The Unusual Story Of Bernie Tiede

The Unusual Story Of Bernie Tiede

Check out the bizarre case of Carthage, Texas' most beloved member.

On November 19, 1996, Bernie Tiede confessed to the murder of Marjorie “Marg” Nugent in her Carthage, Texas home in 1995. While this is certainly upsetting on its own, the murder is not the most shocking part; the most surprising aspect of the story is the perpetrator of the crime.

Bernie Tiede was a local mortician in the small town of Carthage, who built up a reputation and was widely loved by community members. Tiede was a constant presence and gave all that he could to the people he loved so much. No one who lived in Carthage ever had an ill word when it came to Tiede and was most popular with the older ladies in town.

Bernie Tiede met Marjorie Nugent after performing a funeral service for her husband. Nugent, a wealthy member of the town, was universally despised by the town of Carthage and had little to no relationship with her own family. Initially, Nugent was not quick to accept Bernie, but his persistent nature eventually wore on her and they became close companions. Tiede and Nugent spent several years traveling the world together and strengthening their extremely unusual relationship. However, after some time the relationship was strained and Nugent became extremely overbearing and abusive.

Fast forward to November of 1996. The body of Marjorie Nugent was found at the bottom of a meat freezer, several months after having been shot in the back four times. An investigation into Nugent’s absence sparked by a growing concern from the few people she associated with revealed the body and led district attorney, Danny Buck Davidson, to immediately seek out Tiede.

When the town learned of the murder, there was overwhelming outrage and disbelief. Members of Carthage refused to believe their beloved Bernie could ever commit such an atrocity. Danny Buck was charged with the task of prosecuting Tiede, which eventually lead to a conviction in 1999 of life in prison.

Fast forward once again to 2011. The movie “Bernie,” directed by Richard Linklater and starring Jack Black, is released and interest is sparked again the unusual case of Tiede. The movie is extremely interesting and does an excellent job portraying the bizarre elements of Tiede’s life and the relationship that led to murder.

Finally, fast forward to 2014. After vast interest in the case, help from Danny Buck, and submission of new evidence which suggests abuse as a child, Bernie Tiede is released from prison. To further add to the case’s oddity, one of the chief conditions of release was that Tiede must live with Linklater, director of the 2011 movie, in his Austin home; Tiede must also seek psychological help and is not allowed access to any weapons.

Unbelievably, the unusual story of Bernie is not over as Tiede is currently being re-tried in the murder of Marjorie Nugent. Support for Bernie is still strong and he often receives visitors in prison, in particular the older ladies who loved him so much. There is still many chapters to write in the book of Bernie and it will certainly be interesting to see what the future holds. Make sure to keep up with news update and stories for the latest happenings and developments!

*Note: This only a brief overview of the story. A more detailed version can be found here.

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.

Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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