Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Charles Starkweather & Caril Fugate

The Chase

Caril in custody
Caril in custody

Immediately, Caril jumped out of the back seat and ran up to Romer. "Take me to the police!" she cried.

"Well, I'm a deputy sheriff," he assured her.

"He's killed a man," she blurted out, crying and pointing to the car.

By this time, Charlie had run to the Packard and was driving back towards the town of Douglas. Romer ordered a roadblock and began his pursuit. Douglas Police Chief Robert Ainslie, who happened to be in his car with Sheriff Earl Heflin of Converse County, Wyoming, received Romer's call.

When the Packard raced by them on the road to Douglas, the two men chased it at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour. Heflin shot out the back window of the Packard with his carbine. Suddenly, Starkweather came to an abrupt halt right in the middle of the highway.

The two seasoned lawmen pulled up behind the Packard cautiously and waited until Starkweather got out. They told Charlie to put his hands up, but he didn't, so Ainslee shot the ground near Charlie's feet. This time Ainslie told him to lie down on the ground, but instead Charlie reached in back of his pants. Thinking that Charlie was reaching for a weapon in his back pocket, Ainslie shot at him again. By this time, Charlie decided to stop tucking in his shirttail and lay down like he was told to.

Why did he suddenly stop? Because he thought he had been shot. In actuality, the bleeding around his ear was a cut from the broken window glass. Heflin was disgusted. "He thought he was bleeding to death. That's why he stopped. That's the kind of yellow sonofabitch he is."

Yellow or not, he photographed well in a Hollywood-kind of way. "Bloodied, in chains, shaggy-haired, a cigarette dangling from his lips, wearing his black leather motorcycle jacket, tight black denim pants, blue and white cowboy boots with a butterfly design on the toes he was a perfect-looking young rebel-killer." (Allen) The first American teenage spree killer caught on camera.

Starkweather the Celebrity
Starkweather the Celebrity

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