Homegrown Terror and Government Manipulation: Their Impact on Society

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  • Topic: Charles Starkweather, Lincoln, Nebraska, Cuba
  • Pages : 5 (1980 words )
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  • Published : April 13, 2009
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Homegrown Terror & Government Manipulation: Their Impact on Society
For generations, people have been astonished and affected by events that have transpired into influential elements of their time and times to come. The 20th and 21st Centuries are filled with many historic and controversial people and events which have drastically shaped and changed the way people live their everyday life in today’s world. Important people and events that contributed to and are responsible for the unfavorable change of the mid-20th Century are Charles Starkweather and the Bay of Pigs Invasion, becoming the first of their kinds. Each separately and significantly impacted the generation’s society of the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. Even though the 21st Century is in progress, the events and key people of earlier generations still impact the generations of today’s society with the addition of many comparable and contrastable people and events of modern times. Opposition of the video game surge has targeted the “Grand Theft Auto” series as being violent and destructive to children’s development and behavior, while the “D.C. Sniper” has instilled fear of homegrown terror in the United States. Unfortunately, the American people must live in insecurity and over cautiousness because as history describes today’s society, anything can and will happen. Charles Starkweather was the youngest person, as a teenager, to go on a killing spree in America, in which he murdered over ten people. Starkweather was born on November 24, 1938 “…into a poor, uneducated, but hardworking family from Lincoln, Nebraska” (Bardsley 2). In school, he was labeled a “loser” and was often times bullied because of his bowed legs, speech impediment, and his slowness of learning. It turns out he was not a slow learner because they later found out that he had suffered from severe myopia, an eye disease. As he aged through junior high and high school, he directed all of his attention to fighting, while blaming the bullying he endured as a child as a motive. The eye disease was not discovered until he was 15, so at that point the damage had already been done and a year later Charles dropped out of high school. He dated almost 14-year-old Caril Ann Fugate and the both fell in love, despite the disproval of both families. Anxious to have money and to be with his jailbait girlfriend, 19-year-old Charles Starkweather made a decision to steal his money and kill anyone who did wrong by him. December 1, 1957, Charles Starkweather committed his first robbery and murder of gas station attendant, Robert Colvert. From then on, he knew his life would no longer be the same. Starkweather waited over a month to let the heat cool down so he can strike again. The next victims would be Caril’s family followed by several more murders and an attempted escape by Charles and Caril to flee Nebraska resulting in another murder and their destined arrest in Wyoming. The James Dean fanatic and imitator was put to death by electrocution on June 25, 1959 in Lincoln Nebraska. “Can a dysfunctional upbringing ever excuse homicide? That was the question facing jurors in this remarkable saga that changed forever the face of murder in America” (“Charles Starkweather and Caril Fugate Trials…”). Though Bonnie and Clyde was the first infamous couple to go on a murdering spree, Starkweather and Fugate were the first caught on camera and the first teens to do it inspiring popular Hollywood movies, such as Natural Born Killers. Unfortunately, this couple also inspired other acts of random violence in the case of a triple homicide involving a 12-year-old girl, Jasmine Richardson of Canada. She and her 23-year-old boyfriend murdered her mother, her stepfather, and her 8-year-old brother because she was not allowed to date him after her parents found out. Canadian reporters presented facts, as one stated, “Not only did she and her boyfriend ascribe to the darker side of Goth culture, with a fixation on death...
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