In Cold Blood

By Truman Capote

Summary

In Cold Blood is the true story about a family in Holcomb Kansas that were murdered in 1959. The story is based off of the murderers Perry Smith and Richard "Dick" Hilkock and how they came to murder the Clutters. Given false information Smith and Hilkock raid the house tying up the family members. After only finding out the family was actually poor, Smith ended up slicing Herbert Clutter's neck and shot the rest of the family with a 12-gauge Savage Model 300 straight to the head. After being sentenced to Deathrow they were soon hung on April 14, 1965.

Theme

Mental Illness

In the book it's revealed that Richard Hilkock and Perry Smith did in fact have mental illnesses before the murder. Richard Hilkock was rumored to have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after coming back from the Korean-War. Perry Smith was brutally abused as a child when he was sent to a catholic orphanage. Because they had these mental illnesses they say that those were some reasons why they committed those murders.