Watch Caril Ann Fugate - adolescent girl who committed spree killings in the 1950s. 14-year-old Caril Ann Fugate’s flat temperament while discussing the murders she committed with 20-year-old boyfriend Charles Starkweather is chilling. She is the youngest female in the United States to be tried for first-degree murder. Fugate lived in Lincoln, Nebraska, with her mother and stepfather. In 1956 she formed a relationship with Charles Starkweather, a high school dropout five years her senior. On January 21, 1958, Starkweather shot and killed her stepfather Marion Bartlett, her mother Velda and stabbed her half-sister to death. Starkweather and Fugate fled, driving across Nebraska on a spree of robberies and murders that claimed eight lives. Neither was raised in an abusive family yet Charles was angry and trigger-happy, while Caril Ann was indulgent. “I had hated and been hated,” Starkweather once said, “I had my little world to keep alive as long as possible and my gun. That was my answer.” Born in 1938, the third of seven children, Starkweather lived all of his life in abject poverty in Lincoln, Nebraska. Starkweather was short, myopic, red-headed, and bowlegged. Taunted by classmates he lapsed into what he described as “black moods,” developing “a hate as hard as iron“. Caril’s family forbade her to see him but she refused to listen. on January 21, 1958, Starkweather went to Caril Ann’s home and got into an argument with her mother, killing her with a single shot from a .22 caliber rifle then stabbing her husband. The two lovers fled and headed toward Bennett, 16 miles south. Caril Ann had opportunities to escape, but she did not.
Starkweather’s car got bogged down in mud. They walked to the highway and got a ride from Robert Jensen, 17, and Carol King, 16. Starkweather made Jensen drive to an abandoned schoolyard where he shot the boy six times in the head. King was also shot to death and her genitals viciously slashed with a knife. There was reason to believe Starkweather tried to rape King, but was unable to perform and slashed her. He stole Jensen’s car. On February 1, they reached Douglas, Wyoming, where Starkweather wanted to switch cars. He spotted a Buick parked beside the road and inside was owner Merle Collison. Starkweather pumped nine bullets into the helpless victim, into his face, neck, hand and leg. As Starkweather struggled to remove the body and was spotted by a patrol officer. The deputy sheriff stopped and Caril Ann jumped from the car and ran toward him, pointing at Charles as she cried, “He killed a man!”
Starkweather first claimed Fugate had nothing to do with the murders; however, he testifed at trial she was a participant. Fugate maintained he held her hostage. Fugate’s downfall was admitting to holding a .410 shotgun on a couple in a car while robbing them of $4; the couple were shot and killed later that evening. Starkweather received the death penalty for the murder of Robert Jensen (the only murder for which he was tried), and Fugate received a life sentence on November 21, 1958. Starkweather and Fugate accused each other of the girl’s murder, while Starkweather openly admitted to killing the boy. Starkweather was executed in the electric chair on June 25, 1959. Watch He’s going to be executed but he don’t care. He insisted that he dispatched most of the victims, but that Fugate murdered too. Fugate was sentenced to life imprisonment at the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women in York, Nebraska. Fugate was paroled in 1976 after serving 17 years. She now lives in Lansing, Michigan as a retired medical aide. She married in 2007. To this day Caril Ann Fugate maintains her total innocence. Watch Badlands – 1973 dramatization of Fugate Starkweather murder spree
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