Wanted Dead or Alive

Perry Smith for Murder

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Perry Smith's Physical Description

He is a man of average to short height. He has an unnaturally large torso compared to his small legs and hands. He was badly injured in a motorcycle accident and walks with a limp. He is of Indian decent and likes to carry around an old guitar(page 9). He has multiple tattoos. One of a lady on his arm and another of a tiger on his left bicep, and a snake and dagger on his arm (page 20).

Family and Past History

Perry had a good early childhood. When he was in his primary years, he was raised by two loving parents who were also part of the rodeo. His mother an Indian and his father Irish. Once injury caused Perry's mother to turn to alcohol, his childhood got worse. His parents split, and Perry went with his mother to San Francisco. He didn't feel loved, and longed to be with his father. A year later, his father came for him and the two survived together working odd jobs. He spent time in the Merchant Marines and in the ARMY during the second World War and Korean War. He reconnected with his father after the wars in Alaska and after his motorcycle accident. When money and food got scarce, the two had a falling out and Perry headed for the Easy Coast. On the way he got into legal trouble in Kansas, but escaped prison and went on to the East Coast. He spent half a year in New York, until the FBI came for him. He spent the next years of his life in prison, where he wrote to his father and sister, met his friend Willie-Jay, and Dick Hickock. (page 80-85)

Previous Crimes

Perry Smith has been arrested for Theft of appliances and machines from an office building in Phillipsburg, Kansas. He later escaped the prison and was on the run for over half a year. In that time, he was was arrested for vagrancy in New York. When the FBI finally caught up to him, he was arrested for larceny, jailbreak, car theft and received five to ten years in prison. (page 85)

The Murder

The murders of the Clutters happened on September 15, in the early hours of the morning. The four members of the home were found dead the next day by friends. They were tied with intricate knots, hands and feet bounded and tied to the bed. Nancy and Mrs. Clutter were found in their rooms and in their beds. Nancy was still in her Pajamas and Mrs. Clutter seemed to be praying, her eyes still open. Nancy was shot in the back of the head not a foot away, and Mrs. Clutter in the side of her head. The phone wires had been cut and wallets looked through. The two men were not in their beds. Both were in the basement. Kenyon was tied like his mother, hands and feet bound, to the couch. He was shot square in the face. Mr. Clutter was in the boiler room. His hands were not tied and it appeared as if he had been tortured. His throat was slit and he was shot. Both of them seemed to be given comfort before their deaths, Kenyon got pillows and Mr. Clutter a mattress box. Nothing was missing, except Kenyon's radio and the house had not be ransacked. No evidence was left in the house, except a few foot prints in the basement. (page 40-41)