Where is Caril Ann Fugate Today? Was She Innocent or Not?
Where is Caril Ann Fugate today: Caril Ann Fugate established a place for herself in American criminal history long before true crime podcasts and films focused on youthful serial killers in the United States. Caril, at the age of 14, made history in 1958 when he was tried for and convicted of first-degree murder.
Caril was taken into custody for her alleged role in her ex-boyfriend Charles Starkweather’s murder spree. When they were dating, Charles (then 19) claimed that Caril assisted him in the murder of several people. Charles, who was arrested for allegedly demanding that his former partner be “on [his] lap” if he was to be executed by electric chair, made this statement during his detention. Caril, on the other hand, has never questioned her purity.
The case of Caril and Charles has been the focus of several movies, including The Sadist (1963) and Natural Born Killers (1994). As a matter of fact, Charles was put to death in the electric chair in 1959 at the Nebraska Prison. Caril is still alive and well and will perhaps see justice served in the Showtime series The 12th Victim. Follow Caril’s current adventures to find out how this case has impacted her life.
Who is Caril Ann Fugate?
At age 19, Caril Ann Fugate became the youngest woman in American history to be tried and convicted of first-degree murder. She dated serial killer Charles Starkweather when they were both teenagers; Starkweather was 14 and she was 14. She was found guilty of being an accessory and given a life sentence; she served 17 years before being granted release in 1976.
Where is Caril Ann Fugate today?
After her mother, stepfather, and 2-year-old sister were killed in Nebraska, Caril testified that Charles kept her with him against her will after the couple departed the state. Charles’ attorneys denied Caril’s claims and maintained their client had the right to leave at any time. Caril was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison by the jury, which concurred with Starkweather’s defense team.
Caril was finally eligible for parole 17 years after her conviction, in 1976. She was released from a Nebraska jail and found work as a janitor in Michigan’s Lansing. After Caril’s retirement, she wed Frederick Clair, a machinist and weather observer, in 2007.
Caril formally changed her name to Clair after she got married. Her marriage to her spouse was cut short after only six years when he was killed. The couple’s car crashed on a Michigan highway in 2013. Caril had serious injuries, but Frederick was pronounced dead at the hospital. As far as age went, he was already 81.
The Detroit News then reported in February 2020 that Caril had gone to the Nebraska Board of Pardons to get her name cleared of the 1958 charges. She was 76 years old and had been out of prison for decades, yet she said that her bogus conviction for the crimes was the most significant event of her life.
Caril noted in her pardon application in 2020, “the concept that posterity has been led to believe that I (willingly engaged) in a murder spree is too much for me to stomach.” A pardon “may lighten this horrible load in some little way.”
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Was Caril Ann Fugate Innocent?
Caril and her legal team have maintained that she was Charles’ “12th victim” and that she did not participate in any of the 11 murders for which she was convicted of providing material support.
Showtime’s documentary series’ director Nicola B. Marsh puts the blame for the current state of Caril’s life on the media’s interest in her story. The director of 20 Feet From Stardom blames Caril’s life path on “police and prosecutorial malfeasance” in the case of the murders of her family.
The opportunity to “upend a narrative that has really calcified and become kind of like lore” is “always really amazing,” Nicola told the Lincoln Journal Star in Nebraska. The challenge of telling the story through Caril’s perspective was exciting. That’s been done, I’m sure, but it wasn’t included in the standard account of the events of 1958.
Even though numerous of the victims’ loved ones have publicly defended Caril, her innocence is still hotly debated among true crime fans. In particular, Liza Ward (granddaughter of two of Starkweather’s victims) is convinced of Caril’s innocence after conducting significant research into the case.
In an interview with NBC News, Ward said, “the more [she] learned, the more [she] realized that something wasn’t right” when trying to piece together what had happened to her grandparents.
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Does the Film “The 12th Victim” Star Caril Ann Fugate?
Notably absent from the making of The 12th Victim was Caril. The docuseries does, however, feature various tapes of her discussions with retired U.S. Department of Justice trial attorney Linda M. Battisti and Lincoln attorney John Stevens Berry. Caril Fugate was interviewed by Battisti and Berry for their 2014 book, The Twelfth Victim: The Innocence of Caril Fugate in the Starkweather Murder Rampage.
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