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Romancing The Killer, Or Why You May Not Want to Accept a Free Drink from Bernie Tiede on Sixth Street in Austin

Like Tim I’ve done my share of bitching in the past about writer Tod Robberson of the Dallas Morning News. Today, though, Robberson put up a great post about the early release on bond this week of convicted killer Bernie Tiede. Tiede’s story, you’ll recall, was the subject of the acclaimed 2011 movie Bernie, inspired by Skip Hollandsworth’s 1998 article in Texas Monthly. As Tod rightly asks, why in hell should Tiede draw a get-out-of-jail card just because it’s recently come out that he may have been sexually abused as a child?

However enchantingly Jack Black portrayed Tiede in the flick, the former East Texas mortician was given a life sentence because he shot an old lady four times in the back with a .22 rifle and then stuffed her body into a freezer. He’s a murderer, flat out. Now he gets to go live in Austin in the basement of the movie’s director, Richard Linklater? Let’s hope Linklater fares better than Norman Mailer did back in the day after Mailer helped spring Jack Henry Abbott—another convicted killer who was romanticized and lionized by the artistic intelligentsia.