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Smith and Hickock (Perry and Dick)
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Murderers
    Perry Smith born on October 27, 1928, in Huntington, Nevada
    Dick Hickock born on June 6, 1931, in Kansas City, Kansas
    First meet in prison (1956)
    Murdered Herb Clutter, his wife Bonnie and teenage children Nancy and Kenyon in Holcomb, Kansas (November 14, 1959)
    Apprehended on December 30, 1959
    Both found guilty of multiple counts of first degree murder (March 28, 1960)
    Both executed by hanging after three attempts for a retrial (April 14, 1965)
    Subject of nonfiction novel 'In Cold Blood' (1965) by Truman Capote
    Portrayed in feature films 'In Cold Blood' (1967) and 'Capote' (2005)
    Smith made up a story about killing a black man to impress Hickock.
    Both had a history of writing bad checks.
    Hickock wanted to rape Nancy Clutter (but was stopped by Smith).
    All four Clutters were shot in the head at close range, and Herb Clutter's throat was cut beforehand.
    Smith admitted to killing the father and son but was evasive about his role in the women's deaths.
    After the murders, they joked about how the bodies now 'cluttered' the house.
    They fled to Mexico but soon reentered the US, assuming the murders were forgotten.
    Smith eerily said of Herb Clutter, 'I thought he was a very nice gentleman…I thought so right up to the moment I cut his throat.'
    Capote openly favored Smith and may have been in love with him.
    Robert Blake who portrayed Smith in 'In Cold Blood' was later himself accused of first degree murder (2001).
    Smith’s father was an abusive alcoholic.
    Hickock’s jaw was permanently displaced after a car accident.
    A motorcycle crash deformed Smith’s legs and left him in constant pain.
    There is some doubt as to whether the murders were premeditated or not.
    They targeted the Clutters because Hickock had been wrongly told they had a safe full of money.
    Smith showed some compassion for the Clutters and tried to make them comfortable.
    They were not given counsel until after they confessed.
    Their defense attorneys took the case with great reluctance.
    The trial was held in a town where popular sentiment was very much against them.
    Before their executions, Hickock said he had no hard feelings and Smith apologized.

Credit: Georgina


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