In Cold Blood is a detailed non-fiction novel recounting the story of the murders of Herbert Clutter, a farmer from Holcomb, Kansas, his wife and two of their four children.
Summary of the Book
Herbert Clutter was a successful farmer. He had started out modestly, but no one could tell that now seeing his prosperous farm. He employed 18 farmhands, and they loved him for his fair treatment and good wages. He was blessed with four children: three girls and a boy. The only sad part of his life was his wife’s incapacitation due to post-pregnancy clinical depression and physical ailments. Clutter was undoubtedly happy, and everyone assumed he had a lot of money in his house. On November 15, 1959, his world turned into a nightmare. Two former convicts on parole from the Kansas State Penitentiary, Richard “Dick” Hickock and Perry Edward Smith decided to contact their former fellow prisoner, Floyd Wells. Wells had worked for Clutter as a farmhand and he told them that Clutter kept a safe full of money in the farmhouse. Hickock immediately saw the chance and hatched what he considered a perfect score. They would rob the money, leave no witnesses and escape to Mexico for a new life. However, Wells was wrong about one detail: Clutter kept no money in the house. He favoured using cheques so that the transactions were always recorded. In a fit of rage, Smith slit Clutter’s throat and shot him in the head. The duo proceeded to kill Clutter’s wife and two younger children. They ran from the town, and fled to Las Vegas. The story of the quadruple murder rocked America and sent two famous writers rushing to cover the story. Truman Capote and his childhood friend Harper Lee interviewed local residents and investigators on the case as the story unfolded. This book is the result of that investigation, and is considered one of the greatest work on the crime genre by critics at large.
About Truman Capote
Truman Streckfus Persons, better known as Truman Capote, was an American writer, screenwriter and playwright. He is also best known for Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Truman Capote was a close and personal friend of Harper Lee, and was a driving force in convincing her to pen her only published masterpiece, To Kill a Mockingbird.
The current title was adapted into a movie by Richard Brooks, starring Robert Blake, Scott Wilson and John Forsythe.
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