Are you ready for the wildest true crime story you've ever heard? The viral Cocaine Bear movie may sound too bizarre to be true, but it's actually based on a real-life event that took place in the 1980s.
Unleashing the Truth Behind the Infamous 'Cocaine Bear': The Strange and Tragic True Story
The Real-Life Connection of the ‘Cocaine Bear’
If you've come across the intriguing trailer for Cocaine Bear on social media, you might be wondering how much of the film is based on real events. It's a wild story, but it's actually inspired by a true tale from the 1980s involving a bear that overdosed on cocaine.
An Intoxicated Bear
Elizabeth Banks steps behind the camera as director and coproducer for the highly anticipated film, Cocaine Bear, set to hit theaters in February 2023.
The movie follows a bear that embarks on a cocaine-induced rampage after indulging in the drug. While the film takes a dramatic turn, the real-life story is not quite as sensational: the bear was discovered deceased in Chattahoochee National Forest due to an overdose.
Bear & a Bag of Cocaine
According to reports from The Associated Press, Andrew Thornton, a police officer turned drug dealer, dropped a bag filled with cocaine from a small plane over the mountains of Georgia.
Thornton later died after parachuting from the plane. His tumultuous career as a law enforcement officer and drug dealer has been chronicled in books such as The Blue Grass Conspiracy.
A Whopping 40 Packets of Cocaine
Georgia Bureau of Investigation officers were on the hunt for drug packages belonging to a deceased smuggler when they stumbled upon a bear.
The black bear was discovered deceased near a duffel bag containing 40 packets of cocaine, which had been torn open and scattered on the hillside.
An Insane Amount of Money
It is not clear exactly how much cocaine the bear consumed. However, the original duffel bag contained approximately 88 pounds of the drug, worth $2 million.
"The bear got to it before we could, and he tore the duffel bag open, got some cocaine, and overdosed," said Garner, as reported by The Associated Press. "There's nothing left but bones and a big hide," he added.
Despite its untimely demise due to a cocaine overdose, the bear has maintained a notable legacy. The Kentucky for Kentucky Fun Mall claims to have the stuffed remains of the bear on display, complete with a name tag dubbing it "Pablo EskoBear."
The Legacy Lives On in Kentucky
The taxidermied bear had a colorful journey before ending up in Kentucky. The medical examiner who conducted the bear's autopsy reportedly contacted a taxidermist to preserve the animal and then donated it to the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.
The bear eventually ended up at a pawnshop, where it was purchased by country music star Waylon Jennings. It was then passed on to various owners in Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada before being acquired by the mall.
This Was Ray Liotta’s Last Movie
Ray Liotta, who recently passed away, is featured in this film alongside a cast including Keri Russell, O'Shea Jackson Jr., Christian Convery-Jennings, Alden Ehrenreich, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson.
Despite the ferocious nature of the bear depicted in the trailer, incidents of bears attacking humans are actually uncommon, according to the National Park Service.
Another Superhit From Elizabeth Banks
Elizabeth Banks has a diverse background in comedy, both as an actress and a filmmaker. She has excelled in portraying goofy, offbeat characters, as well as displaying a more sinister side. Banks made her debut as a producer with the hit film Pitch Perfect, and later directed its sequel. She also helmed the Charlie's Angels reboot.