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  1. #1. How Many People Did Cocaine Bear Kill?

How Many People Did Cocaine Bear Kill?

How many people did Cocaine Bear Kill? Here we go! The hook is supposed to make moviegoers' hearts pound: Imagine a bear who has been hopped up on cocaine and is now chasing humans through the woods. Black bear eats "staggering amount" of highly addictive illegal stimulant in "Cocaine Bear," a new horror comedy directed by Elizabeth Banks that will be released in theaters in February but previewed in a trailer on Wednesday.
The "Cocaine Bear" has been the subject of both myth and reality, but which is it? Pablo Escobar, the book's fictitious protagonist, is an actual person (a nod to the notorious drug kingpin Pablo Escobar).

#1. How Many People Did Cocaine Bear Kill?

How Many People Did Cocaine Bear Kill Source: Getty Images
Despite the synopsis's claim that the "500-pound apex predator" is on the prowl in a Georgia forest where "an eccentric collection of cops, criminals, tourists, and youths" have converged, there is no evidence to suggest that Pablo Eskobear specifically targeted or killed any humans. In 1985, narcotics investigators in Fannin County, Georgia, found the skeleton of a 150-pound black bear, a duffel bag, and 40 opened bags of cocaine.
The bear "got to it before we could," Gary Garner of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was reported as saying by AP. "He tore the duffel bag open, grabbed him some cocaine, and OD'd," Garner added. (The trailer gives the impression that the rampaging bear is quite tall.)
Subsequently, AP reported that an autopsy revealed the bear had ingested around 3–4 grams of the drug into its bloodstream, which is substantially less than the 75 pounds of cocaine that police suspect was originally packed in a duffel bag found nearby but presumably enough to kill it. The 40-year-old Andrew "Drew" Carter Thornton II was suspected of dumping the cocaine haul from a plane three months prior on a narcotics flight from Colombia. He planned to return to the area to recover the stockpile later.

The Horrible "Cocaine Bear"

How Many People Did Cocaine Bear Kill
But Cocaine Bear came upon the stash before Thornton, who died before he could return to the forest. Thornton was found dead in a Knoxville, Tennessee, driveway on September 10, 1985, with a failing parachute tied to his back and 34 football-sized bundles of cocaine in an Army duffel bag. Thornton also had a compass, an altimeter, food rations, vitamins, identification documents in two names, a membership card to the Miami Jockey Club, the plane's key, and a ballistic jacket with night vision goggles.
Veteran, who claimed he was given a Purple Heart for his participation in the 1965 US invasion of the Dominican Republic, worked as a racehorse trainer, a police officer, and a narcotics agent before getting involved in the illegal drugs trade himself and being convicted on marijuana conspiracy charges. According to his obituary in The Post, he was being sought for interrogation in connection with "vendetta fatalities" at the time of his death.


How Many People Did Cocaine Bear Kill
As a police officer, Andrew could only maintain a high degree of vigilance for so long before it became boring. As so, he made a smooth shift into drug smuggling. He operated like Starsky and Hutch from the TV show, with fast cars and surprise raids. A fellow officer said at the time that "he was as flamboyant in his life as he was in his death," as reported by The Post.
Agents from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation couldn't figure out to whom Thornton had planned to give his cocaine, but it wasn't a bear. Fun Mall in Lexington, Kentucky, displays what it says is the original Cocaine Bear as a monument to Thornton's last victim. Want to hang with Cocaine Bear?" the store said in an Instagram post.
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