''In Cold Blood''

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Where is the analysis of the text and a discussion of the literature around the book? Who wrote what about In Cold Blood? How was it received? What are some of the responses, etc. the analysis of the text is near the bottom. we have the stuff about the author on top. i couldn't find much about how the book was received into the world, except that someone called it murder porn.

Truman Capote

1175_109045274977.jpg   Capote_cold_blood.jpg
Truman Streckfus Person
 *Born : Sep 30th 1924
 *Died : Aug 25th 1984
 *Parents were
 *Lillie Mae Faulk
 *Archulus Persons (Archulu Sales Person)
 *Truman was the only child
 *Taught himself to read and write 
 *1935 Truman attend Trinity School in New Your City 
 * Soon after he attended Joseph Military Academy
 *1939 His Family moved to Connecticut, where he wrote for both school newspapers
 *1942 His Family moved back to New York he attended Upper West Side and graduated from there in 1943(End of Formal Education)
 *1936 Received Recognition for his early work from, "The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards"
Inspiration To Write
 * *Truman Quotes
    "I began writing really sort of seriously when I was 12. I say seriously in the sense that other kids
    going home and practice the violin or the piano or whatever, I use to go home from school everyday, and 
    I would write for about three hours, I was obsessed by it."
 * When Capote read a article in the New York Times of the Family that had been murdered he traveled to Kansas to write about it. 
 * Nelle Harper Lee a friend of Truman traveled with Capote, interviewing people and investigating the case more.
     - Haper Lee later won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her novel To Kill a Mockingbird
 * After the criminals were convicted, he organized personal interviews with the Hickock and Smith 
 * The book was not completed until Smith and Hickock were executed. Book published in 1966 and they were executed in 1965
 * "In Cold Blood" was first published as a four-part serial in The New Yorker, beginning with the September 25, 1965, issue.
 * Many copies were sold in Kansans
 * In Cold Blood was first published in book form by Random House in January 1966, but it copyrighted in 1965,this date appears on 
   the title page the book.


  * "A masterpiece a spellbinding work." —Life 
  * "A remarkable, tensely exciting, superbly written 'true account.—The New York Times
  *"The best documentary account of an American crime ever written.The book chills the blood and exercises the          
    intelligence harrowing." —The New York Review of Books
  * Capote's spellbinding narrative plumbs the psychological and emotional depths of a senseless  murder in   
    America's heartland. - Publisher Weekly
  *The book is neither a who-done-it nor a will-they-be-caught, since the answers to both questions are known from the outset ...    
   Instead, the book's suspense is based largely on a totally new idea in detective stories: the promise of gory details, and the 
   withholding of them until the end  - "Pronviolence" (Essay) by Tom Wolfe

Clutter Family


  • above is a picture of the Clutter family
    • Father: Herbert (48)
    • Mother :Bonnie (45)
    • Eldest daughter: Eveanna
    • Middle daughter: Beverly
    • Youngest daughter: Nancy (16)
    • Son: Kenyon (15)

news on the family

This is the original coverage of the murders

  • the way the bodys were positioned
  • where the bodys were found
  • COD
  • who found them
    • and why

NY times article

  • NY Times paper
  • called it a "case of a psychopathic killer," Sheriff Earl Robinson

holcomb kansas

  • this is has nothing really to do with the case, i just really like how this is the only thing this poor little town is known for
    • "Holcomb, Kansas, is a town of about 2,000 people in Finney County, best known as the setting for the grisly murder of the Clutter family just outside of town in 1959, later chronicled in Truman Capote's 1966 classic In Cold Blood."

Hickock and Smith


  • Hickcock (left)
    • reason for being in jail prior to murder
      • petty crimes, such as cheating and using fraudulent checks
    • has 3 sons
    • 2 failed marriages
      • first due to an affair with the second wife
  • Smith (right)
    • his father was abusive
    • his mother died when he was 13
      • him and his brothers were placed in a Catholic orphanage after her death|
        • nuns allegedly abused him emotionally and physically because of his chronic bed wetting
    • sent to the salvation army orphanage
      • a caretaker allegedly tried to drown him
    • moved back with his father and spent time in and out of juvi
    • he was in and out of jail for petty crimes


  • this video is the monologue from in cold blood(the movie)preformed by Robert Blake who has an strange resemblance to smith

  • this video is of the murders (from the movie [no blood no gore])

  • this video is the Bio of Truman Capote!

other media

  • this is the garden city police report it includes some pictures of the evidence (no dead bodies)


  • this is from the trutv crime library.this give a very in depth look at the case including pictures of the funeral service, the house, and other goodies (still no dead bodys)

from the bloggles!


  • "Even though there was closure on this case because we found who killed the Clutters for what reason and there was justice, I felt just as bad if not worse than I did reading The Black Dahlia because I really felt like I knew the family after reading the first part of the book."


  • "This idea that his face was obviously blown off by a shotgun, yet he was still recognizable gives me goosebumps. I can’t even imagine if I lived in a small town and this happened."


  • "I also found it unique that the murder scene was left out of the novel. I wonder what Capote was trying to do."


  • "I did find one quote that I really liked just because it made no sense but it sounds like it should. “If one bird carried every grain of sand, grain by grain, across the ocean, by the time he got them all on the other side, that would only be the beginning of eternity” (69)."

Whats going on in 1959

  • Average Cost of new house $12,400.00
  • Average Yearly Wages $5,010.00
  • Fidel Castro comes to power in Cuba
  • Alaska and Hawaii become states
  • The new Labor Reform Act passed to control union powers.
  • US Unemployment reaches 1.4 million
  • The kitchen debates take place

other crimes

  • Poe Elementary school bombing
    • Six people, including the perpetrator and his own son, were killed.
  • Mack Charles Parker
    • African-American victim of lynching in the United States.
    • He was accused of raping a pregnant white woman.
  • Walker family murders
    • an unsolved murder of two parents and two children which took place on December 19, 1959 in Osprey, Florida.
    • this is significant because they exhumed the bodies of Hickock and Smith to DNA test them against the crime seen because they were in Florida around that time.
      • the DNA was inconclusive due to the degrading of the DNA

Structure of the Book

  • The book is broken up into 4 parts: the last to see them alive, person’s unknown, answer, and the corner *The first part of the book flashes between the Clutter family lifestyle and Dick and Perry’s interactions. How do you think this structure contributes to the plot?
  • Every character is described with amazing detail.
    • Example: Herbert Clutter: owns a small farm in Holcomb, Kansas. 48 years old, average height, rimmed glasses, “the community’s most widely known citizen. His finger was mangled by a piece of farm machinery. Father of four children
  • We learn that there is a murder in the first few pages. Soon after, we learn that it will be the Clutter family’s last day. Is this revelation so early in the plot good or bad?
  • The first part of the book flashes between the Clutter family lifestyle and Dick and Perry’s interactions. How do you think this structure contributes to the plot?

Basic Plot Summary

Part 1

  • Up until page 28, the reader is being informed about the lifestyle of the Clutter family. We also find out that there is something suspicious about Perry and Dick (p. 23 about the gun)
  • As the plot continues, we are learning that Perry and Dick are driving across the state, making little stops along the way to buy things to aid in the crime
  • While Dick and Perry are coming, the Clutters are just going on with their daily routine
  • Finally, on page 57, the two arrive at the Clutter house
  • The next morning, a friend goes to the house and no one answers. She then, along with Susan Kidwell, enter into the house and find Nancy dead in her room. They then discover the other bodies.
  • News travels fast about the murder

Part 2

  • Investigations begin on the murder. The killers are being identified as "person or persons unknown"
  • Alvin Dewey is introduced. He is the head of the investigation
  • Dewey and the investigators try to piece information together, but they don't have a lot to go off of.
    • They think there is more than one murderer involved
    • Murderers could be friends of family?
  • Meanwhile, we find Dick and Perry at a restaurant. Perry is paranoid because he fears they will be found out. He reads an article about the murder over and over again.
  • Beverly, one of the Clutter daughters that was not in Holcomb during the murder, gets married.
  • An article is released about the funeral. In the article, Fox asks the people of Holcomb to forgive the murderers (107)
  • Throughout this whole ordeal, Perry is becoming more and more paranoid
  • Jonathan Adrian is found living in the Clutter house and is arrested
  • We then learn all about Perry's past - Why is this important?
  • Dick and Perry keep going on their way, and the investigation is starting to seem hopeless.

The murder left lasting impacts