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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Oct. 24, 1974)
aril recounts Kiinnq spree
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26th and "0
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4,CsrH.M By Ninette Beaver, B. K.
Rlpldy and Patrick Trese. Lipplncott.
Carfl Ann Fugate. Your memory of
the events connected with this name
may not be clear, but if your parents
lived in Nebraska in 1958 they will never
forqet. . .
When she was 15, Carii Ann Fugate
became the youngest woman in the
history cf the United States to be
convicted of first-degree murder. In
January 1958, she and 17-year-old
Charles Starkweather blazed a bloody
trail across Nebraska and Wyoming
leaving 10 bodies behind them (includ
ing Caril's sister, mother and step
father.) When the law caught up with
the pair in Wyoming, Carii ran tc poi ice
officers, screaming that Starkweather
wanted to kill her too.
Two counts of murder
Brought back to Nebraska for trial,
they were charged with two counts of
murder murder in the first degree and
murder in the perpetration of a robbery.
Starkweather gave several accounts of
the killings to officials, first proclaiming
Caril's Innocence and later implicating'
her. She has never been accused of
pulling the trigger but, as an accom
plice, she committed the same crime
under Nebraska statutes.
Starkweather's trial aroused a fear
and excitement that had been unknown
in Lincoln, In those days before violence
was commonplace. Although his de
fense lawyer tried to prove insanity,
Starkweather was convicted and sen
tenced to death in the electric chair.
In contrast, Caril's trial, also held in
district court and not in juvenile court,
aroused curiosity. She remained emo
tionally immobile for the duration of the
trial, showing no expression in the
courtroom. Her answers on the stand
were clipped and barely uttered through
pursed lips. From the beginning, she .
claimed she was innocent; that Stark
weather had threatened her and her
family's lives. She said she didn't know
when they left Lincoln that her family
was already dead.
Carl! cracked once
She cracked only once, when Stark
weather came to court to testify against
her. Even though he changed his story
once again, his appearance was per
suasive. The jury did not even consider
the electric chair for Carii, but they were
not convinced that this terse, cold-looking
girl had not played a part In
motivating Starkweather and in helping
him carry out the murders. She claimed
she was his hostage, but the prosecutor
said she ceriainly could have escaped.
She was convicted of murder in the
perpetation of a robbery and sentenced '
to life imprisonment in the women's
refor matory at York.
Carii Ann Fugate has spent more than
half her life in prison. Her sentence was
reduced in 1973 to a fixed number of
years, which may make her eligible for
paroie in 1976. And over the years, she
has maintained that she was innocent.
"Carii" is a factual retelling of those
years. The authors present an objective
examination of every fact known and
every assertion made. Beaver, an
Omaha newswoman, has known Fugate
since the trial and has followed her case
ever since. With the aid of volumes of
film clips, the authors have compiled a
detailed narrative that is immediate and
The book is divided info three parts.
The murders, as they were reported by
the news media, are a vivid tale of
(leadlines and TV journalism in its early
days. The trial is presented with an
expansive view of the complex legal
proceedings. Finally, - Caril's- perfect
prison record is documented: the first
year in solitary confinement, growing up
in regimented silence; the loosening of
prison rules through the years. Once th
youngest prisoner, Carii is now ths
prisoner who has been at York the
longest. Her record does not show one
violation of prison rules in 16 years and
her involvement in activities there and
in the community is creditable.
The authors never give their opinion,
stating they will leave that to the reader.
They just present the facts. The reader
is immersed in the narrative, freed from
I he facts are compelling. It is a
miscarriage of justice that this woman Is
still imprisoned. Her conviction, based
'on several subsequent revelations, Is
dubious and her guilt questionable.
The biame does not belong to anyone:
she was convicted without rights, in a
biased setting, and with her picture
broadcast coast to coast, looking brazen
with a small defiant smile.
She stiil has hope, but she doesn't
smile very much any more.
The jaz-rock group Blood, Sweat and Tears will
perform at Pershing Auditorium Saturday night
for UNL's Homecoming Dance.
The Chicago-based band was formed by Al
Koopcr, who later left the group and became a
nrriiiir.r , ,
I ho dance will start at 8 p.m. Advance tickets
am $4.50. Tickets will sell for $5.50 on the day of
Tomqhl at 8 p.m In Kimball Recital Hall the
Nebraska Woodwind Quintet will present a recital
featuring works by Adolphe Oeslandres, Walter
Asiiaf fonberg, Gireseppi Cambini and Paul
The ensemble is composed of UNL faculty
members. David Van de Bogart, Wesley Hoist,
Robert O'Boyle, Gary Echols and David Kappy.
Thu came group presented an informal mini
concert in the Nebraska Union main lounge last
1 he recital tonight is free.
difficulties have necessitated the
of the Lincoln Silent Film Society.
be no showing of the "Four
' program Thursday aa was originally
thur&day, October 24, 1974
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