I do rather like a murder mystery. But is it still a murder mystery if there’s no mystery? Can you have murder uncertainty? Murder most probable? What we know for certain is that it’s all true. Ish. With poetic license. In Cold Blood is the chilling true crime ‘non-fiction novel’ that made Truman Capote’s name. He attempts to reconstruct and find the truth behind the 1959 murder of the Kansas farmer, wife and both their children. Much like Making a Murderer and the Serial podcast, this book owned the ambiguity of the events.
On that deadly night, Perry Smith and Dick Hickcock came into the home of a sleeping family expecting a safe full of cash. Instead, they found small change and murdered the everyone in the home. Capote spoke to residents of the quiet town. They talked about fear. Smith and Hickcock had not connection to the family or the town. The crime seemed unprovoked. If they knew the Clutter family, they would know the father is not known for carrying cash. In fact, he was famous for writing cheques for the smallest amount.
It captures the fear and the mania of the killers. Capote gets into the head of the pair. The first pair of serial killers, the first crime that truly shock America. Is it wrong to say I loved it? It must be read for the way it is told rather than what it is telling. It would take a second to find the Wikipedia article on this tragedy to understand the sequence of events. But to truly comprehend how it felt to be in that town, in that state at a time like that, the book must be read. Like Making a Murderer and Serial, In Cold Blood made me realise: when it comes to murder, we will never know the absolute truth.
Watch my video review here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDgOpxoywaU