

Like, I don't know, say for instance what... what kind of wine are you supposed to have with fish?

No, I don't... white usually.

That takes a lot of money to have so much culture, don't it?

To... to enjoy the finer things in life that you love so much.

The ritzy hotels, first class flying off to the big cities.

I mean, it takes a lot of money to live that way, don't it?

No, I... left to my own devices, I would not have been traveling in such an expensive...

But left to someone else's devices, you were!

And after you killed Mrs. Nugent, you kept on spending her money, didn't you?

A lot of it!

And if you wouldn't a been caught, you'd still be spending her money today.

Wouldn't you?

Wouldn't you?

Ladies and gentlemen, after listening to all the evidence, I'm sure that you will agree that the defendant is a liar, a coward and a backshooter.

Now, come on.

That's got to be about the lowest thing a man could ever do, ain't it?

Shoot a little old lady in the back?

Four times.

There is no doubt in my mind Bernie Tiede is a calculating evil actor.

He fooled a whole town for nine months.

Now if he can do that, there ain't no telling what he'll do if you let him back on the streets.

That poor woman stayed frozen stiff for nine whole months.

I n a freezer.

It took two days to thaw her out.

J ust so they could perform a proper autopsy.

No. No, no, no, no, no.

I'm sorry.

Your honor, counsel, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, all Danny Buck Davidson wants to do in this trial is get you to believe that Bernie is some kind of monster.

That he is something other than a fellow human being.

Look at him, ladies and gentlemen.

There is not one hint of premeditation in this case.

If there was, he'd have done it a lot differently.

He mighta gotten away with it.

Did he try to poison her slowly? No.

Did he burn down the house?

Say it was an accidental fire? No.

He still knew he done wrong.

He knew he was gonna get found out.

He just didn't have the courage to tell on himself.

But like a good funeral director, he preserved the body so that she could have a proper burial.

And in the meantime he did a lot of good for a lot of people.

Till he finally got caught.

He just doesn't sound like any kind of monster I've ever heard of.

Thank you.

That doesn't excuse the crime that was committed.

Now look, everybody's describing Bernie Tiede as such a great guy.

"Oh, he's so wonderful. He's an angel."

Let me tell you, he's an angel alright.

An angel of death.

Thank you.


Bernie Tiede, please rise.

Mr. Foreman, it is my understanding that the jury has reached a verdict.

Yes, sir, we have, Your Honor.

Is it unanimous?

Yes, sir.

Would you please read the verdict?

We, the jury, find the defendant Bernie Tiede, guilty of murder as charged.


They gave me life.

I won't even be up for parole for 50 years.

I'll be 89 years old.

Danny Buck, you gotta hand it to him.

What he did, is two groups, you know.

It was the high-falutin' first class livin'

Bernies of the world, and then there was the, you know, let's dig a hole in the backyard and cook something, you know?

Put another tire on the fire, George. I'm cold.

It was just two different worlds he created there and Bernie wasn't of their world.

It's not as bad as you think.

I'm the choir director, teaching four classes.

I'm in the craft shop most of the day.

I miss my freedom.

Well, sure you do, hon.

I'm making the best of it.

Got a lot to live for.

You do. You do.

I wanna help people here.

Well, I have to tell you what I've done.

I wrote the warden a letter.

Yeah, I did.

I told him that he had to give you a work release or something like that so that you could sing at my funeral.

Now, I'm not sick or anything, but now Bernie, you promised me that you would do that.

And I totally mean wear those chains or whatever if it made them feel better so...

That is awful sweet, Lenora.

And it would be an honor but don't count on it.

I don't think they're letting me out of here for nothing.

Oh!

Sure they will. I told him that you went temporarily insane.

And we're all going insane sooner or later.

I mean, that's the way I look at it.

U h-oh. He's telling me our time is up.

I cannot tell you how much it means to me that I'm still in your prayers.

And that I'll always be with you.

Yes. And you know how much we love you.

And I will tell you, I look around here.

You need to take care of yourself and be real careful because I think this could be a dangerous place.

You think? I do.

And we'll come back in a couple of weeks.

Take care. I love you.

I love you, baby.

You take care of him.

I don't care what he did.

Yes, I do care.

It was wrong.

But I believed that if Bernie were truly sorry for what he did, and would ask God's forgiveness, God would forgive him.

And after all, that's all that really matters.

I will miss him.

All of us will.


I'll never believe till the day God calls me home that Bernie Tiede killed Mrs. Nugent.

And... and that's just the way I feel.

And my husband told me, "Daisy, when you go up there", "you don't change your mind if you see some of those people"

"standing out there in the courthouse that you love,"

"that's your friends too."

I said, "Hey, I don't think Jesus could change my mind."

That's just the way I feel from day one.

And I will always feel that way.

Bernie was a good man.

Bernie had a great heart.

We need more Bernies in this world.

Murderers come along once in a blue moon over here and typically, they're family related, I mean, it's just how it works out, we don't have strange killings, it's just some family member got upset with the other and shot him, killed him dead, and they know they gonna go to penitentiary for a while.

Now we even have less murder trials

'cause most of 'em plead out.

So this thing becomes a media circus, we got people coming in from all across the U nited States.

Old Danny Buck, we caught him with a stiff neck, he... he got kind of stiff neck, kinda get your neck a little stiff, he got a stiff neck, he was like a pig in shit when all this was going up.

Talking about what wine to drink with fish, I mean, those people drink warm beer with fried mudcat and he's trying to say...

I took one look at the jury and I said, U h-oh.

Scrappy, you ain't gonna do it, buddy.

I mean, you ain't gonna do it.

You don't have enough equipment to bring these people outta their dang hovels over there.

Jesus, he's my daddy, he's my cousin.

It's like, some of them people shouldn't be allowed out of the county and we took the whole damn trial over there, you know?

What are they asking for? I don't get it.

I don't get the legal system.

♪ He put her in the freezer ♪

♪ And pulled down the lid ♪

♪ Didn't even move it ♪

♪ J ust made sure It was plugged in ♪

♪ He gave a lot of parties ♪

♪ Kept her packed on ice ♪

♪ No one suspected anything ♪

♪ 'Cause Bernie Was so nice ♪

♪ Oh, Bernie, oh, Bernie, ♪

♪ What have you done ♪

♪ You killed poor Mrs. Nugent ♪

♪ You never even ran ♪

♪ Oh, Bernie, Oh, Bernie ♪

♪ What have you done ♪

♪ You killed poor Mrs. Nugent ♪

♪ You never even run ♪

♪ After all those months ♪

♪ No one had seen her face ♪

♪ The local law decided ♪

♪ They should Search the place ♪

♪ And when the search That ended ♪

♪ To everyone's surprise ♪

♪ They found her Shot and frozen ♪

♪ As Bernie took her life ♪

♪ Oh, Bernie, Oh, Bernie ♪

♪ What have you done ♪

♪ You killed poor Mrs. Nugent ♪

♪ You never even run ♪

♪ Oh, Bernie, Oh, Bernie ♪

♪ What have you done ♪

♪ You killed poor Mrs. Nugent ♪

♪ And never even run ♪

♪ You killed poor Mrs. Nugent ♪

♪ And you Never even run ♪ ♪