Episode 380:

We Definitely Frenched

The Murder of Francesco D'Alessio


The Murder of Marjorie Nugent


Episode 380: We Definitely Frenched

This week, Georgia tells the story of Francesco D'Alessio's murder by fashion model Terry Broome and Karen covers the murder of Marjorie Nugent.

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The Murder of Francesco D'Alessio

The Murder of Francesco D'Alessio Notes:

Header Image Source: Photo by Luca Micheli on Unsplash

Other Images:

1. Terry Broome

2. Francesco D’Alessio


"Terry Broome, an aspiring American model, was convicted Friday of second- degree murder and sentenced to 14 years in prison after testifying that she accidentally killed a wealthy Italian playboy.

The jury deliberated for more than 7 1/2 hours before reaching a verdict in the eight-day trial that received testimony about drug use among the jet- set here in Italy’s fashion capital.

Miss Broome, 28, of Elgin, S.C., had been charged with premeditated murder in the June, 26, 1984, shooting of Francesco D’Alessio, a 40-year-old racehorse owner.

She had acknowledged that she killed D’Alessio, but said she did not mean to. She said she was intoxicated on cocaine and alcohol at the time of the shooting and upset over his advances and lewd public gestures and comments. Miss Broome said she went to his apartment to confront him, fired a pistol at a wall, and that he was fatally shot during a struggle.

On Tuesday, the prosecution ruled out premeditation and asked for a 15-year sentence for Miss Broome, who has lived in South Carolina, Florida, Georgia and New York.

Premeditated murder carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, Italy’s most severe penalty.

Miss Broome, seated in a metal-barred cage, closed her eyes as the verdict and sentence were announced by Judge Antonio Cusumano before a packed courtroom.

She said in her final statement to the court, ″I wish I could change what happened but that’s not possible. What I can do is start a new life and stay away from drugs and maybe I will mature a little bit.″

″We love you,″ said Miss Broome’s mother, Alice, as her daughter was led away..."

Source: “Aspiring American Model Gets 14-Year Prison Term for Killing Playboy” by Stephen Wilson (AP News)

The Murder of Marjorie Nugent

The Murder of Marjorie Nugent Notes:


1. Bernie Tiede & Marjorie Nugent


"Sitting at his regular table at Daddy Sam’s BBQ and Catfish (“You Kill It, I’ll Cook It”) in the East Texas town of Carthage, district attorney Danny Buck Davidson began to realize that he might have some problems prosecuting Bernie Tiede for murder.

“Bernie’s a sweet man, Danny Buck,” a waitress said. “He’s done a lot of good things for this town. He’s given poor kids money to go to college and everything.”

“You got to admit nobody could sing ‘Amazing Grace’ like Bernie could,” someone else said.

The bulldog-faced Danny Buck took a bite of slaw and sipped his iced tea. “Now y’all know that Bernie confessed, don’t you?” he said, trying to keep his voice calm. “He came right out and told a Texas Ranger that he shot Mrs. Nugent four times in the back and then stuffed her in her own deep freeze in her kitchen.”

There was a long silence. “Danny Buck,” one man finally said, “it’s just hard for me to believe that old Bernie could fire a gun straight. He acts . . . well, you know . . . effeminate! You can tell he’s never been deer hunting in his entire life.”

“And you know what?” a woman told Danny Buck later at a convenience store. “I don’t care if Mrs. Nugent was the richest lady in town. She was so mean that even if Bernie did kill her, you won’t be able to find anyone in town who’s going to convict him for murder.”

Danny Buck Davidson had spent almost all of his fifty years in Carthage, the past three as district attorney, and neither he nor the town of 6,500 was accustomed to high-profile killings. Every couple of years or so a murder case would come across the DA’s desk, usually involving a resident from one of the poorer neighborhoods. But nobody from the respectable side of town ever seemed to get in trouble, as long as you didn’t count the recent conviction of Carthage state senator Drew Nixon, who was caught soliciting an undercover cop posing as a prostitute in Austin. Even then, Carthage’s civic leaders were able to put a good spin on Nixon’s arrest, saying that Nixon never would have had any problems if he had just stayed in Carthage. Carthage has no prostitutes.

This past August, however, Carthage captured the attention of the entire country when the news broke that the town’s richest and snootiest widow, 81-year-old Mrs. Marjorie Nugent, had been found in the bottom of a large freezer in her home. What made the story peculiar was that Mrs. Nugent had been dead for almost nine months before people began searching for her. What made the story truly bizarre was the way many of the townspeople rallied around the 39-year-old man who had admitted to killing her and stealing her money—the soft-spoken, chubby-cheeked Bernie Tiede, the former assistant funeral director at Hawthorn Funeral Home who had gotten close to Mrs. Nugent when he supervised her husband’s funeral..."

Source: “Midnight in the Garden of East Texas” by Skip Hollandsworth (Texas Monthly) 1998

Karen's Episode Sources

  1. “Midnight in the Garden of East Texas” by Skip Hollandsworth (Texas Monthly) 1998
  2. “Bernie in Hell” by Skip Hollandsworth (Texas Monthly) 2016
  3. “How the family of Bernie Tiede's victim helped send him back to prison” by Brandi Grissom (The Dallas Morning News) 2016
  4. “Psychiatrist in infamous East Texas widow murder: Bernie Tiede snapped after years of abuse” by Brandi Grissom (The Dallas Morning News) 2016
  5. “Bernie Tiede Painted As Victim, Calculating Killer” by Johnathan Silver (Texas Tribune) 2016
  6. “East Texas widow killer Bernie Tiede, subject of hit movie, gets 99 years to life in re-trial” by Brandi Grissom (The Dallas Morning News) 2016
  7. “Trial begins for man accused in death” (Amarillo Globe News) 1998
  8. “The Mortician, The Murder, The Movie” by Peter Van Sant (CBS News) 2016
  9. “48 Hours: Mortician Murder Movie” (CBS2) 2016
  10. “Bernie Tiede Story: The Actual Murder That Gave Rise To The Film ‘Bernie’” by Ricardo Walter (Shutterbulky) 2022
  11.  “Killer inside him: Movie puts 1996 East Texas murder back in spotlight” by Ryan Perry (Behance)
  12.  “‘Bernie’ Headed To Jail: Real-Life Inspiration For Richard Linklater’s Film Sentenced To 99 Years” by Liz Calvario (Indiewire) 2016
  13. “Killer mortician who inspired ‘Bernie’ is released” (Associated Press via Page Six) 2014
  14. “Bernie: The True Story of an East Texas Murder” by Chad Baruch (Johnston Tobey Baruch) 2019
  15. “Tragedy Ends Trip for Local Couple” (The Kilgore News Herald) 1962
  16. “Bernie Tiede” (Wikipedia)