If you’re interested in the Clutter family murders, you might find this of interest.
“Joseph John "J.J." Maloney, a convicted murderer who upon release in 1972 became an investigative reporter for the Kansas City Star…surmised that Smith and Hickock had begun a homosexual relationship in prison, and that at the Clutter house Smith had "exploded" when he found Hickock intent on raping the bound Nancy Clutter. At this point, in Maloney’s view, Smith challenged Hickock to kill the family, beginning with the father, as Hickock had previously bragged he would do when talking about the future robbery in prison (though Smith expected Hickock to renege on his threat and thereby show himself to be a coward). When Hickock did back down, Smith killed the whole family, to show Hickock that he, Smith, the passive partner in their relationship, was even manlier than his active-role sex partner. Maloney felt Capote missed all of this or had ulterior motives for covering up the true account. His view of Capote's account was that it was, at its core, a dishonest book.”
I always thought that Perry Smith stopping Hickock from raping Nancy Clutter wasn’t because Perry “couldn’t stand people who can’t control their sexual urges,” or however it was worded in IN COLD BLOOD.
It may have been dishonest because of the time when it was written. Capote could not talk openly about homosexuality, his own, or that of the two convicted murderers.
There has been speculation that Capote had an affair with Perry Smith. Smith was the one of the pair who was probably gay. Hickock was straight, but had an affair with Smith in prison because many imprisoned men often turn to homosexuality.
If Capote had written his book in our contemporary society, he may have been more honest.
2. I watched INFAMOUS last night. If you’re interested in the Clutter family murders, you definitely
want to see that movie.
It was based on the book by George Plimpton, "Capote: In Which Various Friends, Enemies, Acquaintances and Detractors Recall His Turbulent Career."
Toby Jones makes a great Truman Capote. The actor who plays Dick Hickock was IMO too good-looking for Dick.
But more to the point, Dewey said Perry didn't apologize for the murders. In IN COLD BLOOD, Capote says he did.
I believe Capote made Perry seem much nicer than he really was. (I know, this is no news flash.) I realize he wanted readers to see Perry as a sympathetic character, and of course nobody is TOTALLY bad (or are they?).
In the book MOCKINGBIRD, it talks about now Nelle Harper Lee thought Herbert Clutter was very rigid and authoritarian, and the family wasn't nearly so sunshiny as portrayed in IN COLD BLOOD. I can see how Capote might portray them that way for contrast (Good vs. evil--and I guess Dick was the evil, since Perry was supposed to be sympathetic.). IN COLD BLOOD is a great work, and it has fascinated me since I first read it in the late 1960's. Still I wish we had a more objective account of the crime.
3. I know the mother of the Clutter family was going
through some form of mental illness. It may have been depression, which we have made progress in treating since then. An authoritarian husband would not have helped.
The family had a couple of older daughters who lived in my area. They were married and out of the household when the murders occurred. For many years, that made it hard for me to pick up the book and read it.
Someone I worked with in the library knew one of them. People in the area were aware of her family connection to the case. She was married to a farmer near Oregon, IL. The other was married to a farmer near Pearl City. I think both of them were interviewed about things. I don't know if they are living any more.
Sisters, family: Surviving Clutter daughters hope to preserve their parents' legacy
By Patrick Smith - Special to the Journal-World
April 4, 2005
The scrapbooks and stories tell the family's true history. Within three thick red binders are children's photos, graduation announcements, tidbits of diaries, correspondence through the years and mementos of Herb and Bonnie Clutter's family. Then there are the stories Beverly English, 65, has written about each of her parents -- stories describing everything from what kind of music they enjoyed to how Bonnie would kill and pluck a chicken for dinner.
The scrapbooks and stories portray the family the way no one else has -- certainly not Truman Capote, whose book, "In Cold Blood," told of the Clutter family murders in Holcomb, Kan., in November 1959.
"We want to remember our parents in a positive light," said English, one of the family's two surviving daughters, "not the negative."
The positives come in the form of the scrapbooks, loving memories and a number of memorials throughout Kansas. The negatives are the brutal murders of Herb and Bonnie Clutter, their daughter, Nancy, 16, and son, Kenyon, 15, and, to make it all worse, what the daughters and others say are Capote's inaccuracies in describing the Clutter family.
English and her sister, Eveanna Mosier, 68, have declined all interview requests through the years, and they still won't talk about the killings. However, for the first time, the sisters recently granted interviews and touched on their family's portrayal in Capote's book. They are determined to keep their parents' legacy alive, although they prefer to do so within their family rather than publicly. Just as their parents did, they have shied away from the limelight...
Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators
Important Notices: By participating on this discussion
board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules
page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the
opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent
the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.