Culture - The *Rainbow* Project - Hands
CultureSOUL*50s* - Helen Williams on the cover of Ebony Magazine, January 1959
One of the most notorious crime stories of the 1950s involved two teenagers from Nebraska. In 1957, 19-year old Charles Starkweather (who was obsessed with James Dean) began his rampage by killing a gas station attendant and then the family of his 14-year old girlfriend, Caril Ann Fugate. She helped him hide the bodies, they took off together and a two month murder spree spanning two states began. After murdering 11 people in Nebraska & Wyoming, they were both eventually captured.
Initially, Starkweather & Fugate both claimed that she was his hostage. Later during the trial, he revealed that she had assisted in the killings. The judge in the case stated that he not believe that Fugate was a hostage as she had numerous opportunities to escape. Starkweather received the death penalty and was executed in June of 1959, Fugate was sentenced to 17 years in prison and released in 1976.
There have been numerous loose depictions of this story including Bruce Springsteen's NEBRASKA, but the most acclaimed is probably Terrence Malick's brilliant 1973 movie BADLANDS which featured a very young Martin Sheen (his film debut) and Sissy Spacek as the killers.
More on the crime story here.
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