Is Cocaine Bear Movie Based on Real Events?

A bear who uses cocaine and kills a bunch of people, Cocaine Bear is a purposely ludicrous horror film directed by Elizabeth Banks and written by Jimmy Warden. The movie chronicles the bear’s journey across the south of the United States on a high-stakes drug trip. A young woman who becomes involved in the drug trade, and a determined sheriff set on capturing the bear are just two of the interesting people the bear meets. Matthew Rhys, Keri Russell, O’Shea Jackson Jr., and Ray Liotta, who passed away on May 26, 2022, star in “Cocaine Bear.” This has led to viewers pondering whether or not the film is based on a true story. So, ( here’s the lowdown on where that exciting and fascinating tale of “Cocaine Bear” came from.

Is Cocaine Bear Movie Based on Real Events?

Yes, Cocaine Bear Movie is based on real events. Cocaine Bear was inspired by the 1985 discovery of a black bear that had apparently overdosed on the drug and was later found dead.  After finding a large supply of cocaine that had been dropped from a plane piloted by convicted drug smuggler Andrew Thornton II, a 175-pound black bear “apparently died of an overdose of cocaine,” as stated in the original 1985 New York Times account. The bear’s body was found in the mountains of Fannin County, Georgia beside forty exposed plastic vials of cocaine, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.  In December 1985, The Associated Press reported that the state’s chief medical examiner, Dr. Kenneth Alonso, claimed that the bear had ingested three or four grams of cocaine into its bloodstream.

In the film Cocaine Bear, Matthew Rhys plays the only believable character, Andrew Thornton.  According to a source in The Independent, Thornton was killed after he leaped from his Cessna on a cocaine smuggling run from Colombia and his parachute did not open. He is a convicted drug smuggler who died on September 11 near Knoxville, Tennessee, and “dropped the cocaine from a plane because he was carrying too heavy a load while parachuting.”

Mr. Thornton was a former police officer and a well-known narcotics smuggler. On September 11, 1985, his body was discovered in the backyard of a home in Knoxville, Tennessee, with a parachute nearby and a pair of Gucci loafers on his feet. According to The Knoxville News Sentinel, he was reportedly in possession of many firearms and a bag containing approximately 35 kg of cocaine. The News Sentinel reported that police believe there is more cocaine in the area because a key found in Mr. Thornton’s pocket matched the tail number of a wrecked plane recovered in Clay County, N.C. After months of searching, the authorities located almost 300 kg of cocaine in the area. If you’ve recently watched this film, you may be interested in learning more about the real-life Cocaine Bear.

Did the real Cocaine Bear cause any deaths?

No. The real Cocaine Bear was not responsible for any fatalities. Cocaine is dangerous for you, thus the genuine Cocaine Bear sadly passed away soon after he started using it. The retired medical examiner who examined the bear in the 1980s said in an interview with Kentucky for Kentucky, “Its stomach was practically stuffed to the brim with cocaine. No living mammal could withstand that kind of pressure. Hemorrhaging in the brain, high body temperature, kidney failure, heart failure, and stroke are all potentially fatal conditions. That bear has everything you could imagine.

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Olivia Wilson
Olivia Wilson
Olivia Wilson is the senior news writer for TV Acute. She spends too much money on collectables and is enamored with movies, comics, and television series. She loves binge-watching and can spend hours talking about movies and TV shows. She can immerse herself into a good story no matter the genre or form and only come out from it when she's had her fill. When she's not writing, she's probably cooking or exploring new places. You can follow her daily exploits on Twitter and Facebook.

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