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    December 10: 1994: Darrel Cooley was shot several time in Jethroe’s Steakhouse in Erie, PA. Vance Haskell was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Curtis Mathis convicted of being an accomplice, sentenced to 3-7 years in prison.

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This Date in History: Charles Starkweather kills Bartlett family 1958

starkweather-victimsCharles Starkweather kills his girlfriend’s family at their home in Lincoln, Nebraska, and begins a week-long crime spree that leaves 10 dead. The teenager was waiting for 14-year-old Caril Ann Fugate to return home from school when he got into a fight with her parents, Marion and Velda. Starkweather shot them both with a shotgun as Caril Ann came in, and she watched him go to the bedroom and choke to death her two-year-old sister, Betty Jean.

Starkweather and Fugate then sat down and watched television together. When Caril Ann began to worry that relatives might show up and find the murdered family, Starkweather attached a note to the front door that said, “Stay a Way. Every body is sick with the flu.” For the next two days, Caril Ann successfully turned away relatives and police officers who came inquiring about the family. When Caril Ann’s grandmother finally came back to check again, the house was empty. When the bodies were finally discovered, Starkweather and Fugate were driving out of town.

For the next few days the couple sped around the back highways of the northern plains, killing new victims and stealing their cars. Among the victims were wealthy businessman, C. Lauer Ward, his wife, Clara, and their maid, Lillian Fenci. The women had been stabbed repeatedly. Over 1,200 men were assigned to capture Starkweather and Fugate, but they slipped into Wyoming, where salesman Merle Collison became their last victim.

When police officers stumbled on to Starkweather struggling with yet another victim, Fugate ditched her partner and claimed that he had been holding her hostage. Starkweather was apprehended after a high-speed chase. Initially, Starkweather went along with Fugate’s hostage story but abandoned it when it came time for her trial. Both were convicted. Fugate received a life sentence and Starkweather went to the electric chair on June 24, 1959.

The man who told officers in his confession that, “The more I looked at people the more I hated them because I knowed they wasn’t any place for me with the kind of people I knowed,” showed no remorse to the end. He refused to donate his eyes to an organ bank, saying, “No one ever did anything for me. Why the hell should I do anything for anyone else?”

Victims
Robert Colvert, 21 (12/1/1957)
Marion Bartlett, 57 (1/21/1958)
Velda Bartlett, 36 (1/21/1958)
Betty Jean Bartlett, 2 (1/21/1958)
August Meyer, 70 (1/27/1958)
Robert Jensen, 17 (1/27/1958)
Carol King, 16 (1/27/1958)
Chester Lauer Ward, 47 (1/28/1958)
Clara Ward, 50 (1/28/1958)
Lillian Fencl, 51 (1/28/1958)
Merle Collison, 34 (1/28/1958)

Find-A-Grave: Robert George “Bobby” Colvert
Find-A-Grave: Marion Bartlett
Find-A-Grave: Velda M. Street Bartlett
Find-A-Grave: Betty Jean Bartlett
Find-A-Grave: August Meyer
Find-A-Grave: Robert W. Jensen
Find-A-Grave: Carol King
Find-A-Grave: Chester Lauer Ward
Find-A-Grave: Clara Olson Ward
Find-A-Grave: Lillian Fencl
Find-A-Grave: Merle Collison
1958 : Killer couple strikes the heartland
Snarling Killer Behind Bars; Fear More Victims
Innocent Please Are Made By Starkweather, His Young Girl Friend
Final Arguments Begin In Starkweather Trial
Starkweather Case to Jury
Starkweather Ordered To Die In Electric Chair
Caril Story Of Killings Due Next
Mass Slayer Charles Starkweather Says He Doesn’t Care If Girl Lives Or Dies
Caril Fugate Says She Pleaded With Charles Starkweather For Lives Of 2
Tried to Flee From Killer, Caril Testifies
Caril Loved Spree Murderer
Caril’s Fate Up to Jury
Caril Is Guilty, Gets Life
Starkweather Is Granted New Stay Of Execution
Charles Starkweather Executed
Calm To The End, No Final Words
Caril Fugate Paroled, Spent 18 Years in Prison
Charles Starkweather
CHARLES STARKWEATHER CARIL ANN FUGATE «NATURAL BORN KILLERS»
Starkweather’s lasting impact on society and pop culture
Charles Starkweather and Caril Fugate Trials: 1958 – Tough Background, Hostage Or Killer?
Investigator’s file lends fresh look at Charles Starkweather murder spree
Murderpedia: Charles Raymond Starkweather
Charles Starkweather
Murder She Wrote
The Dark Side of Nebraska: Charles Starkweather

Books
Born Bad
Starkweather : Inside the Mind of a Teenage Killer
Waste Land : The Savage Odyssey Of Charles Starkweather And Caril Ann Fugate
Outside Valentine: A Novel (written by the granddaughter of C. Lauer and Clara Ward – it is fiction and not about the actual murders; looks interesting)

Movies/Documentaries
Badlands
Natural Born Killers
Starkweather
Murder in the Heartland
Murderers, Mobsters & Madmen Vol. 1
A Crime to Remember: Teenage Wasteland

starkweather-fugate.jpg
Caril Ann Fugate and Charles Starkweather

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90 Responses

  1. Bonnie~ With your researches in to crime, I was wondering if you happened across an article of woman, possibly by the name of Betty Lou, being killed in 2005, by her husband or boyfriend, in Spartanburg, Gaffney, or Columbia SC. It may have mentioned she was a dancer, maybe.
    I know, pretty sketchy information. But, she was a friend, well actually an acquaintance…but she had a heart of gold.

  2. The date you have listed for Charles Starkweather’s execution is incorrect. His execution took place after midnight, making it June 25, 1959.

    June 25th happens to be my birthday. Thank you State of Nebraska. 😦

  3. Duane,

    Thanks for the info! I believe that came from the HistoryChannel.com and I have noticed alot of little mistakes from them. I just checked the photo of his headstone that I took when I visited there and it does indeed say the 25th.

    Thanks! I will be updating this post hopefully this weekend.

  4. No problem. His headstone actually has an error on it too. I had read that a total stranger paid for it in December 1970. It lists his date of birth as November 25th when it’s actually November 24th!

  5. Actually, Martin Sheen paid for his headstone after doing the movie “Badlands” which is a very very fictionalized version of the story.

  6. Where did you get that info from? Charlie’s tombstone was purchased in December 1970. Badlands wasn’t made until 1973. Charlie’s tombstone was purchased years BEFORE the movie was ever made. Besides, Sheen had only starting acting in 1968 and it was his first film. I seriously doubt he’d have had the funds in 1970 to have done it. I’ll be heading out to Nebraska shortly and when I’m there I’ll stop by the Lincoln library to see the file with all the articles on the case, so I’ll find out the truth.

  7. When I was in Lincoln, my brother-in-law told me about it, I guess it is common knowledge there. I don’t think it happened exactly after the movie, but sometime after that. But here is a link:

    http://fullmetalattorney.blogspot.com/2005_10_01_archive.html

    Since you are going there, here is a link that tells you where some of the other graves are (I did not know this or I would have gone to these too):

    http://www.yourhometown.org/page36.html (Bennettt)

  8. That’s pretty funny, some guy going by what his girlfriend said. I just got back from Lincoln, and I wish I had more time there. According to the articles I photocopied at the Bennet Martin Library in Lincoln, a guy named Jerry Petty visited Lincoln and couldn’t find Charlie’s grave. Upon finding that Charlie was buried in an unmarked grave, he offered to buy one, but he to get Charlie’s father’s permission. 13 days later Charlie got a grave marker.

    I’ve seen that other site. I used FindAGrave.com and the Wyuka Cemetary’s website to help find the gravesites of Charlie, his dad (who’s buried way on the other side of the cemetary), the Wards (buried next to each other, with Mr. Ward buried next to his parents), & the Bartletts (one grave marker for all 3). When driving through Bennet I came upon the cemetary and found August Meyer & Robert Jensen with relative ease. Each were buried alongside their parents and other family members. Carol king’s was more difficult as she was buried on the other side of the cemetary with her family members. I fell sad for her, I can understand burying her with her family, but her and Robert Jensen were engaged to be married and I would have thought they would have been buried together.

    That only leaves Lilian Fencl (who’s buried in Wahoo), Robert Colvert, & Merle Collison. No one ever hears about the first and last victim. I still have no info on Merle Collison, but from articles at the library I found that Robert Colvert is buried in Beaver Crossing (west of Lincoln).

    I also visited many of the areas where the murders happened. Caril’s mom & stepdad’s house was torn down and is now part of a shopping center. Charlie’s parents left their house and later divorced. No one wanted to move into the house so it was torn down. It apparantly was replaced because I found the street and where 3024 N Street should be is a concrete house with the number 3027-30. All of the surrounding houses are clearly older wooden houses. The boarding house where Charlie lived was torn down but I couldn’t find what’s in it’s place as I couldn’t find any address numbers on 10th Street. The Ward’s house has had many people live in it since then. I thought no one lived on August Meyer’s farm since then, but according to newspaper articles someone did move in afterwards. I never could find and address or the arm so I couldn’t locate it.

    It was a fun vacation. In a year I hope to go back. Next time I’m getting on a plane and renting a car. Driving almost 1700 miles was somewhat fun, but damn it got tiring!

  9. Oh, forgot to post this. It was the December 4, 1970 Lincoln Evening Journal that first posted “Visitor Wants To Mark Grave”. The December 7, 1970 issue posted “Starkweather’s Grave Will Have Marker”, and the December 17, 1970 issue posted “Marker Is Bought For Grave”.
    Badlands wasn’t filmed for another couple of years.

  10. I’ve just discovered this fascinating story! May I ask where you were able to find Charlie’s parent’s address and the address of the boarding house where he lived? I’m in the area and would like to check it out as well!

  11. I have always been curious about the location of the house where the Ward couple and their maid were murdered in. I had a lot of friends who lived in the general area of the killings and was always just curious. The only references I have ever seen to an address are that it was on Sheridan street, and that it was on S. 24th street, but Sheridan street does not ever cross 24th Street. Can anyone lead me to the information I am looking for>

  12. I thought it was at 22nd and Van Dorn, but maybe it is 24th and Van Dorn. Anyway, it is South of Van Dorn and the East and West side of the street are separated by an enormous island like Sheridan is giving a resemblance to it. It’s been awhile since I have seen it, but the house still looks the same as it does in the photographs. It would be on the West side of the street. If I remember correctly, it has green trim on it. I know it was a white house and it is an odd-shaped house. The front looks normal (the house facing East, you’d be looking West), but the back extends back aways and gives the appearance that the house would be L-shaped from an aerial view. Hope that helps.

  13. I did some digging and found the name of the current owners which led me to the address. Thanks for the info, your description is correct.

  14. There were in fact two headstones marking Charles Starkweather’s grave.The latter stone which someone stated was purchased by Martin Sheen is pink granite while the original headstone was gray.I’ve seen both personally over the years.I too have never been able to find out much about his last victim,Merle Collison of Great Falls,Montana.The poor man happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when Charlie crossed paths with him.I read awhile back that one of the arresting officers in Wyoming,former Douglas Police Chief Robert Ainslie took his own life.It was many years after Starkweather’s apprehension though.I also believe that Caril Fugate was a willing accomplice,not from Charlie’s testimony because he was a pathological liar but from her conflicting stories to the authorities after her capture.Not to say that she should have rode the juice like Starkweather but she deserved a longer sentence than 18 years or her complicity in the killing spree.jmho

  15. I found myself fascinated and horrified by Mr. and Mrs. Ward and their maid’s murders, and strangely fascinated by their beautiful white house. I would love to see it inside, I would not want to see anything morbid, from what I have read, an uncle and aunt of the Ward’s son took it over and raised him there. His daughter, Liza Ward, wrote a book based on the murders called, “Outside Valentine” in 2004. I have been looking on 2d and 3d street maps yesterday, and because of the location of the island in regard to the sidewalk and right side of the house, I think the house faces the end of Lafayette Street. The Ward’s and the maid, Miss Fencl, unfortunately seem to have gotten the worst of the entire affair. Their house, was fortunately used and loved by the family for several years. And, as I hope about a lot of homes, I do hope it wasn’t trashed by heavy remodelings. I also wonder what happened to their 1956 Packard.

  16. It’s news to me that Charlie had two headstones. The article I found stated that he was buried in an unmarked grave until a Memphis native Jerry Petty paid for a marker in December 1970. Originally he planned a marker with light colors, but Charlie’s father told him Charlie liked darker colors, so he went with that. The pic I took back in March doesn’t look pink to me. But if it were true, it would be interesting. I read the story about Robert Ainslie. He was well into his late 80’s and I believe this was in the 1980’s and he was possibly in failing health. I think Caril got a raw deal out of the whole ordeal. There’s really no proof that she killed anyone. The thing people don’t stop to realize is that she was a 14 year old girl. When she was in custody in Wyoming, the police said she had to be sedated cause she was hysterical. That’s hardly the state of mind of a cold blooded killer. And like Tim Roth said “when you see your boyfriend blow someone’s head off with a shotgun, you do what the guy with the gun tells you what to do”.

    About the Wards Packard, I read that in the early 80’s it was sold to a farmer for a few hundred dollars, and he had plans to restore it. Hell, I’d like to know what ever happened to Charlie’s 49 Ford and Robert Jensens car (wasn’t it a 1950 Ford?)

    As for how I was able to find the address, I found everything in several books I have (Starkweather: Portrait Of A Mass Murderer, Headline: Starkweather). And yes, the Ward house is on S. 24th Street.

  17. I’d like to know what happened to the principal vehicles in that affair, myself. I’d think Robert Jensen’s parents kept his car as long as they could stand it, perhaps giving it to a relative, and maybe the Starkweathers disposed of Charlie’s car as quickly as they could. I could swear there were also a couple of television news reports from the ’70s rebroadcast years later, that had shots inside of part of the Ward’s home. According to Liza Ward’s (their granddaughter) book, the entire front 1st floor is the living room. That house seems to be the only remaining crime scene. And like I mentioned, it was retained, loved and enjoyed for some years after the fact.

  18. I’m from Lincoln and lived here all my life. The Charles Starkweather story is imfamous and everyone knows it. My father was only 9 when the murders occured and to this day refuses to share the events that took place. Its a sacred tale and no one is very up to discussing it. If you can find the location of the Lincoln country club the Ward’s Home is just outside the entrance I believe. The problem with Charles’s house is that it is Sheridan Bullivard not street, that might help in loctaing his home. I had a friend when i was younger who lived next door, always said she was really creeped out by it. The house was always kept up and I believe the family did some renovations in order to sort of ‘not relive it’ if that makes sense. Sadly Wyuka cemetery never gives out the plot location of Charles because it is so heavily vandalized. So if you plan to visit it look ahead of time and don’t ask about it. Its facinatiting to hear people so interested in this piece of history. Hope that helps a little.

  19. Hi Anna Marie, thank you for sharing your spin on that awful piece of history. If the Ward’s family renovated their place, that would be one thing. I can’t blame them for being reticent to always being reminded of that horror. Not only is the fact that Mr. and Mrs. Ward and Miss Fencl got the longest and worst of the murder campaign, that wonderful house just fascinates me, and I’d love to see in it, or see non-offensive photos of it inside. Briefly, the current trend of destroying older home interiors to fit current trends leaves me cold. I can’t stop people from “improving” their own homes though. I mentioned in an earlier posting that I located the Ward home via aerial view, in regard to the island in the middle of 24th Street. I think the house would face an end of Laffayette Street. I do also know that a shopping center sits on the Belmont Avenue location of the Bartlett home. I’m going to try to locate a copy of the book someone wrote in 1960 about that case. I bet it covers things a little more completely than later writings. Thanks for the information again Anna Marie and other interested parties, these things are sadly fascinating.

  20. I think you are a little confused, Anna Marie, when you wrote:

    “The problem with Charles’s house is that it is Sheridan Bullivard not street, that might help in loctaing his home …”

    It is the Ward house that was located on Sheridan Blvd., not Charles’ house.

  21. The Ward home is on S. 24th and Laffayette Streets, the Bartlett home was on Belmont Avenue, the Starkweather home was on Sheridan St. or Blvd. perhaps. The 1960 book about the case I’ll bet actually has all the correct locations. January 29 will be the 50th anniversary of the end of the killings. I found the Ward home on one of those overhead map sites, it looks like a backward capital L. Also, a YouTube video has some film and the address of the Ward house! I’m going to look again after I post this. I wonder what’s going to appear on TV of this unhappy anniversary?

  22. Sadclown 456 has a series of videos entitled “Murder Week The Story of Charles Starkweather”. I just watched parts one and two, there are some pieces of misinformation, but the Ward’s address and stock and newer footage of their house. Also a lot of other interesting bits.

  23. My rooming house address was 425 N. 10th.

  24. […] them because I knowed they wasn’t any place for me with the kind of people I knowed,” he said in his confession. Starkweather palliated his isolation by aping James Dean, dreaming of a big robbery score, and […]

  25. One wonders if Charles rests in peace on the 49th anniversary of his execution. I am more concerned about his (and maybe) Caril’s victims. I went through the Lincoln newspaper 50th year edition, it was interesting reading it within a day or so of the happenings. I hope his family and her family are doing well, they supported him as a son and brother, not as a murderer. Caril got married! Sketchy details in the Lincoln newspaper site say sometime in 2007.

  26. I’m more concerned with the survivors of the victims families, as well as the victims. Caril Ann actually got married last year! If she was actually innocent of any wrong doing, I wish her well.

  27. I just got back from another trip to Lincoln. At the time of the murder spree, Charlie’s parents address was 3024 N Street. I do remember seeing a newspaper clip of an announcement of Charlie’s birth and it was a different address, which would explain why Charlie went to schools on the other side of town. Anyway, the Lincoln Journal Star did post the story of how Charlie’s original grave marker was trashed and Martin Sheen did pay for the second one.

    For the people that live in Lincoln, where is the Meyer farm at? I’ve tried to find it last year and several times when I was there last week to no avail. I never have seen and address on it. Also, what sits on 425 N. 10th St. now? I drove down it several times and can’t figure out what sits where the boarding house once stood.

    Oh, June 25th, my birthday. I went to Wyuka, asked for a map, was asked who I was looking for. My girlfriend told the lady at the reception desk “I’ll give you 3 guesses”. Her response: “Oh you must be looking for what”s his name. Trust me, he’s not worth it.” While at the Bartlett grave site, I swear I saw Caril Ann Fugate. When we left the woman & man drove and parked where we were and wenr over to where the Bartletts are buried.

    All in all, another fun trip. Can’t wait to go again next year!

  28. For those of you living in the area, do you know where the Meyer farm is? I just got back from Lincoln and while in Bennet, I still couldn’t find it. The farm is the only place I could never find an actual address on.

  29. I’d like to know where the Meyer farm is or was too. There was film showing the place as recently as the 35th anniversary on “Inside Edition” or one of the tabloid shows of the time. Yes, a lot can happen to the place in 15 years, it looked deserted at that time.
    Duane, your trip to Lincoln sounded fascinating. I wonder what the current owners of the Ward house might have to deal with if approached. It has to be a trip to live in that house. I wish someone would compile a complete video of the various tv shows over the years showing the case. I still would like to see crime scene pics, without the victims in them, as I would not want to see them in death.
    I found exactly one color picture of Charles Starkweather, in the Lincoln newspaper accounts on the 50th year articles. I wonder how many ’58 color shots of the case were even taken? That would be another interesting thing to see.

  30. helaas ben ik niet zo goed in engels maar ik moet zeggen dat ik de film in het jaar 2000 heb gezien en het heeft indruk op mij gemaakt het was wel een oude film ik heb gezocht in videotheken en winkels of hij nog te koop was helaas nergens meer zou de film eens niet herhaald worden

  31. We just took a historical tour last night (yes, NIGHT) through Wyuka cemetary and one of the stops was Starkweather’s grave. Yes, the sight was originally unmarked (as a pauper’s grave) until the first headstone was purchased in 1970. However, that headstone had been vandalized several times, so the current pink granite headstone was purchased as a more durable replacement. Although the historian could not confirm that the replacement was purchased by Sheen, it isn’t that far-fetched. Besides, someone else said they found confirmation in the archives of the Lincoln newspaper that Sheen bought the new headstone, and we all know you can take the media’s word as fact. Right??

  32. I think as of 12:01 early this morning, Charles Starkweather was executed 50 years ago on this date.

  33. Yep. It’s the 50th Anniversary and it’s my 39th birthday! I’m in Lincoln now and no one here is aware of it. The Journal Star did a write up covedring the 50th Anniversary of the killing spree in January 2008, but today, no write up, or anything. It appears that the Meyer farm was torn down and a new house built. I can’t seem to get any info on when it happened but a paramormal group went out there in August 2005 and it was still there then. A lady from the Journal Star claims the Ward house was torn down years ago but I know it as still standing last year when I as here. There’s a clip on You Tube from a show called Most Evil and they show a retired cop turned private eye at the Meyer farm and it appeared Charlie’s 49 Ford was still there, but again, no idea what year it was filmed. It’s getting harder and harder to find any info here.

  34. Happy Birthday Duane! The Ward’s house is next door to the country club at 2843 S. 24th St. It’s a white brick house with green shutters. House needs paint, I wish I could see inside it, beautiful home. Maybe you could get pics of the outside without upsetting the owner? It shows up on Zillow, 5 bed. 5 bath, built in 1932. I watched a video on the 23rd with paranormal investigators at the Wyoming State Prison, Caril’s Jr. High school, (name escapes me) where they claim to have made some connection to Charles. They made a trip out to August Meyer’s farm, all they really showed of the inside was the linoleum pattern inside the kitchen door. Also a brief scene in front of the Ward house, and the lot where the Bartlett’s house was. There is supposedly a lot of information in the Lincoln Library, but I imagine you’ve tried that route. I can see why people would like to forget, but that is way too important historically to let it blow away. Too much history, good or bad is lost to stupidity and neglect. Have a successful trip, I’ll be looking for some follow up! And enjoy your Birthday! Thanks for your update!

  35. hi, i was wondering if anyone knows whatever became of charles remaining family members in later years after his execution?

  36. Unfortunately, this isn’t really an answer, I’d like to know too. There is a Fugate who bowls in our local bowling alley, who I’d love to ask if they are related to Caril. And as far as Charle’s family, many people don’t know or believe that the family didn’t commit or approve of the murders, and therefore believe the lot of them are just as guilty. I am not one of them.

  37. Well, let me re-phrase this question. what i meant when i asked if anyone knows whatever became of charles family-was i meant are any of his parents or siblings still living? and if so, do they still live in Nebraska?

  38. I met Caril and her new husband about a year and a half ago, by introduction from an older attorney and former radio talk show host who has long taken an interest in the case (and interviewed her on air in the 90’s).

    She seems like your typical nice old lady, if anyone wants to know.

    Said attorney is adamant Caril would not be convicted if tried today, due to all the things that have changed in criminal law since the 50’s, most notably Brady v Maryland.

  39. I would highly recommend that you stay away from trying to find the August Meyer farm as it is privately owned, therefore it is trespassing to try and find it without permission. I found out the hard way as I was caught trying to find it by the owners.

  40. From my trip back in June, there’s not much to update about. I was told that a woman that runs a cafe/bar in Bennet had been there the longest (about 20 years) and one woman working there said it was torn down almost 20 years ago. That doesn’t jive as I mentioned that a paranormal group was there in August 2005 and it was still standing. That lady that runs the place did say that the farmhouse was torn down years ago but didn’t know what year. There are a lot of houses being built in the area so it would make sense. For those that live in the area, I was told to go to the intersection of Bennet Rd & 176th Ave, and it was just a bit north on 176th. There’s a small house there now, I believe the Meyer Farm was behind where the house is now. Sad, I kind of hope it was torn down before my first trip in March 2007. A woman from the Journal Star told me that the Ward house was torn down too. I went there and it’s still there (in dire need of a paintjob!), it was the corner house two houses down that was torn down.

  41. About Charlie’s family, Charlie’s dad died on August 16, 1979, and he’s buried at Wyuka Cemetary, but way on the other side of the cemetary from where Charlie’s buried. From what I read, Charlie’s dad was the only one that would visit his grave. I would guess he would have wanted to be buried near Charlie, but I guess you don’t get to pick where you get buried at there. Ironically I was trying to find his grave when I got the word Farrah Fawcett died. While at Charlie’s grave my girlfriend got the word Michael Jackson died. Gee, I wonder who will die on my birthday next year!

    Charlie had 6 other siblings, his oldest brother Leonard is still living in Washington State. I think he was 23 at the time of the murder spree. At the time of the murder spree, Rodney was 19, LaVeta was 17, and Robert was 15. The two youngest were Gregg and David. One I believe was 8 the other just a few years old. David I read became either an actor or writer in Hollywood (and has changed his last name). I read on a message board a woman went to the University of Nebraska with one of the younger ones and she told her that of all his siblings, the one that was always the nicest to him was Charlie. “Then one day he went off the deep end”. Charlie’s parents split up 2 years after his execution and his mother left Lincoln. She’d be in her 90’s if she’d still be alive. I’ve read stories about how people in Lincoln looked down on the family. The people of Lincoln need to realize that the family wasn’t involved with the killing spree. Apparantly none of Charlie’s siblings were harrassed in school, but it wasn’t the same for their kids. Rodney had to have had it the worst. He was the one that found the Bartlett’s dead. His daughter did an interview with the Journal Star and she told of the harrasement her and her brother received. It got so bad for her that she quit school at 16. These kids were born 10 years after his execution and they had to endure all that.

  42. Interesting story about Charlie’s grave marker. I read the December 1970 article again. The guy from Tennessee had been told that Charlie’s dad would frequently visit the grave. Why did he pay for the grave marker? In his words “for the father, not for the son”. Funny that Charlie’s current marker is pink. The guy in 1970 was going to go with a light color until Charlie’s dad told him Charlie liked dark colors, hence the black grave marker. That I’d like to see a pic of. Say what you want about Charlie, he paid the ultimate price, why trash his grave marker?

  43. Oh, BTW, today is Charlie’s 71st birthday! Not to mention Ted Bundy’s too!

  44. Thanks for all of that update information Duane. I’m glad the Ward house hadn’t been torn down, but two doors away is still too close! I agree about the Starkweather family, there was no reason to persecute them. Or the remaining Fugates. I looked at the Google images of the Ward place recently, does need paint, in need of it for at least 15 years, when I saw it on TV then. I know the Bartlett house has been gone for years, and Meyer’s was there for the 2005 paranormal thing like you mentioned. I know that the house Dr. Sheppard’s wife Marilyn was murdered in in ’54 was torn down, no doubt for a McMansion.

  45. I was in the Ward house last night for a holiday party. I do not believe any structural modifications have been made; the upstairs room where Mrs. Ward and Miss Fencl were killed now serves as a guest room. I did not see the basement, but did see all of the first and second floors. I have several friends who live in the Country Club neighborhood, and most people living in these houses like maintaining their historic nature (the new-money McMansions start a couple miles to the south). I think the exterior may purposely have the whitewash-over-brick look, but I’m not sure.

    The owners are a lovely family (whom I know through horses) and their child does know what happened in the house. No paranormal activity has been experienced by the owners, and I defintely did not get any weird vibes from the room or house.

  46. Hi Julia, that’s fascinating about being in the Ward house, I have always wanted to see in it, as a result unfortunately of seeing it in the Starkweather book. It is a truly beautiful house in spite of the tragedy, and Mrs. Ward’s sister and her husband raised the Wards son, according to fact, and the book that their granddaughter Liza wrote, based on the tragedies. Since the house is supposed to be French style, I think the whitewashing is typical of that design. I am not an architect or any kind of authority, but I love old houses.

    I’ve been looking on the internet at Lincoln and the neighborhoods, and I’d move there in a minute if I had the money. A beautiful city.

    My roommate has a chance to move into a house up the road from here (Lakewood Park, Florida), on Belmont Avenue. Same name as the Bartlett’s street in Lincoln. I think the construction on S.24th Street has to do with the Country Club property, for whatever reason.

  47. When I was an over the road trucker,I’ve met guys that were from the Lincoln/Bennet Neb.area who were around when Starkweather went on that killing spree. They’ve all said the same thing that,”That girl was just as crazy as he was.”

  48. I as one that knew charile we went to JR. high together (whittier) charlie was an odd fellow i woulod’nt say that we were great friends but we did see one another off and on after that i grew up on D st and charlie was down in that area a lot he had friends there. Let me say this he didnt have many friends he had people that put up with out of fear he was one tough SOB any way i and my buddy had seen him the night after he had killed Bob Colvert we didnt know that at the time we were changing my buddy’s tire getting ready to go to the state and watch a movie when charlie pulled up and started to chat about nothing charlie made the comment “well i am big time now” either of us though a thing about it as he said stuff like that all the time. my point is this charlie and carol were both trouble she was just as odd as he there is nothing she (caril) wouldnt do when he told to. Those of us that lived in those days it was the worst time of our livies my Dad and all of neighbors left the keys in the car and slept with guns it was the worst kinda of fear you could think of. charlie got exactly what he asked for caril on the other hand didnt and i and a lot of others think she should have been sitting on his lap when they through the switch. remember the victims in this not the hand that brought the pain.

  49. You may think me harssh for my post but i live through that fear.

    • Joe,

      You are not harsh at all. My sister and her husband live in Lincoln and have taken me to his grave and a couple other places. They have told me that to this day Charlie and Caril are still hated for their crimes.

  50. Yea they are still very very hated in this town there are still very deep feelings about what they did. i am told by a retired state trooper that upon caril’s parol is that she is not allowed to step foot in nebraska with out permission and if she does get permission she has to have a state trooper with her at all times. this how nebraskan’s still feel about both of them. thanks for your comment. mylifeofcrime.
    Joe

  51. I guess this is the 53 anniversary of Charlie and Caril’s capture, and I sure still wonder, how often she thinks of this? I still find the follow up comments fascinating, and it is interesting to actually hear from people who either knew them, or was acquainted with either of them. Certainly not giving any status to them other than murderers, they are icons of evil.

  52. 12303 S 190th St
    Bennet, NE 68317

    This is the address of the August Meyer Farm.
    Just found it on google map, used the satilite map and it gives you the address of the house as this.

  53. Wow, thank you Sharon! Also, the Ward’s house has been sold since Julia went to the Christmas party there in December 2010. If I had been following closer, I might have seen a real estate listing with interior pictures. I have thought it was a gorgeous house ever since seeing the pictures in the red Starkweather book.

    • This is Julia – I am fairly certain the house at 2843 S 24th has not been sold since December 2010. I see the owners regularly and they definitely still live there.

  54. Glad to hear that Julia, I look that up on two different real estate sites as well as two other houses I became obsessed with. One site had a house I wanted pics of relisted with extra pics for one day, then went back to Off Market status quickly. However, according to Trulia, the Meyer house was built in 1910 and has three bedrooms, two baths. Over 2,000 sq ft of space, and he was a bachelor with a dog. Thanks again Sharon for the address. Too bad as has been mentioned the Starkweather residence and the Bartlett one are gone.

  55. My daughter lives in Lincoln and we have drove Sheridan Blvd., little did i know that this is where some of the murders happened. My next trip i will take notice of this and other places.
    I dont know if she knows much about these murders as she is only 23, but she will, we like to investigate these things together!
    Can someone let me know the titles of the books written on these murders? Thanks

  56. There is a rare one, “The Murderous Trail of Charles Starkweather” by James Melvin Reinhardt published in 1960, which for some reason is not the definitive book on the case. And the ones noted by Bonnie at the head of this blog. Another thing that was rather interesting was the LIFE Magazine story published a week after the last murder. You can find that on Google Books, in the scanned and printed entire magazine. The cover story is actually Ralph Bellamy as Franklin D. Roosevelt. And you get a feel of the world at the time of course, with the various ads and other articles that made the news too. The Ward house faces the corner of S24th and Lafayette. Sheridan drives into S24th. The actual address was published a few times, but the house is occupied, and I know the people don’t care for the notoriety. I’ll try to link one source about the Reinhardt book now. Oh, and today is the 54th year since the Bartlett murders. http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/2007-10744-000/

  57. Thanks Alan…can you recommend the best of these books? My daughter is interested in reading them.

  58. Jody, in my opinion, she’ll want to read Waste Land by Michael Newton, and Starkweather: Inside the Mind of a Teenage Killer by William Allen. I’m guessing she’s been through the Lincoln library, but here’s a link to it, with more books mentioned than Bonnie or I have noted. http://www.lincolnlibraries.org/reference/starkweather_case.htm

    • On the 9th of this month i was in Lincoln with my daughter, we went to Sheridan Blvd. and took 2 pictures of the Ward house from the road. They are on her and my cell phones and i dont know how to upload them here or to my computer for that matter. It had snowed almost a foot a few days before, but the house is in good shape as far as we could see. We will do this again in the near future with no snow, im sure.

  59. Jody, I don’t think it’s possible to post pictures here unfortunately, and the Ward house is still occupied by the same people that were briefly mentioned earlier in this thread. I keep “spying” on it through Google Maps, when you face the house from the street, the country club is two doors to the left. The country club has either been heavily remodeled or torn down and rebuilt, the street view of that is a building under construction. It’s also a three year old view. There was a great picture of the house on Flickr Photos, but it’s been taken down since. As we all know, there are privacy issues, pics from the street in my opinion are one thing. I’d love to see yours and your daughters pictures. I’d leave my email here, but that’s not a good idea. Maybe there’s a private way for members here to communicate. Thank you for the update!
    Furthermore, I found what I think is the Starkweather house from the address posted a few posts up via Google Maps. It’s from the teens or ’20s, on a nice street.

  60. I am very interested in the Starkweather/Fugate incident. I have several books and just ordered (and waiting on)“The Murderous Trail of Charles Starkweather” by James Melvin Reinhardt (hardcover). The murders were horrible, nightmarish. But I do have empathy For Charles; the crap he had to deal with from bullies really does kill the soul. And after his head injury, I think he should have gotten life, not the electric chair. As for Caril, all the evidence indicates she knew her family was dead. She admitted it to the police on the ride back from Wyoming and she admitted it several times. No sympathy for her. The case is very intriguing and Charlie remains quite interesting. Just ashame.

  61. I’ll be anxious to hear your take on the Reinhardt book Susanne. Is it a reprint, or an original copy? Possibly he has details left out of the other books published since then. I’ve always wondered what quality of life Caril has, and what members of her family survive. She did have a sister named Barbara, I know their father is dead.
    The case continues to fascinate me as well.

    • The book was somewhat disappointing,( I paid over $150 for it!)–Reinhardt-hardcover. The best book I read was WASTELAND by Newton. Interestingly, I was doing some digging on Zabasearch for Caril A. Fugate and found Caril A. Fugate now is Caril Ann Clair,Lansing, MI, Stryker, OH. You can find her exact address and phone number. I believe its The Caril A. Fugate as the DOB and ages line up exactly as well as the previous aliases. So I wonder how she feels about getting closer to maybe seeing Charlie again….I truly feel she was guilty…when she was caught she had pictures from the newspaper of her family being murdered and she slipped up several times in her interview. I live in Ohio too, it would be interesting to ride by the address they have listed for her and check it out..Which I may do…

  62. ‘Headline Starkweather’,by Earl Dyer is a very good read.He was a newspaper man with one of the Lincoln newspapers at the time of their murder spree.I believe William Allen’s book is excellent and the best of them all.Reinhardt’s is very stuffy,though he was the NU Criminology professor who actually spoke with Charlie for over 20 hours when he was allowed by the authorities to interview him in jail/prison.Newton’s work
    is good,and more of a contemporary read.

  63. Im going to look for the read by Dyer. Thanks, Jim

  64. I saw Most Evil this morning on Investigative Discovery, with an abbreviated story on Charles and Caril, with pictures inside the August Meyer house! As of 2007 it was a shambles, but showed the outside front, and two or three rooms inside. I can’t imagine why whoever owns it allowed it to fall into such disrepair. I don’t know yet if it’s possible to see the show or the Starkweather segment on IDs site or not. Charles received a 15 rating on the evil scale.

    • Oh wow, I’d love to see the inside of the Meyer farmhouse. Gonna have to look for that repeat. I watch ID incessantly but missed that one!!

      • Caril (Fugate) Clair, convicted murderess lives in Stryker, Ohio and still barks on about her innocence. She has hoodwinked the Church (not the first convict to do so!!!!)
        Does anybody know if she has ever had any decent input into the communities she has lived since her release, Bay City, Lansing, Stryker?

  65. I’d love to talk to Caril, just to see who/what she has evolved, or maybe devolved into. I’d also love to talk to Liza Ward who had written the fictionalized account of the crime spree and of her grandparent’s murders. I would love to have access to all the photos of all the scenes, minus the gruesome ones though. Over the years only one or two previously unpublished photos have turned up. There is one photo of Charles in color in a Lincoln newspaper site, and a portrait photo of C. Lauer Ward printed in Murderpedia.

  66. August 5, 2013, Frederick A. Clair and Caril Ann Fugate Clair were involved in a rollover accident in Michigan late at night. Mr. Clair was killed, Caril Ann in critical condition. Late news says she’s expected to live. Link to a Lansing, MI newspaper article. http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/article/20130806/NEWS01/308060035/Infamous-Badlands-murder-spree-convict-critically-hurt-in-I-69-crash

    • Hello folks, my father Frederick Clair married Caril and loved one another for 8 years it was probably the only happiness she has ever known. I have read all the books and transcripts and always thought she was guilty. After knowing Caril for 8 years I see a different side. Caril was 13 and some what poor and very nieve. Starkweather showed some attention to her and she fell head over hills for him. Caril is still in a Michigan hospital fighting for her life. She should be moving to a therapy unit in the next 30 to 60 days. I do know that Caril regrets all that has happen to all the victim’s and families and getting involved Starkweather every day of her life.
      May God Bless You All and I’ll keep in touch.
      Thank You.
      Tommie Clair. …….

  67. Hi folks,
    Caril clair is still in a michigan hospital fighting for her life. Hopefully she will be moved to a therapy unit in the next 30 to 60 days. I want you to know that caril appreciates and thanks you for all your prayers and concerns.
    Thank You and may God Bless All.

  68. Hi Tommie, thank you for the update.

  69. To Alan H
    I wish I had all the answers to this tradgity but I dont. I would however love to talk to anyone who is interested in talking about this case, pros or cons I would love to talk to any one who knew Caril Ann Fugate

  70. I was wondering whether anyone’s read either Jeff McArthur’s “Pro Bono” or Battisti’s and Berry’s “The 12th Victim” and whether either has caused them to re-think Caril Fugate Clair’s role in the spree? I admit I am having difficulty reconciling Deputy Sheriff Romer’s statements as to what Caril said while in his car. I mean, she ran screaming from the Collison car to Romer’s car, then somehow calmed down enough to make several conveniently damning statements, but was then incoherently hysterical upon her arrival at the jail?

  71. My grandpa Robert Ainslie is the one who caught him. I still have his 38special that he shot the window out of the car

  72. I still haven’t gotten the latest books on this case, but when I have better finances, I certainly will. Chris, that’s fascinating that you have your grandpa’s gun! I’d still love to know where Lauer Ward’s 1956 Packard Patrician sedan is. It’s supposed to be in western Nebraska, that much I’ve heard. Also, several pictures had been discovered in the wall of a condemned house, I don’t know if I mentioned that here or not. One picture is of Suzy the Ward’s poodle between a bed and a chair, and the sole of a shoe under the bed. Looks as if the owner of the shoe is under the bed.

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