Bill Handel

Bill Handel

Listen to Bill Handel Weekdays from 6 to 9AM on KFI AM 640! Full Bio


Cocaine Bear: Fact Vs. Fiction

If you haven't seen the trailer for the movie Cocaine Bear yet, enjoy it above. The movie stars the late Ray Liotta in one of his last performances, Keri Russell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Alden Ehrenreich.

The trailer has gone viral and it's giving people a 'there's no way this is real,' feeling.

Here's the deal, the movie is based (loosely) on a true story, but it's obvious that director Elizabeth Banks took a LOT of creative license to make the horror-comedy which hits theaters on Feb. 24th.

The true part is this. In 1985, a former US narcotics officer named Andrew Thornton was trafficking cocaine into the US from Columbia by dropping duffel bags full of the drug into Georgia from a plane. On one of these runs, he tossed out some of the coke, then the plane started having engine issues, so he set the auto-pilot, strapped on a parachute pack and jumped out on the plane, BUT, he hit his head on the way out and his parachute didn't deploy so he ended up dead after hitting a driveway in Tennessee about 50 miles away.

According to police, he was found wearing night vision goggles, a bulletproof vest, a backpack full of guns and knives, Gucci loafers, thousands in cash and packages of cocaine worth a total of $15 million.

The crashed plane was found in North Carolina.

Three months later the remains of a 174 pound black bear was discovered in Chattahoochee National Forest (gotta love that name!) in Georgia surrounded by a ripped open duffel bag and the remnants of 40 open packages of cocaine (valued at $20 MILLION) that had been dropped from Thornton's plane.

It's not clear exactly how much of the coke the bear ate and how much may have been blown away by weather conditions, but the medical examiner who preformed a necropsy on the bear said the bear died after overdosing on cocaine. They said:

"The animal's stomach was 'literally packed to the brim with cocaine. There isn't an mammal on the planet that could survive that. Cerebral haemorrhaging, respiratory failure, hypothermia, renal failure, heart failure, stroke. You name it, that bear had it."

According to reports, the bear was taxidermied and reportedly now belongs to the Kentucky Fun Mall in Lexington where he's been dubbed "Pablo Esco-Bear."

The rest of the movie, the bear going on a rampage, killing people, is absolutely UNTRUE. BUT, it makes for a very funny premise. Banks told Film Magazine that the message of the film is simple:

"If you f**k with nature, nature will f**k with you. I thought this bear was collateral damage in a broken war on drugs. I had a lot of empathy for it. I felt like this film could be the bear's revenge story."

So, go enjoy 'Cocaine Bear' in theaters later this month.

Handel and Mo talked about the movie, the Grammy Awards and more in this week's Musings With Mo.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content