Wanted:Perry Smith

For the murder of the Clutter family

Physical description

Described as having "an American-style "good kid" with an outgrown crew cut, sane enough but not too bright" (20). He has short legs compared to his large upper body. Has had extensive surgery on his legs due to a motorcycle accident which causes him to limp when in pain (20).


Perry Smith was born to a family with one other brother and two sisters. His parents started off early as rodeo performers and the kids were with them were ever they went. After Perry's parents retired from the rodeo, some problems occurred with his mother turning to alcohol and leaving the family with the kids and going to San Francisco. Perry at this time was put in the care of nuns for some time due to his behavior and attempts to find his father. His father would gain custody of him, and leave his other siblings to be taken care of other families. Perry grew up with his father and learned a lot about life and how to get by without a formal education. They would move around several times and end up in Alaska for some time. Perry traveled down to Washington were he enlisted in the Navy during WWII. He later joined the Army and served during the entirety of the Korean War. After his military service, he was returning to Alaska when he crashed while driving a motorcycle, and was hospitalized for 6 months, and spent another 6 months with a family in the area. Perry then reunited with his dad in Alaska, where they finished constructing "Trapper's Den Lodge". It was not much of a success and did not provide much income for the two. Perry eventually left to try and reunite with a friend in Massachusetts. On his way he worked odd jobs, and when in Kansas stole form a office with another man named Mr. Smith. They eluded the law until they got to Nebraska were they were pulled over and asked how they obtained such equipment. They were arrested and sent back to Kansas. The two escaped from the small towns prison, and went separate ways. Made his way to Massachusetts, he was not able to find his friend and then went to New York were he found work. Eventually was arrested by the FBI and returned to Kansas to serve his time for his crimes. Perry has been released and has been seen to be hanging around Richard Hickock (130-138 in book).

Previous Crimes

July, 1955: Broke into Chandler Sales Company in Philipsburg, Kansas, and stole equipment. (136-137)

Several days later, found in Missouri after missed traffic signal. (137)

Days later, escaped from Philipsburg and stole car. (137)

Arrested as Bob Turner for vagrancy in Massachusetts. (137)

Captured in New York for larceny, jailbreak, and car theft. Expected to serve 5 to 10 years (138).


Is wanted for the murder of Herb, Bonnie, Nancy, and Kenyon Clutter in the town of Holcomb, Kansas. On the night of November 15, 1959, Perry Smith and Richard Hickock entered the Clutter house, cutting the phone lines and proceeding to gag and tie up each family member. Each family member was found to have been shot in the head with a shotgun. Perry and and Richard then left the house without disturbing any of the neighbors and without leaving much evidence. (89)