In Cold Blood: Alvin A. Dewey

Claudia Rice, Hayley Maxwell

Bio of Alvin A. Dewey, Jr.

  • Born on September 10, 1912 in Kingman County, Kansas
  • Died November 6, 1987 of a stroke at the age of 75
  • Began his career with Garden City Police Department in 1936
  • Became a special agent with the FBI and met his wife, a stenographer, while in Louisiana
  • He and his wife, Marie, had two sons, Alvin A. Dewey III and Paul Dewey
  • Dewey was asked to run for sheriff of Finney County, won election and resigned from FBI
  • Served three terms as Finney County Sheriff (nine years)
  • Became a special agent of the KBI in 1955
  • Spent 42 years in law enforcement
  • He was a 32nd degree Mason, life member of the Elks Lodge #1404 in Garden City, member of the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI, and belonged to the First United Methodist Church


Dewey's Significance

  • Dewey lead the investigation of the Clutter case with the help of four other KBI agents working underneath him.
  • He chased down leads and helped conduct interviews with Hickock and Smith
  • Capote uses Dewey to show the investigation, the chase, the interviews, and the trial from a first hand account
  • He (Capote) uses Dewey's point of view to bring up the controversial topic of the death penalty by showing the process by which Dewey went through to convict the killers
  • Capote uses Dewey to show the professional aspect of the trial and conviction, creating a contradicting view point on capital punishment
From left to right:

Truman Capote, Alvin A. Dewey, Marie Dewey


In Cold Blood - 1996 prt. 2