A woman accused of participating in a killing spree that left 11 dead more than 55 years ago was critically injured during a car accident in Michigan.
Their killing spree the basis for the movie "Badland" starring Sissy Spacek and Martin Sheen, which portrayed Caril Ann Clair and her then boyfriend Charlie Starkweather's transformation into notorious criminals in the 1950s. On Tuesday, Clair, now 71, was injured in an auto accident on Tuesday; her 81-year-old husband was killed.
The accident occurred on northbound Interstate 69 in Calhoun County, the sheriff's department said. Frederick Clair was behind the wheel of the SUV before it went of the road and turned over. Carli Clair was taken Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo; the status of her condition has not yet been released.
Her maiden name was Fugate, and Carli Ann was 14-years-old when she and her 19-year-old boyfriend Charlie Starkweather began their killing spree. Victims of the 1958 rampage included her mother, stepfather and a 2-year-old half-sister. Carli Ann was 15 when she was sentenced to life in prison at a Nebraska prison; she served 18 years.
At the time of the crime spree, Carli Ann was deemed the youngest female in America ever charged with first-degree murder. She plead innocence, stating that she had tried to break things off with Starkweather before the spree because he seemed "crazy," according to The Daily Beast. She also said that she was held hostage for the two-year period during which the crimes occurred and had no knowledge about her families deaths. Starkweather testified against her in court, leading to a life sentence. He was sentenced to death.
Carli Ann admitted in a 1996 interview that she still felt guilt about the way her family was killed.
"Since this has happened, there's not a day in my life that has gone by that I haven't thought about it," she said of the killings. "There's times when I think about my family and when I think about them, it's always what happened. It's always how they died."
At the age of 53, Carli Ann requested a pardon from the state of Nebraska.
"I am asking for a full pardon because the sentence did not fit the crime," she wrote in her request. "Everyone knows I never killed anyone."