Richard Eugene Hickock and Perry Edward Smith brutally murdered four members of the Clutter family in Holcomb, Kansas, on November 15, 1959. Their crime was made famous by Truman Capote in his 1966 non-fiction novel In Cold Blood.
Perry Smith was born in Huntington, Nevada, on October 27, 1928. He was initially raised by his alcoholic mother; however, he spent his adolescence living with his father. Smith spent time in various juvenile detention homes after joining a gang and becoming involved in petty crime.
Richard Hickock was born in Kansas City, Kansas, on June 6, 1931. He was an intelligent, popular athlete before injuries from a car accident in 1950 left him disfigured. To make ends meet, he turned to petty crime and eventually ended up in the Kansas State Prison where he met Smith and contrived a plan for robbery and murder.
After they were released from prison, Hickock wrote to Smith asking him to return to Kansas City to assist him with a robbery he had been planning. Smith agreed to meet with Hickock and immediately they to work carrying out Hickock’s plan.
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Capote, Truman (1965). In Cold Blood. New York: Random House. Retrieved November 30, 2015.