In 1966 Truman Capote finished writing his first non-fiction book. He gave a detailed insight in the murder of the family Clutter which took place in 1959 in Holcomb, Kansas. After travelling there and leading many interviews, it took him six years to turn his notes into “In Cold Blood”.
The family Clutter lives in Kansas. Herbert Clutter is a very successful farmer and also a popular man. His wife Bonny suffers from depression and seldomly leaves the house. They have four amiable children, two of them are still leaving with their parents. On November 14 1959 The entire family is murdered brutally in their home. As it later turns out the crime was carried out by Perry Edward Smith and Richard “Dick” Hickock both former prisoners. They broke into the Clutter farm searching for a safe full of money a former cellmate told them about. It turned out that the information provided was false and no safe did exist. Nevertheless the shot Bonny and the children and slit Herbert’s throat. They fled to Mexico but soon came back to States. Hickock and Smith were identified as the murderers and put up for trial. Both of the two men were sentenced to death. Although they tried to take action against the verdict Smith and Hickock were hanged after fives years in on death row.
It is obvious how many effort Truman Capote put in this book. He led an enormous number of interviews and gathered detailed information. But due to the huge amount of information the books seems rather dry and drags on. Especially the parts on the two delinquents can get really boring. As interesting as the insight into their lives and movements are, it is simply two much info. The book is praised by many people and I really appreciate the different aspects and insights Capote gives and the story. Everybody from the police to a worker at the Clutter farm or the murderers parents get their say. But as I mentioned before it feels like an enormous pile of information you have to fight your way through before you get to the end.