Last night, Hubs and I were looking for something to watch when I hit an episode of A Crime to Remember on ID (Investigation Discovery) that we hadn't seen yet. I don't remember the title, but it detailed a killing spree in Lincoln, NE back in 1957.
The details seemed familiar, but I couldn't put my finger on it. So during a commercial break, I did some googling. Turns out it was the Starkweather murders.
Not familiar with the Starkweather murders? Billy Joel mentioned them in his song "We Didn't Start the Fire" - 'Starkweather homicides, children of Thalidomide". Or if you've ever seen the movie The Frighteners, the bad guy in that says something to the effect of 'got me one more than Starkweather'. Oh, and I guess there was a movie based on the killing spree - Badlands, starring Cissy Spacek and Martin Sheen, in 1973.
You see, 19 year old Charlie Starkweather decided he was going to do some killing one day. No one quite knows the reason. And he took his 14 year old girlfriend, Caril Ann, along for the ride. They started out with a gas station attendant and ended with the murder of a traveling salesman. Eleven people dead by the time they were through - including her mother, her stepfather, and her 2 year old baby sister.
Starkweather got the chair in June of 1959. His girlfriend got life in prison, but got out in 1976 - perhaps because she was only 14 at the time of the murders and some bleeding heart decided she'd served enough time. I dunno.
She maintains she had nothing to do with the killings, but I'm not buying it. Some of the details seemed... off... somehow. In one case, he shot two teenagers - a boy and a girl. The girl was mutilated with a knife afterwards. Later, he shoots a husband and ties up the wife and the maid. The wife and the maid were stabbed to death, but he claims they were alive when he left them. A rifle was his weapon of choice. Stabbing seems more her thing.
She claims that he was holding her captive. Of course, the fact that they spent 6 days in the house with her dead family and she did nothing to alert the authorities makes me think she wasn't quite the victim she wanted people to believe she was.
The world will never know for certain.
What do you think?