In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and its Consequences

Description •    The New Yorker, September-October 1965
•    New York: Random House, 1966
•    Black and white film still, 1967

Capote’s true crime masterpiece is a compelling narrative of two events that, in the author’s view, equally constituted the taking of lives in cold blood: the 1959 multiple murder of Kansas farmers Herbert and Bonnie Clutter and two of their children as well as the 1965 hanging of the killers, Richard Hickock and Perry Smith.

Capote had proposed the project to The New Yorker magazine, where it was published first in 1965 as a series of four installments. “The Editor’s Note,” seen here in the first installment, is careful to point out that all quotations are factual—having been taken from official records or from verbatim transcriptions of conversations between the author and the people involved.

The piece was an immediate sensation and was published in book form in January the following year. Film adaptations of the book soon followed.

In Cold Blood examines the complex psychological relationship of the two murderers as well as the lives of the victims and the effect of the crime on their community. It is regarded by critics as a pioneering work of the true crime genre.
Author/Photographer Capote, Truman, 1924-1984
Publisher New York: Random House
Date 1966
Extent 343 pages ; 22 cm
Institution Kent State University
Repository Special Collections and Archives
Provenance/Collection From the library of Albert and Helen Borowitz
LC Classification Number HV6533.K3 C36 1965a
Portion Digitized Photograph of: cover of published book; film still; and four installments published in New Yorker magazine
Access Rights This digital object is owned by Kent State University and may be protected by U.S. Copyright law (Title 17, USC). Please include proper citation and credit for use of this item. Use in publications or productions is prohibited without written permission from Kent State University. Please contact the Department of Special Collections and Archives for more information.
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Curated by Kathleen Siebert Medicus with guest contributors