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On this day in 1958: Starkweather's killing spree ends with his Wyoming capture

On this day in 1958: Starkweather's killing spree ends with his Wyoming capture


Charles Starkweather leaves the Scottsbluff County Jail in Gering, Nebraska, on Jan. 31, 1958. Directly behind Starkweather is Lancaster County Sheriff Merle Karnopp.

Charles Starkweather's killing spree began Jan. 21, when he murdered his girlfriend's mother, stepfather and baby sister. It ended with his arrest eight days later near Douglas, Wyoming.

By that time, he had killed seven more people while he and 14-year-old Caril Ann Fugate roamed Nebraska. Starkweather later confessed to murdering a gas station attendant during a robbery Dec. 1, 1957, more than seven weeks before his January killing spree. Ten of the 11 victims were Nebraskans. The other was a Montanan who was killed in Wyoming shortly before Starkweather's capture.

On Jan. 29, Starkweather was speeding down a Wyoming highway when he was met by a roadblock. He turned around, but two officers caught up with him about five miles west of Douglas. 

The chase passed through Douglas, with officers firing shots, despite other traffic. They rammed the Packard, ripping off its bumper. About four miles southeast of Douglas, shots shattered Starkweather’s rear window. Glass fragments cut his ear. He surrendered.

As the police drove him to county jail, Starkweather asked them to go easy on Caril. She had nothing to do with it, he said.

About 2:30 p.m., police booked Starkweather into jail, ending a 550-mile manhunt that left 11 dead. He would later say, “In a way I’m not sorry at all because Caril and me had more fun than we ever did in our life.”



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