Wednesday, May 4, 2011

In Cold Blood Images

Richard one of the murders drives a black 59' Cadilac. Which is mentioned in the first part of the book.

In Cold Blood takes place in the real life small town of Holcomb in Kansas. This is where the Clutter Family lived. Has a total population of 2,026 and roughly only 500 families living within the town.

Also in the first section of the book it briefly mentions that Nancy was teaching Jolene Katz how to bake cherry pies.

As Richard and Perry are driving to The Garden City on the way to
Kansas they are playing on the guitar and drinking "orange drink and vodka". They briefly stop for a quick steak dinner before continuing they're journey.

This is the famous Hartman's Cafe in the tiny town of Holcomb. It is where the citizens get all their town gossip. The day after the murders the book mentions that the citizens are gossiing about the murders and they come to the conclusion that the murders must have known the Clutter family.

The reason why i posted a picture of a coffin is because Capote describes the funeral in pretty deep detail. For example it mentions that 1,000 people attended which at the time that was pretty much the whole population. Also it describes how Nancy's head was surrounded in cotton and who attened.

This is a picture of on of the most common mountain range in Mexico. And it mentions in the book that Dick and Perry are standing on the range discussing everything. It is a key point in their relationship because they talk about how they feel about after the murder. After that they leave and Dick drives and hits every stray dog.

I chose a picture of a radio because Flyod Wells hears the news about the murders in his jail cell from a radio. He was Dick's old roommate, he knew he mentioned the murders before but never thought he would go threw with it.

This is a picture of a 1950's laaundry mat. It is significant because this is where Dick drops of Perry while he goes to change the liscense plate on the car. This scene is important for Perry because he invsions the police and is nervous.

The reason why i chose a picture of a journal is because it mentions in the last couple chapters that Perry has a journal within his cell. They Capote mentions that he writes in it a lot to pass the time.

Monday, May 2, 2011


Shubhajit Lahiri, the author of the book review, does and excellent job describing In Cold Blood along with the grusome details about each murder. He elaborates on the thoughts and actions of the murderers and what they may have been thinking. If someone were to read this review there is no doubt that they would want to read this amazing story.

The article that was choosen above is about Truman Capote, the author, and his childhood. Along with his past, this article describes what may have drawn him to the types of books he wrote. He wasnt just a book writer, he was a journalist. The article states how much research and interviewing he had to do before he actually wrote the book about the murders.

Fifty years after the murders of the Clutter family, the towns people still have trouble accepting and coping with the brutality of the killings. The towns people feel asthough the book drew more attention to the town than they wanted along with that, there were journalists there off and on to question everyone. When the book came out it became a reminder of the horrific event and is an everlasting hurt for all that knew the family.

On this page has an audio clip called "link", that when clicked on, is about how the two murderers, Perry Smith and Richard Hickock. The issue being discussed is that after the two were hung and burried, there tomstones were stolen. After they were found, there is an issue arised about were to put them. It is being considered to put them into a museam, but then again why would anyone want to put these two men on a pedistal?

This link has all the background about Holcomb, Kansas. It entails the size, income, landscape, religions. It is just a basic over view to show how small th etown is, and it really allows you to understand how these murders would shake and shoke those who live there.

The link above, by far, is the most inteteresting article I have read so far ont his book. The reason for this is because there are photos of the ropes used to binde down the girls when they were killed and not only that, but there is a picture of a bloodstain. Also, one of the very first picture you see on the page is one of a chil playing in the corner where Kenyon Clutter was killed. Seeing these pictures really helps you put yourself into the story.

This is about the man who was in change of the investigation for the Clutter family murders. He was in the FBI, ran to be Sheriff and then later became a special agen of the KBI. The article give a background on his life.

This link has several attached links all based on the killing events. It is a time line of the Perry and Hickock mindsets and events to the deaths. It is a spane over some time.

There is a timeline link about mainly about Hickock, before the murders. What he was doing and a look into his mindset.

The two men who killed the entire family, were sentenced to the death penalty after. The above article tells about their punishments. Also, you learn about the man who tured the two men in. Wells was his name and he was a fellow fellon of the two men.

In details, the murders are described. Along with that the scene of the house is described. Where each family member was, and what had been done to them.

The link above is for a blog about In Cold Blood. It is very interesting and has a lot of information that we have on our own blog too. I chose it because it talked about the clutter house.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

People Within The Book

Perry Edward Smith - One of the two murderers of the Clutter family. He is a short with a large torso but small legs. His childhood was lonely and disorganized. His criminal record seems to be a natural extension of the strange environments in which he grew up.

Richard Eugene Hickock – The other of the two murderers of the Clutter family. Also a small man, Dick grew up in Kansas, was married twice, and is jailed for passing bad checks.

  • These two characters above are key. They are create the entire story and they make the book even more interesting. Dick and Perry are the murders that killed the family and they keep the reader wondering.

Herbert Clutter - The father of the Clutter family. He has four children. His large property, River Valley Farm, keeps him moderately wealthy with his large, successful farm.

Bonnie Clutter - Herbert's wife, Bonnie, cannot keep up with his public image as a leader, and she withdraws into the home.

Nancy Clutter - Along with Kenyon, one of the two youngest Clutter children. They both still live at home. She is "the darling" of the town, a class president and future prom queen. Like her father, she is very organized.

Kenyon Clutter - An awkward 15-year-old, Kenyon loves to tinker with carpentry and machines.

  • The entire Clutter family are the characters in the story that the reader feels sympathy for. The children especially you feel for them because they were so gruesomly murdered. Because they live the perfect farm life with a cute family its easy to feel sympathy. The Clutters are also the key part in the plot without their murders their would be no problem.

Bobby Rupp - Nancy's steady boyfriend, Bobby lives nearby.

Alvin Dewey - An investigator for the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI), Dewey is the agent responsible for much of western Kansas. He becomes very involved in the case.

Harold Nye - One of Dewey's principal KBI assistants. Nicknamed "Brother Nye," he is the youngest of the group. During the capture and interrogation of Smith and Hickock, he has the flu.
Roy Church - The oldest of the KBI assistants, Church is nicknamed "Curly" and is supposedly the fastest draw in Kansas.

Clarence Duntz - Another of the three KBI assistants, Duntz is a burly man with a broad face.

Tex John Smith - Perry's father, Tex is a kindly backwoodsman who taught Perry to bake bread, but who never comes to see his son in jail.

Susan Kidwell - Nancy's best friend, Susan lives in Holcomb.

Willie-Jay - Assistant to the chaplain of Lansing, the Kansas state prison, Willie-Jay becomes a kind of mentor to Perry.

Floyd Wells - An inmate at Lansing prison. After Perry leaves on parole, he became Dick's cellmate. He is a former employee of Herbert Clutter, and he tells Dick about the ranch and the layout of the house.

Lowell Lee Andrews - Andrews was a young college student who murdered his family. He is a schizophrenic. Several of his years on death row overlap with those of Dick and Perry. Perry resents the fact that Andrews is highly educated.

Mr. Helms - An employee of River Valley Farm.

Alfred Stoecklein - An employee of River Valley Farm. He and his wife live on the property.

Bess Hartman - The proprietor of Hartman's Cafe. She has a thick skin and scolds her customers when they gossip too much about the Clutter murders.

Barbara Johnson - Perry's only living sister. She lives in San Francisco and is married.

Don Cullivan - An old army friend of Perry's who starts a correspondence with him upon reading about the case in the newspaper.

Truman Capote Himself

Was an American author and comedian, many of whose short stories, novels and plays are nonfiction and are recognized literary classics, including the Breakfast at Tiffany's (1958) and true crime novel In Cold Blood (1966), which he labeled a "nonfiction novel." At least 20 films and television dramas have been produced from Capote novels, stories and screenplays.

  • Born September 30th, 1924 and died August 25th, 1984

  • Was born & raised in New Orleans, Louisiana and later moved to Los Angeles, California

  • Lived a troubled childhood

  • Spent many years from help with Harper Lee

Literary Devices

  • Symbol: There is a letter written by one of the Killers fathers. This note tells how the killer was a nice man and just needed someone to care for them.

  • Personification: "Hawk wheeling in a white sky"(110) "Wasn't that a horses laugh?"(111)

  • Alliteration: "Yet even upon this shadowed terrain sunlight had very lately sparkeled"(7)

  • Flat character: Nancy Ewalt- the girl who found the Clutter Family dead.

  • Round character: Perry Smith and Richard Hickock are two characters that fully develope in the story and are extremily important. They are the Clutter family killers.

  • Hyperbole:"The propeller haden't stopped turning before he'd slapped a lawsuit on the pilot"(13). Here is an exxageration of an event that occured in the farm fields. It is clear that Mr.Clutter had not sued the pilot before he had landed in his field.

Behinds the Scenes of In Cold Blood

Holcomb, Kan., Nov. 15 [1959] (UPI) – “A wealthy wheat farmer, his wife and their two young children were found shot to death today in their home. They had been killed by shotgun blasts at close range after being bound and gagged ... There were no signs of a struggle, and nothing had been stolen. The telephone lines had been cut.”

The New York Times

  • Overall the tone starts off with some quick background and then takes off with an eery and mysterious tone.

  • Was orignally inspired by a 300 word article in the The New York Times.

  • Capote travelled to Holcomb to do his research.

  • The book won the Edgar Award in 1966 for The Best Crime Fact Book.

"A masterpiece...a spellbinding work." -Life