Caril Ann Fugate In Critical Condition After Car Accident

    August 7, 2013
    Amanda Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

Caril Ann Fugate was just 14 years old when she was arrested as an accomplice to her boyfriend, Charlie Starkweather, who allegedly killed eleven people in Nebraska in the late ’50s. Three of the victims were Fugate’s mother, stepfather, and 2-year old sister, and though Fugate claimed she was Starkweather’s hostage, many at the time said she should have died in the electric chair with him.

Fugate is now in critical condition after a horrific car accident in Michigan which claimed the life of her husband, 81-year old Frederick A. Clair, who was driving. Reports say Clair drifted off the road, crossed over two lanes of traffic and rolled into the median. Authorities say Fugate is expected to live.

The now-70 year old found her name synonymous with infamy after the murders–which were included in the worst killing spree Nebraska had ever seen–and was the subject of a film starring Sissy Spacek and Martin Sheen called “Badlands”. She still maintains her innocence in the murders and says she was afraid for her own life at the hands of Starkweather, who was nineteen at the time of the killings. However, she did receive a life sentence for her role in the murder of a 17-year old victim, which was later reduced. She eventually served eighteen years in prison and was paroled in 1976.

“I told him I didn’t want to see him again but he came back,” she said. “I kept telling him to leave. I told him to leave and I didn’t ever want to see him again. Don’t you think that I, every day of my life, that I think to myself, ‘Why, dear God, didn’t he just kill me and be done with it?'”

Author John Stevens Berry, who is writing a book about Fugate called “The Twelfth Victim”, says he believes she didn’t get a fair trial.

“When you meet her and you see what she has done with her life, it’s amazing,” he said. “She’s an amazing human being. That she survived Starkweather was amazing. That she survived the legal, judicial and penal proceedings to which she was subjected was amazing. We know a great deal about her childhood and her upbringing and I’ve gone over her trial with a fine-tooth comb and have been astonished by the things we have found. She fulfilled her goal of getting involved in nursing, getting married and living a normal life.”

  • Cynthia

    Why do these writers fall in love with these murderers? I told him to leave and he wouldn’t? That’s not an excuse, that’s an alibi.

    • peoplearepeople

      Yeah, because I’m sure you were there and/or you’ve been put in that exact position before.. It is bold and honorable for one to become passionate about bringing to light all sides of the story so others can make informed decisions on what they chose to believe. If you only have one side of the story it is obvious which side you will believe. When there is cognizance of injustice, it is of the noble and brilliant-minded that take the initiative to dig for truth and justice so that others may benefit intellectually.

  • Petal

    Karma, neh?

    • pita000

      That is not Karma, that is just happenstance. Karma is like a quip, if it comes twenty minutes after he joke it is not a quip it is just a comment.

      • http://Google Cal Thompson

        Karma is the belief that an action is the cause of the outcome or the cycle of the outcome. Time has no place in the cycle. A quip is what you’re doing. Instant karma is a song by the Plastic Ono Band.

  • David Barrett

    That skank was just as guilty as Starkweather. She had *multiple* chances to escape, and didn’t do it. She’s full of fertilizer. She should have gotten juiced in the chair, just like Charlie. Just because she was female, she got away with it, while he was executed.

    • http://www.probonobook.com Jeff McArthur

      Actually, she DID escape from him. In Wyoming, Charlie was about to kill his next victim, Joseph Sprinkle, when Caril saw Officer Romer stuck behind a milk truck. Romer testified that he did not see Charlie and had no idea what was going on. If Caril was his accomplice, as you seem to think, she would have told Charlie and they would have gotten away. But she didn’t. She ran to Romer, escaping Charlie, and as a result, they caught Starkweather. You seem to have left that out of your clearly well thought out conclusion.

      • susanne

        Oh no it’s Jeff MacArthur again. She “escaped” Charlie exactly when the sheriff arrived..yet back in Lincoln ,all alone at the restaurant, no Charlie in sight, she was in a busy cafe ordering and waiting for 4 hamburgers. Never said one word to the waitress Juanita.though she had all the time it takes to fry hamburgers…alone in a busy cafe…one time of Many opportunities….yeah MacArthur, your tired old sad defense fails again. Carol was manipulative enough to know when she couldn’t play the game any more. Guilty guilty guilty and nothing you can say or do can change it. All the major players knew it.now 55 years later you beg for us to believe her..no

  • Lazybum

    Was Author John Stevens Berry injured too? Since he has his head so far up Fugate’s ass, you would think he has similar injuries. IF not, that would be “amazing” too!

    Berry- you are such a tool.

    • peoplearepeople

      You are obviously extremely uneducated. Either that, or too small-minded and too lazy to take all factors into account before forming opinions and making foolish accusations. If you knew anything about who John Stevens Berry is, you would realize how ignorant you are to feel entitled to label him as such or act like you know a thing outside of your Own ass. He pursues truth, justice, and giving people the fair trial they deserve. Bottom line is.. you weren’t there, you could never possibly know with 100% certainty one way or another the events of that time and how they transpired or even fathom the emotions involved. It is clear you are the type to believe the first thing you are told and refuse to make your own Educated decisions. You are in serious need of a reality check and I pity your ignorance. You should probably start worrying about your own flaws before spreading defamation of a good and honorable name. It is evident that you have your own issues. Hopefully this gives you reason to take a good hard look in the mirror. Good luck on your path to enlightenment.

  • Eggman

    how many republicans did Charlie wipe out ??? just sayin

    • Ted

      You are one sick bastard. May you rot in hell. Well that is a given.

  • Laura

    I have no sympathy for this murderer. I will save my sympathy for her victims.

  • mike

    Hmmm lets see where were all of you hypocrites when you were 14 years old. She was a victim as much as the people Starkweather murdered. It was a different world then, but even then 14 was still a minor child and not responsible for the actions of adults. She always claimed that she was a hostage of Starkweather and he was a psychopath.

    • Susanne

      Yet when she had multiple chances to reach out to outside sources she didn’t…like when she went alone to Brinkys to get hamburgers for her and Charlie…she had to stand in a crowded diner, no Charlie, and wait for 4 hamburgers to grill up….the waitress Juanita testified she never said a word…amazing how that makes her seem like a “hostage.”

  • ron

    A long time ago when I was in Leavenworth Kansas Federal pen I corresponded with Caril. Being educated myself, I was pleased to learn she was very literate and seemingly forthright. Since she had no reason to lie to me I was found her to be pretty believable. We never talked directly about the rampage. Mostly it was about her early homelife and how she got mixed up with starkweather. She and I had been locked up about 7 years so we shared tales about the inside. In her defense, Caril expressed a lot of remorse for what Starkweather did and the pain he caused so many. I do know she was afraid of him and being so young didn’t know how to get out of the mess she was in because of fear. Personally, I think the life sentence was just to please the families of the victims…and of course put a big feather in the prosecutors hat. I don’t think she was innocent of knowing about the crimes and being there but I don’t think she was guilty of committing any of the crimes. I have been out a long time now as has Caril. I have never spoken to her outside. I am saddened by her car accident and hope she recovers.

  • Joechgo

    No sympathy. She should have been electrocuted decades ago.

  • Susan J. Sager

    Look at that picture of her and Charlie. I DO NOT SEE a frightened girl. I see someone who is calm and happy to be with this fellow. I have read much of the rampage and the death of her family at the house.

    I have no sympathy for her — only the victims.

    • http://www.probonobook.com Jeff McArthur

      Ummm, you know that that picture wasn’t taken during the time she was talking about when she said she was frightened, right?

      Also, it’s interesting you say you’ve read about when her family was killed. Did you ever bother to read the trial transcripts, police reports, or any actual credible source? Probably not. You see, when you compare the autopsies to Caril’s school records you find that she was not there when they were killed. This is physical evidence which cannot be disputed. Period. This is why the police didn’t charge her in the murder of her family. They would have if it hadn’t been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that she simply wasn’t there. As for the rest… Well, I’m sure what you’ve read was as credible as your first source.

      • Karen

        By that “logic” Charles Manson would be not guilty as well…considering he wasn’t at the crime scene at the time the murders were carried out. Seriously?

      • Susanne

        Really Mr McArther? Is this something the jury wasn’t privy to back in 1958? It was cold and winter in NE. I doubt in 1958 you can pinpoint by 2 hours the death and such. And Caril and Charles stayed there for 6 days in that house. The OVERWHELMING evidence is that she had multiple opportunies to escape, to reach out, she never did. She had the clippings of her families deaths on her when she was apprehended in WY. WHy do you continue to make excuses for this woman? is it because your father lost the case for her?

  • jim duffy

    I went to school with Carol. She was infatuated with Charles he was 18 she was 13. She was in school when he started his rampage killing her family. Iknew her attorneys they defended her for 18 years probono. Give her a break, she was a victim too of Charles and the state of Nebraska. Let her have peace.

    • Marvin M Blauvelt

      I , my wife and myself visited Caril while she was incarcerated in York, got to know her quite well and my thoughts are as yours exactly, she was not represented by council properly, I also knew her attorney quite well and he took the case, in my opinion for notariety I feel she was innocent and should be pardoned, and yes she has suffered enough. We love you Caril Ann

      • sarah

        I would love to talk to you about Caril in priate conversation

      • Susanne

        Really? Well what about Carol King and Robert jensen and the other victims? Do you think they’d like to be pardoned from a lifetime of living 6 feet under?

    • sarah

      hello im currently working on a project for my college course. i decided to do my report on caril. its about what theories relate to her charges and the events that occured. was wondering if you’d like to chat about some information. it would be nice to have some information from someone that actually knew her.

    • sarah

      Can you contact me as i would love to talk to you about Caril/& Starkweather past history.

    • B Skinner

      Jim I give it a thumbs up.

  • Maria

    She lives in Stryker, Ohio. The house is a virtual wreck secluded at the edge of town by a dilapidated bridge.

    • Susanne

      I’ve looked at her house on Google Earth, do you live in Stryker? I am here in Ohio, always thought about running by her place. Wonder if she will stay on their after this accident. Feel sorry for Mr.Clair. Death and Caril seem intertwined.

  • Frank Gramigna

    Anyone who feels sorry for her is crazy.
    The reason she was convicted is that she was having sex with Starkweather all the while she claimed to be his hostage.
    She only went to the Wyoming policeman when she was caught because she knew that if she didn’t make out like she was the victim she would go to the electric chair with Starkweather.
    The real victim is not Caril Ann Fugate the real victims are The Ward family their maid and Austin Meyer and their families.

    • ADORA

      So sad. Most people don’t think that, the victims are innocent or it’s to be murdered their fault. Did Government rehabilated those innocent victims parents, loved ones? This woman should be thrown in to the swage,and left there that’s what she deserved. Instead, she protected by the Government, nice! If I was, one of the victim’s mother, I would follow this monster, and forgivness shouldn’t be up to the government.

  • K T Friend

    Do you all realize that these events took place fifty-six years ago and Fugate – a minor – served eighteen years? Since I know of no evidence that she actually shot anyone, but was simply an accomplice, it would appear that justice was served. She may have been afraid of him, but I don’t believe she was ever a hostage.

  • http://webnews Lynn

    Hope she is okay. Condolences on the loss of her husband. The woman did spend more time in jail then her age at the time of the history making killings. She was 14 and she did 18 or 19 years in jail. She was released and not been in any criminal trouble. My question is does she talk to her older sister?

  • denise

    my cousin carol king lost her life.her boyfriend made the mistake of stopping the car and trying to help those who would later kill them in cold blood. don’t feel sorry for her. she was just as guilty as charlie starkweather. she should have been sitting on his lap when they threw the switch.

  • Deb

    Our heart goes out to family, friends and victims of this crime and all crimes. Nothing we say or do can change what has taken place. We can look back and realise that So many females in the course of history have said exactly the same thing as Carole Ann Fugate. Carole was so very young. A different time and place. She did her time in prison.
    As we now know there are many syndromes having been recognised by the medical fraternity.
    Battered-person syndrome
    Stockholm syndrome to name a couple.

    Patricia Campbell Hearst Shaw: Her kidnapping case is held by many as an example of Stockholm syndrome.
    Elizabeth Smart: held captive for nine months. felt my only choice was to get up and go with this man if I didn’t want to die,’ she said. ‘I thought it was life or death.’

    Jaycee Dugard : PLACERVILLE, Calif. — A California woman who was kidnapped and held captive for 18 years says she was so afraid of her abductors that she never tried to escape.
    Hannah Anderson said the man threatened to kill her if she tried to escape. She could not try to escape because her kidnapper had a gun and “threatened to kill me and anyone who tried to help”. The girl said she was too frightened to ask for help when four riders came across the pair in the remote wilderness.

  • Tony

    Didn’t get a fair trial? What’s that, a joke? She should have been fried along with her child-killing boyfriend. Writers love nothing more than to invent a “trajedy”.

  • colleen

    I believe she was a chid at the time and i very much believe if she were asked now if she would have dealt with it differently my guess is her answer would be yes. What terror and confusion she must have felt at the time i feel sorry for her and the victims. I also think we should really look at SOME of these children that commit these terrible crimes and take their age into consideration i did things when i was her age i would never do now and I’m sure many of you did as well. i wish the best for her and am sorry for her loss as well

  • http://google Cujo

    Yes it was many many years ago and god bless the victims of these killings, if you think about children that commit crimes even today get off with a slap on the wrists. Caril was convicted served her time it seams to me that if she was truly innocent she would have taken several lie detector tests and been done with some of the rumors, she did her time learned from her mistake and moved on it’s to bad as part of her sentence was every year going to the grave side of the victims and appologize for her part in the crimes.

  • M W

    I am a much different person at age 70 than I was at age 13, I would never do some of the things today that I did then, so I sympathize with her. I feel bad for her. I’m sorry for her loss and I also wish the best for her.

  • Tommie Clair

    Hi folks I Tommie Clair thought Caril Clair was truly guilty….Then my dad Frederick Clair married Caril…. oh boy i thought… I have read all the transcripts and stories, but most of all for the last 8 years I have come to know Caril. When she was a 13 year old she was very nieve and poor. Starkweather paid attention to her and she fell head over hills for him. She regrets every day what has happend. Today caril is still in a michigan hospital fighting for her life. She should be going to a therapy unit in the next 30 to 60 days. My dad and Caril Loved one another and was probably the only happiness she has ever known.
    May God Bless You All,
    Tommie Clair……..

  • Lndncr5678

    I remember delivering her mail back in the early 80s. She changed her name at the time, and when someone would discover where she lived she would have to move as she did get harassed. I always thought that for a 13 or 14 year old “accomplice” she was treated too harshly. She was under his influence, and was probably frightened of him.