Starkweather: The Killing Spree That Changed America w/Harry N. MacLean

Season 18, Episode 146,   Dec 05, 2023, 09:00 AM

True Crime Tuesday presents: Starkweather: The Killing Spree That Changed America with Author/Researcher, Harry N. MacLean!

On January 21st, 1958, Charles Starkweather and his fourteen-year-old girlfriend Caril Ann Fugate changed the course of crime in the United States when they went on a murder spree through Nebraska and Wyoming. By the time the dust settled, ten innocent people were dead, and the city of Lincoln was in a state of terror. It was the first mass killing of the modern age, and television brought the crime spree and the trails into homes for the first time—it was a precursor of the awakening of the country from the slumber of the fifties to the rebellious, violent sixties. Soon to follow were Manson, Bundy, Speck, Gacey, DeSalvo, Ramirez, Whitman, Berkowitz, and numerous others. From Starkweather on, people in the Midwest locked their doors.

No one is better suited to tell this story than best-selling true crime writer. Harry Maclean, who hails from the same town as Starkweather, and knew many of the people involved with the case (in fact his older brother had shop class with Starkweather). With new reporting and information about the case, and new conclusions about the possible guilt or innocence of Caril Ann Fugate, this is a tale that's long overdue for an updated and definitive retelling. Harry joins TCT today to talk about his new book, the relationship between Charlie and Caril, whether he thinks Caril really participated in the killings or not, and the ramifications of this case on American culture.

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