Crash victim is identified

Calhoun County Sheriff Department deputies have identified a person critically injured in a Monday night traffic crash as a woman linked to multi-state crime and murder spree 50 years ago. Police say 70-year-old Caril Ann Fugate Clair was injured in a single-vehicle accident on northbound I-69 near Old 27 in Tekonsha Township. She is currently a patient at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo. Her husband and the driver of the SUV, 81-year-old Frederick Clair was killed in the accident. Fugate Clair gained infamy in 1958 as the teenage accomplice of then boyfriend, Charles Starkweather, in a Nebraska and Wyoming crime spree that included the murders of 10 people, including her mother, stepfather and her 2-year-old sister. Fugate Clair was sentenced to life in prison and served 18 years before her sentence was commuted after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled mandatory life sentences for juveniles were unconstitutional. She was paroled in 1976 and came to live in Michigan. A character based on Fugate was portrayed by Sissy Spacek in the 1973 feature film Badlands. The title song from Bruce Springsteen’s 1982 album Nebraska is a first-person narrative based on the crime spree.  (MRN)

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