The names of Charles Raymond Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate hold a place in the history books as Nebraska’s most notorious mass murderers. Their saga began when 19-year-old Starkweather killed a gas station attendant in December 1957. Then, in late January 1958, Charlie and his 14-year-old girlfriend Caril began an eight-day murder spree that started with the murder of Caril’s family, and eventually led to ten total deaths before they were captured on the highway outside Douglas, Wyoming. Tried and convicted of murder, Charles Starkweather was executed at the Nebraska State Penitentiary on June 25, 1959. Also convicted, Caril Fugate’s initial life sentence was commuted to a 30 to 50 year sentence in 1973. In 1976, after serving 18 years, Fugate was paroled and she eventually resettled in Michigan.
The Starkweather case, seemingly tame in comparison to serial killings that have followed it in subsequent years, was one of the most heavily publicized mass murders in U.S. history, drawing national attention both to Nebraska and to the psychological issues surrounding disaffected youth. The community of Lincoln, and most of the rest of Nebraska, lived in a near-constant state of hysteria and panic for most of a week.
This frightening rebel twosome inspired a whole series of mainstream and not-so-mainstream movies like the 1974 Badlands of Terrence Malick, Wild At Heart by David Lynch, Quentin Tarantino and Tony Scott’s 1993 True Romance, Dominic Sena’s 1993 Kalifornia and Oliver Stone’s 1994 Natural Born Killers.
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- vigorton2 said: Hey, they forgot to mention THE SADIST, it’s totally based on these two.
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