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In Cold Blood - Dick Hickock Background

Abby Chisum & Maisie Dyer
by Abby Chisum on 6 February 2013

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Transcript of In Cold Blood - Dick Hickock Background

In Cold Blood A Summary of Richard "Dick" Hickock's Background Young Adulthood Adulthood The Start of Crime Lansing Summary of Young Adulthood Wreck Life After High School Marriage Mr. Hickock's View Conclusion Dick's View Childhood Mr. Hickock consistently claims that there was "nothing wrong with my boy". Dick was a star athlete in high school, participating and even lettering in many sports. Mr. Hickock seems to paint a very normal picture of his son's childhood; he emphasizes that Dick was a very average and even popular student all throughout high school. When asked about his childhood, Dick's story matches his father's account very closely. Dick says the Hickocks "never had much money" but were never down and out. He recalls always having clean clothes and food on the table. He talks about his family lovingly; although his father was extremely strict, Dick still shows appreciation for the way he was raised. Although the Hickocks struggled somewhat financially, Dick seemed to have a fairly normal childhood. Mr. and Mrs. Hickock both cared about their son immensely, and it was obvious that strong moral values and rules were present in their home and lives. At age nineteen, Dick married a sixteen year old girl named Carol. Carol's father, a minister, was very opposed to Hickock and his daughter's relationship. This seems to weigh heavily on Dick, as he brings it up in his 'confessional' later on in the story. Hickock and Carol had three children together. Although Carol later divorced him, Dick claims he was"nuts about her" at the time, and was still crazy over her after their split. In 1950, around age nineteen, Dick was in a serious car accident that resulted in head trauma and concussion. Hickock claims the effects were still felt; in his adult years he suffered from recurring spells initiated from the wreck. Dick's father claimed that "after that, he wasn't the same boy". The wreck heavily affected Hickock's mental state and caused an extreme change in his values and personality. After graduating high school, Dick Hickock had plans to go to college. Due to the cost of higher education, Dick went straight into work at Santa Fe Railways. There is possible speculation that Hickock resented his family for the conditions which led him to give up his college education. After working for the railways, he took a job driving ambulances and later at the Markl Buick Company. At the time of the Clutter family murder, Dick had been employed at the Bob Sands Body Shop. Dick Hickock's young
adult life seemed to be formed by
a series of struggles and
letdowns. He had high plans
for himself after graduating high
school, but there appeared
to be a problem or roadblock
stopping him from
achieving what he really
wanted. Although Dick was
happy with Carol and
his marriage, this did not last.
All of these factors eventually led
to Dick's turn to crime
for satisfaction. Dick Hickock's life of crime began around age 20, after his car wreck. Dick's parents attribute the wreck to his change in disposition and attraction to crime. Hickock began writing bad checks and gambling to support his wife Carol's lifestyle. This seemed to please Hickock for only a short time; Dick eventually left Carol for another woman. The Hickocks found this extremely uncharacteristic, blaming his divorce on the wreck as well. Dick Hickock was sent to Lansing for seventeen months for stealing a hunting rifle (The Hickocks referred to it as 'borrowed'). After Dick returned from his stay in Lansing, he was a completely different man. Hickock became cold and unapproachable. Dick's second wife left him after his return. Dick also met his accomplice for the Clutter murder, Perry, while in Lansing. At the time of the Clutter murder, Hickock had been incarcerated on several accounts and had teamed up with fellow Lansing inmate Perry Smith. The two did not originally plan on murdering the Clutter family. The murders were money motivated. Dick Hickock was eventually tried for murder, convicted, and executed. By Maisie Dyer & Abby Chisum Works Cited Images 1.  "Remains of Infamous Edgerton Man Unearthed." Gardner News. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Feb. 2013. 2."Dick Hickock, Murderer, Garden City, Kansas, April 15, 1960." San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Jan. 2013 3. "Richard Eugene Hickock | Photos | Murderpedia, the Encyclopedia of Murderers." Richard Eugene Hickock | Photos | Murderpedia, the Encyclopedia of Murderers. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Jan. 2013. 4."In Cold Blood." Capotathon. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Feb. 2013. Other Citations  Capote, Truman. In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and Its Consequences. New York: Random House, 1966. Print. Conclusion Inferences of Dick's Marriage to Carol “I began thinking I never really loved my wife. Because if I had, I wouldn’t have done all the things I’d done.” This quote leads us to believe that even though Dick left Carol for another woman, he still had feelings for her. Dick seemed to have frequent spells of self-depreciation and loathing; although he 'left' Carol, it's easy to assume that he believed Carol deserved someone better than him who could financially and emotionally support her. In his last interview while in prison, Dick claims he was "still crazy about her". “There were other things I should have told you, but I’m afraid of my people finding them out. Because I am more ashamed of them (these things I did) than hanging.”
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