Starkweather Homicide


Unknown-1.jpeg



Charles Starkweather

Born Charles Raymond Starkweather on November 24, 1938 in Lincoln, Nebraska. The third of seven children born to Guy and Helen Starkweather, Charles Starkweather grew up during the Great Depression. He left school at 16, taking work as a lorry loader for a local newspaper business. Starkweather also became romantically involved with a kindred rebellious spirit, Caril Ann Fugate, who was only 13 years old at the time.

Starkweather left the newspaper haulage job to find work as a refuse collector, but the injustice of his poverty, as he saw it, began to consume him. By age 19, he convinced himself that crime was his only route to financial gain and, within a week of his birthday, he took his first victim, gas station attendant Robert Colvert, for $100. Shortly after, Starkweather shot and killed Fugate’s mother and stepfather, Velda and Marion Bartlett, and killed her two–year old half-sister, Betty Jean.

Charles Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate were officially on the run, killing family friend August Meyer on January 27, 1958 and stealing food and money from his farm. They then robbed and killed a teenage couple, Robert Jensen and Carole King. After returning home to Lincoln, they sought refuge at the home of a wealthy industrialist, C. Lauer Ward. They killed both Mr. and Mrs. Ward and their maid, then headed to Washington state, where Starkweather’s brother lived. En route, Starkweather killed shoe salesman Merle Collison for his car, after which a high-speed chase ended in Starkweather’s surrender.

Starkweather pleaded innocent by reason of insanity and was found guilty. He was sentenced to death on June 29, 1959. Fugate claimed she was a hostage, but the jury found her guilty. Because she was 14 years old at the time, she received a life sentence. She was paroled in June 1976.


More on His Partner In Crime

gat-0000-0002-0-img0109-1.jpg
Caril Fugate (left) lived in Lincoln, Nebraska, and in 1956, she started dating Charles Starkweather (five years her senior). Caril is the youngest female in United States history to be tried for first-degree murder. The extent of Caril’s involvement in this couple’s crimes is uncertain; Starkweather was executed still accusing her, and Fugate refuses to talk about it to this day.
Charles Starkweather (right) was born with a mild birth defect, Genu varum, that caused his legs to be misshapen, and he also suffered from a mild speech impediment, which caused him to be teased, picked upon, and beaten up from an early age. Starkweather developed a severe inferiority complex and became self-loathing and nihilistic, believing that he was unable to do anything correctly, and that his own inherent failures would doom him to a life of poverty and misery.
On January 21, 1958, Starkweather went to visit Caril at her dilapidated house. Finding her not home, he argued with and shot to death Caril Ann’s mother and stepfather, as well as fatally clubbing Caril Ann’s two-year-old sister, Betty Jean. Charles and Caril drove to the Bennet, Nebr., farm home of August Meyer, 70, a Starkweather family friend, whom Charles shot in the head. Shortly thereafter, they got stuck in the mud and abandoned their car. When Robert Jensen and Carol King, two local teenagers, stopped to give them a ride, Charles forced them to drive back to an abandoned storm cellar, where both were shot and killed. The couple eventually took a road trip across the states killing a total of 11 people. Their story is the basis for the film Natural Born Killers.

Sources:
Pictures:
www.lincolnlibraries.org/reference/starkweather_case.htm-I used this website to give me a good feel of how they both looked around the time of their crimes.

Information:
www.trutv.com › ... › MASS & SPREE MURDERS -I used this website to get information on Starkweather's accomplice.

law.jrank.org/.../Charles-Starkweather-Caril-Fugate-Trials-1958.html- This website gave me good background info on the case itself.

BY:Tehetna Gebreamanuel