Inspired by his idol, James Dean, fame hungry 15-year-old Charlie Starkweather took a less extravagant route to celebrity status by becoming a murder. His killings eventually inspired a slew of films, including Terrence Malick’s cinematic masterpiece Badlands, and Quentin Tarantino’s screenplay for Natural Born Killers. Both ironically dealing with the media’s obsessions over mass-murders.
Killing for petty and petulant reasons, Starkweather started with the killing of a service worker who refused him credit, leading him to kill his girlfriend and future accomplice Caril Fugate’s parents. Starkweather and Fugate continued a killing spree driving from Nebraska to Wyoming until they were arrested on January 29th .
The duo surrendered after a car chase with the police which began with the killing of a traveling salesman. Starkweather was found guilty of the murders and was executed by the electric chair. Fugate received a life sentence but was paroled just seventeen years after. She currently lives in Ohio.