Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Charles Starkweather & Caril Fugate

Run and Kill Again

Once Starkweather and Caril realized that they had better skip town, they also understood that Charlie's car was not going to take them very far. For one thing, the tires were shot. Charlie tried to repair the worst one before they left, but the repair didn't hold and soon they were looking for a garage.

One place they could find temporary refuge was Charlie's seventy-two-year-old family friend, August Meyer. By all accounts, August Meyer was a kindly old bachelor who had known Charlie since he was a boy. Meyer had a farm some twenty miles outside Lincoln where Charlie used to hunt. On January 27, they pulled onto the dirt track that led to Meyer's farm and immediately got mired in the mud.

It is hard to say why exactly since Caril and Charlie's stories were very contradictory and unsatisfactory but Charlie shot August Meyer in the head. As in the other murders, Charlie unconvincingly claimed that the killing occurred in self-defense. According to Charlie, Meyer tried to shoot him and the gun jammed, so Charlie shot back. Then Charlie wounded Meyer's dog as it ran away across the snowy meadow.

Charlie carried the body of his old friend into an out-building and hid it with a blanket. Then he and Caril went into Meyer's home, stole his money and guns, ate his food and fell asleep.

The next day, a neighbor helped them free their car from the mud and they drove up to Meyer's farm by a different road. When Charlie checked on the body of his friend, he was spooked by the fact that the blanket was suddenly gone. Fearing discovery, Charlie and Caril took their car down the path in which they first got stuck in the mud. Not surprisingly, the intellectually challenged couple got stuck once again. Taking only their weapons, they left the old Ford where it was.

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