In Cold Blood In the year 1959 in River Valley Farm, located in Holcomb Kansas. The residents of that farm, the Clutter’s, are a hardworking family who have achieved the American Dream. Herb, the father, is a Methodist whose hardworking skills have made him a popular man throughout the town. Herb’s wife, Bonnie, who is mentally ill, and her marriage to Herb is troubled. Nancy and Kenyon, are hard, working smart teenage children. One night in mid-November, four gunshots ended the lives of the Clutter family.
The town goes into frantic mode as the killers Perry Edward Smith and Richard (Dick) Eugene Hickock flee to Olathe. As a group of detectives lead by Alvin Dewey go to the crime. There Alvin finds one of two clues that will bring down the killers a boot print and the material that the killers tied the clutters with. Meanwhile, Perry and Dick are getting money by forging checks and buying items and then selling them. Once they have enough they departed to Mexico. However a man by the name of Floyd Wells who was the cellmate of Dick hears about the murder of the clutters.
He is shocked to hear and knows it was dick and perry to done it but he does not tell until there is a reward of 1000 dollar and a parole. He comes forward and tells the police. He also claimed that he liked the clutters even though he was the one to tell dick about the safe. In a hotel in Mexico Perry goes to his childhood and that when we get a flashback of Perry childhood. He was abused and neglected and all of his siblings except his sister Barbara. She wrote to him for a little while and then stopped. Also Perry was in a motorcycle incident after he came out the army and left him crippled.
Back at the prison Floyd confess to the authorities about everything and the begin there manhunt for perry and dick who lost their car and money after wasting to charm a german tourist. When they get there car back they hightailed to Las Vegas where a cop recognizes their license plate. They are taken in for extreme question and they both claimed they had alibis for what happened on November 14th. But when dick was shown the boot prints he cracked up under that pressure and admitting that perry killed them all.
When Perry hears that Dick has confessed he had no choice and told them the whole story of how the broke in cut the telephone wires asked Mr. Clutter where the safe was. Soon the realized there was no money the took what they could and tied them up. Nancy and Mrs. Clutter while Kenyon and Mr. Clutter where in the basement. Soon perry came back and slit mr. clutter’s throat open. So the man would not suffer he shot him in the head. Then all of them because he did not trust them if they ever went to the police about them. After confessing perry and Dick were sentenced to be hanged.
They were hanged on April 14 1965 The Clutters who were the main characters in the book changed the life of Holcomb Kansas. It goes from a town that trusts each other so much and after the Clutter family was killed, the town turned into the place where everyone was murdered and every night you go to bed you would think it was your last. Even after the killers were caught and executed people still wondered if this ruthless murder could ever happen again. One symbol found In Cold Blood was Nancy’s silver dollar. Even after Dick and Perry don’t find the safe they go looking around the house for any spare change.
The silver dollar symbolizes that the robbing was pointless, but yet they were desperate for money. “I frisked the girl’s room, and I found a little purse-like a doll’s purse. Inside it was a silver dollar. I dropped it somehow, and it rolled across the floor. Rolled under a chair. I had to get down on my knees. And then it was like | was outside myself. Watching myself in some nutty movie. It made me sick. I was just disgusted Dick, and all his talk about a rich man safe, and here I am crawling on my belly to steal a child’s silver dollar. One dollar. And i’m crawling on my belly to get it” (Capote 240).
Then, before he killed Mr. Clutter he remembered the silver dollar again. “I knelt down beside Mr. Clutter, and the pain of kneeling-I thought about that goddam dollar. Silver dollar. The shame. Disgust” (Capote 240). Perry knew he would never be rich and have money once Mr. Clutter told them he had no safe. But it was too late to turn back then so they just took what they could and killed the family. The theme of this book is also the cause of the Clutter family’s death, seems to be the one thing that I will take from this book learned from this book is in every case there are always clues.
Some are harder to find than the other. Everyone in the town of Holcomb thought that no one would ever solve the murder mystery. Even the killers thought they got away Scot free. But they left two important clues behind. I also learned that you should never give up hope even if you think it’s hopeless. The town thought the murder would get away. But Alvin Dewey kept at it and solved the crime. One passage that I thought was interesting was when perry was apologizing for what he did. “I think… it’s a helluva thing to take a life in this manner.
I don’t believe in capital punishment, morally or legally. Maybe I had something to contribute, something – It would be meaningless to apologize for what I did. Even inappropriate. But I do. I apologize. ” After I read that passage I felt a pang of sadness for Perry because he had been through a troubled childhood. Killing the clutters, being hung. But this quote I found changed my perspective. “It’s never too late to apologize, but sometimes it’s too late to forgive” Antonio Mara. After reading that quote | understood that Perry apologize wouldn’t change anything.
He’s apologizing would never bring the Clutters or fix his messed up childhood. I also learned that there is a line between apologizing and forgiving. I can also take from this book is that actions speak louder than words. Everyone thinks that perry is a soft spoken man but no one could ever erase that he cold heartedly murdered the clutters i can take from that that i should always watch my action i can complain alll want but my action are louder and will speak over my words. I think the theme of the book is revolving about the american dream. No one really has achieved the american dream.
For perry after being crippled in a motorcycle incident and being abused for most of his life. It is probably the reason why he took up a life of crime. Mr. Clutter on the other hand had worked very hard to try to achieve the american dream but even he had issues with his own life. His marriage to his wife is disconcerted. So to sum it up I think there is no such thing as the american dream it is only an illusion of what we could have. Overall, I loved In Cold Blood. It was fast paced and very interesting every night when I went to bed I wondered what happens next.
On the flip side the book was sorrowful when the Clutter family was killed and then worse when the murders explain how they killed them. I would recommend this book to people who really enjoy a thrilling murder story. It even keeps awake at night wonder could heinous could happen in my own city. One part that i did not enjoy was the book was sort of confusing to keep track it switched characters many times and had to read over again who was who. But, in generally i am glad i picked this booked out of the other book out of the other books.