"In Cold Blood"

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Part 3

Perry's Confession Page 233

Perry's Confession was in the "Answer" section. He gives his Confession while in car with the Investigator Alvin Dewey and Clarence Duntz. The confession beings when the investigators are plotting on Perry telling him things that Dick said in his tape recording confession. That's what triggers Perry and from there the investigators has two confessions. In the confession Perry talked about how he almost killed Dick himself, we(the class) thought that he was the nice one, more humanize one. At the end of the crime neither one was the nice one, Perry was the killer and at the end of the crime nether deserve no symphony. In Perry's confession he says that he was accountable for only two death and that was the two women. But also in the confession Perry says on page 242 that Mrs. Clutter said that she thought he was a decent young man and that she didn't trust Dick. Perry states that Mrs. Clutter was worried about her daughter and that he (Perry) promised her that he was worried about her also and what Dick was to do to her. Later on in the Confession Perry states that he threatens to kill Dick when he tells him what he plans to do to the little girl.

Nye visits Dick's family

  • Page 165-166

In this passage, Nye is questioning the Hickock family, trying to find out more about the killers. His mother is distraught. She explains that she hopes Dick is caught, and does not understand why her son acts the way he acts. When researching themes of In Cold Blood, I found the theme of nature v. nurture. This theme speaks for itself: are the killers the way they are because of their nature, or because of the way they were raised? In this passage, it implies that Dick is evil because of his own nature. Clearly he has done evil things in the past that his family is aware of. The father even says that there wasn't anything wrong with his son. He seemed so normal growing up, and his parents do not know how he ended up the way he did. Therefore, it could not be the way he was raised that prompted his criminal life, or so it seems based on this passage. This passage is also a perfect example of the "scene change" structure that we talked about last class. The descriptions in this text are also amazing, echoing once more that Capote is doing everything he can to make the reader emotionally attached to these characters.

Part 4

Perry's Proof for Nurture

  • Page 275

In this body of text, Perry is describing a little about his background. He explains that it was not easy growing up. He often felt overlooked by his father and tried to get away from him. This quote gives the reader a different perspective than when Nye visited his family in the previous section. Obviously, Perry had some issues growing up. This quote contributes to the overall theme of the novel nurture v. nature. This quote implies that Perry is evil because of his lonely background. After this quote, the reader realizes that there may have been neglect in Perry's childhood. We also learn that Perry spent time in the military, which is surprising to me. He probably has killed others before during his time in the Marines, yet he was so worked up about killing the Clutter family. This shows that despite his evil actions, Perry still has feelings and felt guilty for his misdoings.

The Hanging

  • Page 339

I found it very interesting that before the killers were executed, the hangman prayed for Dick and Perry. This reminds me of the many colonial hangings that we read about at the beginning of the course. However, there was not an official priest there to beg for the accused to confess. Rather, the hangman was extending a nice gesture, praying that God would bless their souls after death. Even the detail of the hangman is extraordinary. We learn about his cowboy hat and his religious practices. This is just another example of Capote drawing the reader in.


Mrs. Meier's Monologue

  • I love how she talks about her cooking and her view out the window.
    • "the afternoon they brought them in, i made 6 apple pies and baked some bread and all the while kept track of the goings-on down in the square" (pg244)
  • Her monologue sets a human tone to the final part of this story.
  • you can tell she feels sorry for Perry but she is also scared of him because of what he did.
    • Her husband made he scared of him
      • " he said he wished i'd been out at the Clutter place when they found the bodies" (pg245)

Perry's Pet

  • He trained a squirrel for fun.
  • He named it red


  • i like to imagaine it looked like this
  • Red would be fat because he ate scraps
  • "he named it red, and red soon settled down, apparently content to share his friends captivity"(pg246)

Post Hanging

  • a sense of normality returned.
  • you can see that people are still effected by the Clutter Family deaths.
  • Capote gives you a vivid look at the cemetery
    • "Seen today, it is a dark island lapped by the undulating surf of surrounding wheat field - a good refuge from a hot day, for there are many cool paths unbroken lt shaded by trees planted generations ago." (pg334)
  • Susan Kidwell is at the grave of Nancy Clutter
    • "suddenly, when i'm very happy, i think of all the plans we made" (pg 335)


  • this is the video of the hanging of Perry ( the 1997 movie )
    • he's even chewing the gum