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Relationship Information, Quotes, and Trivia
Where and/or how did Charles Starkweather and Carol Ann Fugate meet?
Why did Charles Starkweather and Carol Ann Fugate break up?
Other Relationship Information about Charles Starkweather and Carol Ann Fugate:
Starkweather dropped out of Lincoln High School in his senior year and became employed at a Western Union newspaper warehouse. He sought employment there because the warehouse was located near Whittier Junior High School in Lincoln, where Caril was a student. His employment allowed him to visit her every day after school.
Starkweather quit his job at the warehouse and was employed as a garbage collector for minimum wage. One of the homes on his route was the residence of future talk show host Dick Cavett, and Starkweather had once met Cavett's father. Starkweather began progressing towards his nihilistic views on life, believing that his current situation was the final determinant in how he would live the rest of his life. He used the garbage route to begin plotting bank robberies and finally conceived his own personal philosophy by which he lived the remainder of his life: "Dead people are all on the same level".
Starkweather taught Fugate how to drive, and one day she crashed his 1949 Ford into another car. Starkweather's father paid the damages, as he was the legal owner of the vehicle. This caused an altercation between Starkweather and his father. Refusing to condone his son's behavior, he banished his son from the household.
On November 30, 1957, Starkweather went to a service station in Lincoln, where he tried to purchase a stuffed toy dog for Fugate on credit. Robert Colvert, the station attendant, refused to accept credit and Starkweather left enraged. At 3:00 a.m. on December 1, 1957, Starkweather returned to the station with a 12-gauge shotgun. Initially he left the weapon in the car, entered the station, and bought cigarettes from Colvert. Starkweather left, drove down the road, turned around, and returned to the station, again leaving the weapon in the car. This time he purchased a pack of chewing gum and then once again left and drove away. He parked a distance away from the station, sported a red bandanna underneath a hat, and then walked to the station with the shotgun and a canvas bag. He held Colvert at gunpoint and stole $100 from the cash register before forcing Colvert to walk back to his car.
Starkweather drove Colvert to a remote area outside of Lincoln and forced him out of the car, at which point Colvert struggled with Starkweather and attempted to get hold of the shotgun. The shotgun fired in the scuffle, shooting Colvert in his kneecaps; Starkweather then killed the wounded Colvert with a shotgun blast to the head. Starkweather would later claim that in the aftermath of the murder, he believed that he had transcended his former self to reach a new place of existence, in which he was above and outside the law. He confessed the robbery to Fugate immediately, claiming someone else had killed Colvert, which Fugate did not believe.
On January 21, 1958, Starkweather visited Fugate at her home in the Belmont neighborhood of Lincoln. Not finding her at home, he argued with Fugate's mother and stepfather, Velda and Marion Bartlett, who told him to stay away from their daughter. Starkweather then fatally shot the Bartletts with his shotgun, and proceeded to strangle and fatally stab their two-year-old daughter, Betty Jean. After Fugate arrived at home, he told her of his recent actions, and they hid the bodies in various locations behind the house. The couple remained in the house for six days, turning people away with a note, written by Fugate, taped to the door that read: "Stay a Way Every Body is sick with the Flue. - Velda Bartlett. Fugate's grandmother became suspicious and contacted the Lincoln Police Department. When police arrived on January 27, Starkweather and Fugate had fled the house.
Starkweather and Fugate drove to the Bennet, Nebraska farm house of seventy-year-old August Meyer, a Starkweather family friend, whom Starkweather killed with a shotgun blast to the head. As they were fleeing the area, Starkweather and Fugate drove their car into mud and abandoned the vehicle. When Robert Jensen and Carol King, two local teenagers, stopped to give them a ride, Starkweather forced them to drive back to an abandoned storm shelter in Bennet, where both were shot and killed. Starkweather admitted shooting Jensen and claimed Fugate shot King. They stole Jensen's car and fled Bennet.
The two drove into a wealthier section of Lincoln, where they entered the home of industrialist C. Lauer and Clara Ward. Both Clara Ward and maid Lillian Fencl were fatally stabbed. Starkweather later admitted throwing a knife at Ward; however, he accused Fugate of inflicting the multiple stab wounds that were found on her body. He also accused Fugate of fatally stabbing Fencl, whose body also had multiple stab wounds. When Lauer returned home that evening, Starkweather shot him. Starkweather and Fugate filled Lauer's black 1956 Packard with stolen jewelry from the house and fled Nebraska.
The murders caused an uproar within Lancaster County, with all law enforcement agencies in the region thrown into a house-by-house search for the killers. The governor of Nebraska contacted the Nebraska National Guard, and the Lincoln chief of police called for a block-by-block search of the city. Frequent sightings of the two were often reported, with concomitant charges of incompetence against the Lincoln Police Department for their inability to capture the two.
Needing a new car because of the high profile of their Packard, they found traveling salesman Merle Collison sleeping in his Buick along the highway outside Douglas, Wyoming. After waking Collison, he was shot, with Starkweather accusing Fugate of performed a coup-de-grace after his shotgun jammed. Starkweather claimed Fugate was the "most trigger happy person" he had ever met. The salesman's car had a push-pedal emergency brake, which was something new to Starkweather. While attempting to drive away, the car stalled. He tried to restart the engine, and a passing motorist stopped to help.
Starkweather threatened him with the rifle, and an altercation ensued. A deputy sheriff arrived at the scene at that moment. Fugate ran to him, yelling something to the effect of: "It's Starkweather! He's going to kill me!" Starkweather tried to evade the police, exceeding speeds of 100 miles per hour. A bullet shattered the windshield, and flying glass cut Starkweather. Starkweather then stopped abruptly and surrendered. Converse County Sheriff Earl Heflin said, "He thought he was bleeding to death. That's why he stopped. That's the kind of yellow son of a b*tch he is." Both Starkweather and Fugate were captured in Douglas.
Starkweather first claimed Fugate was captured by him and had nothing to do with the murders, however he changed his story several times, finally testifying at her trial that she was a willing participant. Fugate has always maintained he was holding her hostage by threatening to kill her family, claiming she was unaware they were already dead. Judge Harry A. Spencer did not believe that Fugate was held hostage by Starkweather, as she had many opportunities to escape. Starkweather received the death penalty for the murder of Robert Jensen (the only murder he was tried for), and Fugate received a life sentence on November 21, 1958. Her sentence was eventually commuted allowing her to be paroled in June 1976.
Charles Starkweather was executed in the electric chair at the Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln, Nebraska, at 12:01 a.m. on June 25, 1959. Fugate was paroled in June 1976 after serving 18 years at the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women in York, Nebraska. She settled in Lansing, Michigan, where she changed her name and worked as a janitor at a Lansing hospital. Fugate has never married and refuses to speak of the murders. Starkweather is buried in Wyuka Cemetery in Lincoln along with five of his victims: the Bartlett family and the Ward couple.