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Notorious ’50s Murder Convict Critically Injured in I-69 Crash

Posted at 4:47 PM, Aug 06, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-06 17:32:13-04

1340786716394.cachedCALHOUN COUNTY, Mich. — A 70-year-old woman critically injured in a crash on I-69 Monday is also tied to a string of 10 murders in the Midwest from the 1950s.

According to the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, Caril Ann Fugate Clair is in a Kalamazoo hospital after a crash on northbound I-69 near Old 27 in Tekonsha Township Monday night.

Her husband, 81-year-old Frederick Clair, was killed after their SUV rolled over after veering off the right side of the road.

Fugate Clair was arrested in 1958 when she was 14 years old in connection with 10 murders in Nebraska and Wyoming along with her boyfriend, Charles Starkweather.  The pair are the inspiration for the Bruce Springsteen song “Badlands” as well as a 1973 movie of the same name starring Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek as the couple.

Fugate Clair was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty in the murder and robbery of 17-year-old boy Robert Jensen.  She served 18 years before her sentence was commuted in after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that mandatory life sentences for juveniles were unconstitutional.  Charles Starkweather was executed in 1959 for the crimes.