Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Nebraska: Not Starkweather, but close
Today's tragic news from Omaha takes us back to the story of Charles Starkweather, the 19-year-old psychopath who took his 14-year-old girlfriend Caril Ann Fugate on a killing spree 50 years ago this month. He'd kill 11 people, a few more than today's murderer managed, but it took Charlie more than a month and two states to do it. His story was the basis of the movie Badlands, which made a star out of Martin Sheen, who'd go on to narrate All The Presidents' Movies, the classic Bravo doco series from our pals at Frozen Pictures. The case also became a tabloid TV classic when A Current Affair nabbed an exclusive interview with Caril Ann thirty years after the crimes. A production assistant on the story later sold the segment as the basis for a TV movie starring Tim Roth, which allegedly influenced a couple of kids in Canada to embark on a spree on their own. And the circle of death continues...
The Omaha World-Herald
December 5, 2007
Shooter lost his job today, left suicide note
BY TOM SHAW AND KEVIN COLE
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER
The 19-year-old Sarpy County man behind the deadliest shooting spree in Nebraska in almost 50 years left a suicide note.
A Sarpy County law enforcement official identified Robert A. Hawkins as the man who shot and killed eight people and himself at Westroads Mall Wednesday afternoon.
His address is listed as 4302 McCarty Drive in the Quail Creek subdivision just outside of Bellevue.
He was fired from a job at a Bellevue McDonald's restaurant Wednesday after several months on the job, said Debora Maruca, whose family Hawkins had been staying with.
Maruca said Hawkins told her he was accused of stealing $17 from the restaurant.
A Papillion-La Vista Public Schools spokeswoman said Hawkins attended district schools since kindergarten but withdrew from Papillion-La Vista High School in March 2006.
Hawkins left a suicide note, which was found by Maruca's family. A woman brought the note to the Sarpy County Sheriff's Office about 30 minutes after the start of the shooting spree.
Sarpy County Capt. Rolly Yost said the woman was unaware that a shooting had taken place. Based on the contents of the note, authorities believe the person who wrote the note is connected to the shooting.
Hawkins' previous criminal history includes an arrest Friday in Sarpy County on suspicion of contributing to the delinquency of a child, being a minor in possession of or dispensing alcohol and being a minor in possession of an open alcoholic container.
He was also found guilty in 2005 of disorderly conduct and sentenced to seven days in jail. Also in 2005, he was charged with intent to deliver a controlled substance, but the charge was dismissed by prosecutors.
Charles Starkweather killed 10 Nebraskans in a multiday spree in December 1957 and January 1958.