Weekend At Bernie’s Becomes Real With Horrifying Corpse Crime

By Jacob VanGundy | Published

Weekend At Bernies

A recent crime is drawing comparisons to the plot of the iconic 1980s comedy Weekend At Bernie’s. Much like the movie, two people have been accused of using a corpse for personal gain, in this case withdrawing money from his bank account. The real-life incident also draws attention to just how dark and macabre the 1980s comedy is compared to its reputation. 

Horrifying Incident

The real-life incident took place in Ohio, where Loreen Feralo and Lauren Casbohm put their dead roommate in the passenger seat of a car and took him to his bank’s drive-through to withdraw money from his account.

The victim, 80-year-old Douglas Layman, died in their shared home and then was propped up in the front seat to fool bank clerks before being taken to the hospital. Casbohm and Feralo are now being charged with theft and gross abuse of a corpse. 

Just Like Weekend At Bernie’s?

Weekend At Bernies

While thinking of this crime in real life is revolting, it isn’t far off from the events depicted in Weekend At Bernie’s despite the movie playing it for laughs.

In the movie, Bernie is a criminal who is killed by a mafia hitman, by intentionally overdosing him on heroin and making it look like an accident.

When the movie’s protagonists Larry and Richard discover his body right as guests start arriving for a party Bernie had planned, they use sunglasses and a hat to hide his death so they can enjoy the party. 

Comedy, But Not Family-Friendly

Weekend At Bernies

The basic premise of Weekend At Bernie’s and the image of the corpse in sunglasses being moved around is frequently referenced, the movie doesn’t shy away from how dark the premise actually is.

The movie revolves around crimes, murder, and drug abuse despite its slapstick comedy involving the deceased Bernie and the increasingly befuddled hitman who believes Bernie to be alive. It’s far from the family-friendly madcap movies of the era it’s often lumped in with like The Goonies.

Disturbing In Real Life

Seeing similar events play out in real life reiterates just how disturbing it actually is to use a corpse for personal gain, but also demonstrates that it is possible.

Like the partygoers in Weekend At Bernie’s the bank tellers who saw Layman’s body propped up didn’t think anything was strange, assuming it was a perfectly normal transaction.

The two were able to withdraw $900 from Layman’s account before taking him to the hospital with no questions asked. 

Questions About The Case

There are still questions about the case, as Layman’s cause of death remains unknown at this time. It’s unlikely that the real story is anywhere near as convoluted or dramatic as Weekend At Bernie’s but it is still an interesting question that could provide some insight into the case.

Regardless of how he died, the fact that people Layman lived with and knew used his body for personal gain before taking him to the hospital makes the story even more disturbing. 

Felony Charges

The two felony charges against Feralo and Casbohm certainly illustrate how serious a crime it actually is to use a body in the ways it was used in Weekend At Bernie’s.

It’s odd to see events from such a wild movie being played out in real life and even more strange to see that at least initially such a farfetched plan worked. But as they say, life imitates art