Inktober 2018: 31 studies of Truman Capote’s IN COLD BLOOD



Imagination, of course, can open any door– turn the key and let the terror walk right in.

– Truman Capote

No. 1 Richard Hickock: “It was early, not yet nine…”

No. 2: “Nancy Clutter is always in a hurry, but she always has time.”

No. 3 Truman Capote: “In Cold Blood- a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences.”

No. 4 Kenyon Clutter: “… so I took him down and to the playroom where there was a comfortable looking couch.”

No. 5 Herbert Clutter: “The master of River Valley Farm, Herbert William Clutter, was forty-eight years old…”

No. 6: “… 7 miles west of Garden City.”

No. 7 Bonnie Clutter: “… poor Bonnie’s affliction was in the least a secret.”

No. 8 Bonnie Clutter: “… had resurrected her ‘old self’; as if serving up a preview of the normality…”

No. 9 Floyd Wells: “His drowsiness instantly vanished when he heard, officers investigating tragic slaying of four members of the Herbert W. Clutter family…”

No. 10A: “Truman sits with his coffee, reading the New York Times.  He sits up straight, folds the paper over, reads it. C/U of article being snipped out of PAGE 39 of the Times.” [Capote Screenplay by Dan Futterman]

No. 10B: “I think this is what I want to write about.” [Capote Screenplay by Dan Futterman]

No. 11 Perry Smith: “Were any representatives of the cinema there?” [Life Magazine, May 12, 1967]


No. 12 Nancy Clutter: “The snake swallows you?  Or what?”

No. 13 Richard Hickock: “Well, hell, give it all to us then.”

No. 14 Harper Lee: “You’re the only one I know with the qualifications to be both research assistant and personal bodyguard.” [Capote Screenplay by Dan Futterman]

No. 15: Forty seven dollars.


No. 16: EXT KANSAS STATE PENITENTIARY (KSP) LANSING-DAY. [Capote Screenplay by Dan Futterman]

No. 17 Walter Hickock Sr.: “The judge up there! I have never seen a man so prejudiced… No sense.  Just no sense having a trial.”

No. 18 Susan Kidwell: “Susan Kidwell, her confidante…”

No. 19 Richard Avedon: “Perry, honey.  You look terrific.” [Capote Screenplay by Dan Futterman]

No. 20: “My cup runneth over…”

No. 21 Alvin Dewey’s cat: “Courthouse Pete, the family watchcat.  Pete weighs 13 pounds.” – from Harper Lee’s article in the Grapevine, March 2960

No. 22 Truman Capote: “Imagination, of course, can open any door– turn the key and let the terror walk right in.”


No. 23 The Big Yellow Bird: “… the yellow bird, huge and parrot-faced, board in Perry’s dream, an avenging angel who savaged his enemies or, as now, rescued him in moments of mortal danger.””

No. 24 Truman Capote: “It scraped me right to the marrow of my bones.  It nearly killed me.  I think, in a way, it did kill me.”

No. 25 Perry and Dick: “A week in Mexico City…”

No. 26: Plot Analysis

No. 27: In the District Court of Finney County Kansas.  The State of Kansas (Plaintiff) vs. Richard Eugene Hickock and Perry Edward Smith (Defendants), No. 2322

No. 28: “Autumn rewards western Kansas for the evils that the remaining seasons impose.”

No. 29: “Or the moon.  Oh, he can fool you.”

No. 30: “Using their paws as though they are surgical instruments, the cats extract from the grilles every feathery particle.”

No. 31: “He looked at his fingers, which were stained with ink and paint, for he’d spent his final three years on Death Row painting self-portraits and pictures of children, usually the children of inmates who supplied him with photographs of their seldom-seen progeny.”

© 2018 Katarina Thorsen


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