In Cold Blood Essay, Research Paper
The book I chose to read and do my book journal on this quarter was In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. I really thought that this book was much longer than it really should have been, although it was still a fairly interesting book. The idea that someone you have never met and never heard about could rob and kill everyone in your house is a rather unnerving notion.
In this book there is really only one part that I cannot figure out. Towards the end of the book Al Dewey one of the men responsible for catching Perry Smith and Richard Hickock the two men who were responsible for killing the Clutter family. Well Al had been working very hard on this case devoting almost all of his time to solving it. After they finally caught up with the killers and arrested them Al was very excited that he might be able to get back to his normal life again. Later on in the book he said that he didn’t feel that the case was finished, even after he watched Hickock and Smith hang. He then went on to say that he didn’t feel it was over until much later. He then went on to (yes I know that this paragraphs looks too big but it was all part of the same idea) describe the event I will give a brief description here. Al was in the cemetery weeding his father’s grave, when he decided to visit the Clutter’s grave. All four of the Clutters had been buried together in one mass grave with four headstones on top of it. When he arrived at their grave he saw Susan Kidwell, someone who had been very good friends with Nancy Clutter, one of the victims. Al didn’t recognize her at first but eventually she told him who she. She told him that Nancy’s old boyfriend Bobby had recently gotten married. Bobby had been Nancy’s boyfriend at the time she was murdered. Susan said that she herself was attending college. Her and Nancy had originally planned to go to college together unfortunately their plans were shattered when Nancy was murdered. I really can’t understand how this seemed to end the case for Al. I can of course guess but I never did like guessing nor was I ever very good at it. The only explanation I can think of is maybe that Al felt better knowing Nancy’s friends had moved on with their lives. I would have thought seeing Hickock and Smith receive their punishment would have made him feel the case had ended more than anything else could have.
I find the relationship between Perry and Richard (Dick) to be very interesting. They were cellmates in prison for quite a while but the book never states exactly how long. During which time I’m sure they developed a very different relationship than any that I am familiar with. It seems that they both have somewhat homosexual tendencies towards each other and certain other people. I can’t remember Perry mentioning much about his sexual interests in the book except for maybe what he says about Willie-Jay. The only other thing is when Perry mentions that he is disgusted with people who cannot control their own sexual desires.
In order for Dick or Perry to be willing to commit this terrible crime they undoubtedly needed to be together. Dick with his big mouth macho type attitude was needed to urge Perry into undertaking this mission. Even if Perry had somehow gotten into that situation by himself he could not have killed Mr. Clutter. If Perry hadn’t been trying to “call” Dick’s bluff he never would have slit Mr. Clutter’s throat like he did. Then if he hadn’t killed Mr. Clutter he wouldn’t have had to kill the rest of the family. On the other hand if Dick had been without Perry most likely he would have attempted it with someone else. If he hadn’t been with Perry though I am quite certain that the family would have survived. As Perry revealed Dick deep down was really a coward and would have been too afraid to kill the Clutter’s.
After they had committed the murder and robbery they still stuck together, even though it may have been wise to go back to a normal life. This was as it seems to be not a very intelligent move on their part but it was necessary for them. People need someone they can talk to or at least it makes life much easier to go through. The more you have shared with someone the easier they are to talk to. This of course depends on the depth of the experience as well as how frequently it occurs. Now as I am not a criminal myself I can really only speculate at how it must feel to commit such crimes but this is my opinion on the matter. If you and a friend were to steal something it would most likely be an exciting experience. It can be compared to having fun with a friend you are still enjoying it either way whether it is right or wrong. The more fun you have with someone the closer you feel to them and the more open you are with that person. The more things there are that you feel can only be shared with that person the more you feel the need to talk to them. I say all this because according to my experiences it has been true with all of the people I have known. Now I don’t know anything about what murder would feel like but I would imagine its one of those things that you wish you could share with someone else yet you know that you cannot. These things bring people together whether those people like it or not. Besides the fact that these two had killed four people together they had also: spent a great deal of time together in prison, committed numerous small crimes together, they understood each other a great deal, and finally they had quite a bit of fun together. Therefore I have come to believe that even though Perry and Dick would have been better off if they had separated they couldn’t have because they were dependant upon each other.