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Crime History: East Texas eccentric stuffs widow's body in freezer

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Local,Crime,Scott McCabe

On this day, Nov. 19, in 1996, funeral director Bernie Tiede shot dead 81-year-old wealthy widow Marjorie Nugent in Carthage, Texas. The murder is the subject of the 2011 black comedy "Bernie," starring Jack Black.

After the shooting, Tiede, 38, stuffed Nugent's body inside her deep freezer, next to the chicken pot pies. Her body remained hidden for nine months, while Tiede spent her money on charities, scholarships and a new wing for a church.

Even after Tiede confessed, the residents had difficulty believing that the beloved mortician could kill Nugent, whom many believed to be the meanest woman in East Texas.

District Attorney Danny "Buck" Davidson doubted whether he could find an impartial jury because Tiede was so well liked.

Tiede was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

-- Scott McCabe

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