The youngest female in the United States history to be tried for first-degree murder was Caril Ann Fugate who was born on July 30, 1943. Caril Ann was the young girlfriend of Charles Starkweather and became his accomplice in his killing spree.
Caril Ann lived with her mother, Velda, and stepfather Marion Bartlett in Lincoln, Nebraska and began dating at the age of 13. She met Charles Starkweather in 1956. Charles was a high school dropout and five years older than her. He worked at the Western Newspaper Union warehouse as a truck unloader.
Caril Ann said that she saw her mother and stepfather dead in her house upon coming home on January 21, 1958, and they were shot. She also stated that Charles killed her parents and killed her baby half-sister, Betty Jean, murdered by choking and stabbing. Charles and Caril Ann did not let any visitors enter the house during the next six days while they were living there which made her family members suspicious. Velda, Marion and Betty Jean"s bodies were discovered in outbuildings on their land sometime later.
Charles and Caril Ann fled to Nebraska and then to Wyoming with a spree of murders in their trail. The couple had murdered six more people before they were arrested.
Caril Ann confessed that she robbed a young high school couple at gunpoint with a .410 shotgun and robbed them of $4. The young couple was shot and killed that night. The girl was repeatedly stabbed in her abdomen after being shot, and the young girl was partially nude. Charles confessed to killing the boy but claims that he did not murder the girl and Caril Ann also claims that she did not kill the girl.
Charles Starkweather was sentenced on June 25, 1959, with the death penalty and to be executed by the electric chair. Charles said that he did kill most of the victims, but Caril Ann also killed many people.
Caril Ann was convicted of her role in their killing spree, and the jury discovered that she had many opportunities to leave Charles who she said held her captive. Caril Ann was sentenced to life imprisonment and served her time at Nebraska Correctional Center for Women in York, Nebraska.
Caril Ann Fugate served only 17 years in prison because she was thought to be a model prisoner and was paroled in 1976. She moved to Lansing, Michigan where she lived for a little while after being released and worked as a janitorial assistant and a medical technician. She is now/has been retired.
Caril Ann married in 2007 to Fredrick Clair who is a machinist and also a weather observer for the National Weather Service. The couple lived in many states including Stryker, Ohio and Hillsdale, Michigan. Caril Ann"s stepson mentioned that she was not doing well in her late 60s because she suffers from a series of strokes.
Caril Ann was involved in a vehicle accident near Tekonsha, Michigan on August 5, 2013, and has been severely injured but Frederick who was the driver died at the scene after their went SUV went off the road and overturned.
Charles Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate case inspired many films including:
The sad**t (1963)
Stark Raving Mad (1983)
Murder in the Heartland (1993)
Natural Born Killers (1994)
The Frighteners (1996)
ID series, Deadly Women
Episode 4: Dangerous Liaisons
Aired: September 2, 2010
ID series, A Crime to Remember
Episode 1: Teenage Wasteland
Aired December 6, 2016
Title: Caril (1974)
Author: Ninette Beaver
Title: Outside Valentine (2004)
Author: Liza Ward
Title: Not Comin" Home to You (1997)
Author: Lawrence Block
Title: Pro Bono: The 18-Year Defense of Caril Ann Fugate
Author: Jeff McArthur