THE CLUTTER MURDERS

The Clutter murders – It was 1959, in the middle of the night, at an isolated Kansas farmhouse. Dick Hickock and Perry Smith had just driven four hundred miles across state and entered a darkened home. The cellmates planned to rob this unsuspecting family, leave no witnesses, and start a new life in Mexico. The Clutter family—Herb, Bonnie, their daughter Nancy, and son Kenyon—were roused from sleep. The cellmates insisted they give up the location of a hidden safe. There was a problem with the plan … since there was no safe … and, no cash. They bound the family, searched for money and briefly debated what to do. In a fit of rage, Smith slit the father’s throat and put a bullet in his head. They rest of them had to die too, in cold blood. Finding nothing of value, the killers left with a small radio, pair of binoculars and less than fifty dollars in cash. The Clutter murders would later be described in the vanguard nonfiction novel, In Cold Blood. Truman Capote, author of Other Voices, Other Rooms, left New York for Kansas after reading a 300 word newspaper article. His co-author and research assistant was Harper Lee, an author in her own right, of To Kill a Mockingbird. Capote and Lee grew up together and had been childhood friends. First published in The New Yorker, In Cold Blood was a sensation and the pioneer of the true crime genre. It has been adapted into film, television and a graphic novel.

 





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4 Comments

  1. This was one of the saddest movies I have ever seen. The movie, that I saw probably 40 years ago, haunts me to this day. It has also been the only movie that I have felt sorry for the murderers as well as their victims. Try *that* guilt on sometimes.

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