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Garden City Telegram

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Jake Pennfield

on 28 May 2014

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Transcript of Garden City Telegram

Truman Capote
Truman Capote Continued:
Major Events
Truman Capote was a extraordinary writer for his time. he has written over four dozen books. Some of his works include, Other voices, Other rooms, Breakfast at Tiffany's, The Grass Harp, and In Cold Blood.
25¢
Monday, November 16, 1959
Volume 31
Clutter family killed
-The novel and the modern world
Connections:
The Walker Family
The Walker family murder occurred a month after the Clutter family murder happened and occurred in a similar fashion. Four family members were shot point blank, but the difference is the mother was raped. Many believe that Hickock and Smith were a part of this murder but no physical evidence proving it was them was found at the scene. Their bodies were dug up in 2012 to compare DNA to the semen found on Christine Walkers underwear and they did not find a match. Some believe that Hickock and Smith did it but had some help, which would explain why the DNA did not match.
Garden City Telegram
The Main Characters:
Richard Hickock
Three films have been made based on the book ‘In Cold Blood’. The 1967 film was a huge hit and starred Robert Blake, Scott Wilson, and John Forsythe. It was nominated for four academy awards. The most recent film adaptation of the story was the film Infamous which starred more modern well-known actors such as Daniel Craig and Sandra Bullock.
Nov. 16, 1959, the day after the bodies of Herb, Bonnie, Nancy and Kenyon Clutter were found in their Holcomb home: A tragedy -- unbelievable and shocking beyond words -- struck a prominent Western Kansas farm family near here yesterday and was still unsolved at noon today.
Death -- brutal and without apparent motive--struck four members of the Herb W. Clutter family late Saturday night or early Sunday morning. Dead are Clutter, 48, his wife, Bonnie, 45, daughter, Nancy Mae, 16, and son, Kenyon, 15. All were shot in the head with a shotgun at close range and in addition Clutter's throat was cut. "This is the goriest crime I have ever seen in Kansas," Logan Sandford, director of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, said here this morning.
Sandford and three other KBI agents joined local KBI agent Al Dewey and Finney County law officials in the intensive investigation. The four victims had been bound and gagged -- their hands tied behind their back and feet bound at the ankles. The house, unlocked when the crime was discovered shortly after 9 a.m. Sunday, wasn't ransacked and robbery did not appear to be the motive.
Excerpt From the original Garden City telegram;
Born September 30, 1924 in New Orleans Louisiana to the Name of Truman Streckfus persons.

As a child he was neglected by both of his parents, Lillie Mae and Arch, they often left him in the care of others. He never got any attention from his parents until their divorce. They both fought over custody for him. His mother won the custody over Truman. Even though his mother won him in the custody battle she still neglected him when they lived together.

He changed his name to Truman Garcia Capote after his stepfather adopted him.

In school his teachers knew he had a talent for Writing. He got the attention not only from the teachers but also the students because he made up these extravagant stories with complex characters. And told them to the students.

In 1948, he published his first novel, “Other Voices, Other Rooms”. It was criticized for the style of writing, But it sold well for a first time writer.

Capote was well known for his distinctive, high-pitched voice and odd vocal mannerisms, his offbeat manner of dress, and his fabrications.

He often claimed to know famous celebrities Intimately that he had never met.

Harper Lee author of To Kill a Mockingbird was a neighbor and close friend of Capote. The character “Dill” from Lee’s novel was based on Capote

Capote was five foot three inches tall and openly Homosexual



1. The clutters are murdered in their own home. This creates an uneasy atmosphere in the once peaceful town of Holcomb, Kansas. The atmosphere becomes even more intense when Alvin Dewey, the man in charge of the investigation, suspects the killer had connections with the family in some way.

2. The murderers, Richard "Dick" Eugene Hickock and Perry Edward Smith, escape to Mexico to avoid the law. Although, after a while, they run out of money and have to return to the U.S.

3.The Investigation heats up again when they, the investigators, get word form a prisoner, Floyd Wells, that Dick was responsible for the murder, as Floyd had old him there was a safe full of money in the Clutter house. This begins the hunt for Dick.

4. Dick and Perry escape to Miami to once again avoid getting caught. they attempt to make their way back West, but are caught by the police in Las Vegas. they both admit to the crime.

5.Dick and Perry are hung after fiver years on death row. It is a painful, awkward death for both of them, as it takes quite awhile for both of them to be pronounced dead.
Connections:

Films and Television
The book was also adapted into a TV miniseries. The series starred Sam Neil, Anthony Edwards, and Eric Roberts.
The Main Characters:
Perry Smith
Setting
Meaningful Quote #3
"'Am I sorry? If that's what you mean - I'm not. I don't feel anything about it. I wish I did. But nothing about it bothers me a bit. Half an hour after it happened, Dick was making jokes and I was laughing at them. Maybe we're not human. I'm human enough to feel sorry for myself." (282)

As a young man Perry got into the wrong crowd and he started to go down hill. Robbing banks and people on the street. Going in and out of jail numerous times caused Perry to care less and less about life. And once he met Dick he became a sociopath ( a person who lacks moral responsibility) because Dick influenced that type of behavior and Perry being an impressionable character molded himself to Dick standards. And the confession of how Perry felt about his doing told us that he has no remorse for Human life other than his own.

Meaningful Quote #2
“I didn’t want to harm the man. I thought he was a very nice gentleman. Soft-spoken. I thought so right up to the moment I cut his throat.” Perry, (244)

Perry ironically enough liked Mr. Clutter and his whole family. And this was the exact reason he had to motive to kill him. This may seem hard to understand but the motive for Perrys’ killings is a misdirected frustration that he had. Unfortunately the Clutter family had to be the victims of this frustration. As a child Perry did not have the dream family he wanted his mother was a drunk and his father abused him. So once he saw that the Clutter family symbolized the “perfect family” he found the motive to take out his frustration.
Meaningful Quote #1
“‘Because one thing is set to happen, all you can do is hope it won’t. Or will-depending. As long as you live, there’s always something waiting, and even if it’s bad, and you know it’s bad, what can you do? You can’t stop living.” (57)

Perry believes that he has no control over what happens to him. he believes that fate makes all the decisions in his life. This is why he says that he had such a bad childhood because he is just there for the ride. Perrys’ life is not controlled by him but fate nothing he does is his fault. That is why he later states that he has no remorse for why he killed Mr. Clutter.
Richard "Dick" Hickock was born in 1931 in Kansas City, Kansas, and was an athlete and student at Olathe High School. In 1950 he was involved in a horrific car crash that left him disfigured. Dick wanted to attend college after high school, however upon the grounds of his family not having enough money, he became a mechanic. Later in life he fell into a life of petty crimes that ended up landing him in jail, where he met Perry Smith, and began plans against the Clutters.
Born 3 years ahead of Dick in 1928 in Huntington Nevada, Perry Smith was the more calm of the two murderers. He served with the Army in the Korean War for a short time before being discharged. When he returned home he began work as car painter and bought a motorcycle. When he was riding it in bad weather, he crashed and permanently crippled his legs, causing him to later in life take aspirin all of the time. On death row, Perry would always read, paint, and write poems.
While the murders take place in Holcomb, Kansas, the two murders end up being arrested six weeks later in Las Vegas. The murders and arrests are both in the same year of 1959, where crime-solving technology was much more primitive than what we have today. In the murders, the telephone lines in the Clutter residence were cut, where today we have cellphones. DNA testing is another example, where the killers could have been caught much quicker. The town of Holcomb is a very small town with a very tightly knit community, with a population of just 270 ack in 1959. This leads to the KBI believing the murder was orchestrated by someone in Holcomb with a grudge against the Clutters.
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