In Cold Blood

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Son of John “Tex” Smith and Julia “Flo” Buckskin. Murdered the Clutter family with the aid of Dick Hickok. A sensitive, artistic type who entertains fantastic dreams of treasure hunting and working as an entertainer in a night club, Perry is seemingly driven to a life of crime by his traumatic childhood. He is handsome and “actorish,” but a motorcycle accident has disfigured the lower half of his body. He is in chronic pain due to the accident and is addicted to aspirin. He may be a paranoid schizophrenic. He is half-Cherokee.

Perry Edward Smith Quotes in In Cold Blood

The In Cold Blood quotes below are all either spoken by Perry Edward Smith or refer to Perry Edward Smith. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Dreams Failed, Dreams Achieved Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Vintage edition of In Cold Blood published in 1994.
Part 1 Quotes

At the time, not a soul in sleeping Holcomb heard them – four shotgun blasts that, all told, ended six human lives.

Related Characters: Perry Edward Smith, Richard Eugene “Dick” Hickok, Herb Clutter, Bonnie Clutter, Nancy Clutter, Kenyon Clutter
Page Number: 5
Explanation and Analysis:

In Cold Blood opens by describing a serene and pastoral town in which salt-of-the-earth Kansans raise families and livestock in a religious and warm community. Capote sets up this image of paradise only to dash it with the description of the shotgun blasts. In a way, this opening mirrors the experience of reading the whole book; Capote repeatedly presents readers with idyllic scenes of American life and traditionally successful characters only to tell us afterwards that everything is darker and more complicated than it initially appears.

This quotation also sets in motion the unspooling of the plot. By revealing that four shotgun blasts ended six lives, Capote tells readers from the start that the two killers are doomed as well. This foreshadowing (or prolepsis, as it would be more accurately described) makes the dreams and aspirations that the two killers express throughout the remainder of the book seem hopeless and even tragic. In this way, Capote has primed the readers for one of the major themes of the book: that the American dream seems always out of reach. 

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[T]he dream of drifting downward through strange waters, of plunging toward a green sea-dusk, sliding past the scaly, savage-eyed protectors of a ship’s hulk that loomed ahead, a Spanish galleon – a drowned cargo of diamonds and pearls, heaping caskets of gold.

Related Characters: Perry Edward Smith
Page Number: 17
Explanation and Analysis:

More than any other character in the book, Perry represents the elusive nature of the American dream. While Perry's dreams are always eccentric (he does not embody mainstream American masculinity, and his dreams are not quite resonant with the classic American dream), his fantasizing about the wealth and excitement of treasure hunting in Mexico places him within the bounds of the classic American quest for the stability and status that come with money. Indeed, Perry's fantasizing about Mexico reveals that he believes he will have a comfortable life there (rather than the scrappy and impoverished one he has lived in the States), and that he will feel independent. This shows the similarities between his values and traditional American middle class values.

However, the same passage reveals one stark difference between Perry and the majority of middle class Americans; Perry plans to achieve his dreams through criminal means. Perry is not entirely unsympathetic, though. In this passage, Perry reveals that his motivation for robbing the Clutter family is to get enough money to allow him to escape to what he believes will be a fulfilling life in Mexico (he doesn't fantasize about more crime), and, furthermore, readers learn that Dick is the ringleader of this operation. Clearly, then, Perry is not simply interested in crime for its own sake. 

Part 2 Quotes

…once a thing is set to happen, all you can do is hope it won’t. Or will – depending. As long as you life, there’s always something waiting, and even if it’s bad, and you know it’s bad, what can you do?

Related Characters: Perry Edward Smith (speaker)
Page Number: 92
Explanation and Analysis:

Perry says this in response to Dick asking him why, if he had a premonition that something bad would happen, did he continue with their plan. His response reveals that Perry is, perhaps, less secular and innocent than he seemed at first. As readers have been acquainted with a Perry who is possessed by his fantastic dreams of treasure hunting in Mexico, the fatalism of this passage comes as a shock. While Perry had once seemed a little innocent in his unrealizable aspirations, we now see that Perry may actually understand the hopelessness of his position more than we think.  

His response also seems almost religious, even though Perry is somebody who disavows religion. Perry claims, to some extent, to have had no agency in the murders, as he feels that he was possessed by a fate that was determined outside of himself. Not only does Perry show his belief in fate here, but he also reveals that he thinks of himself as some sort of mystic--he cites a history of premonitions. This passage adds considerable depth to Perry's character, and also casts doubt on Perry's sense of good and evil, as he chooses to cite fate rather than reckoning with his own choices. 

It was after one of these beatings, one [Perry] could never forget…that the parrot appeared, arrived while he slept, a bird “taller than Jesus, yellow like a sunflower,” a warrior-angel who blinded the nuns with its beak, fed upon their eyes, slaughtered them as they “pleaded for mercy,” then so gently lifted him, enfolded him, winged him away to “paradise.”

Related Characters: Perry Edward Smith
Related Symbols: The Golden Parrot
Page Number: 93
Explanation and Analysis:

While Perry's previous admission of his beliefs in fate and premonition seemed eccentric, this passage tips from eccentric to, depending on your perspective, a kind of religious ecstasy or an indication of possible mental illness. Perry here describes a cherished vision, one that has returned to him throughout his life, of a parrot who saves him from his own wrongdoing and the cruelty of others. The parrot, which Perry compares to Jesus, has a similar function -- to take Perry to paradise despite his sins.

This gives crucial insight into Perry's perspective on himself. Through the parrot, readers glimpse the litany of cruelties Perry has experienced at the hands of others, and we see that, while Perry does not always consider his actions to be good or righteous, he does feel that he is less cruel than other people, which excuses some bad behavior. Furthermore, he expects salvation not from his own deeds, but from the parrot. This logic sheds light on Perry's seemingly impossible hope for a fulfilling and stable life, and also his idea that he can achieve this without behaving wholly honorably. The parrot points to a complicated psychological disposition in which Perry's past and his (possibly pathological) beliefs in salvation and fate combine to make murder possible. 

No fooling Dick…This is authentic. I’ve got a map. I’ve got the whole history. It was buried there back in 1821 – Peruvian bullion, jewelry. Sixty million dollars – that’s what they say it’s worth. Even if we didn’t find all of it, even if we only found some of it – Are you with me, Dick?

Related Characters: Perry Edward Smith (speaker), Richard Eugene “Dick” Hickok
Page Number: 100
Explanation and Analysis:

While Perry's discussion of inescapable fate makes readers feel, to some extent, that Perry understands his own doom, he is still prone to flights of fancy about the life he and Dick could have in Mexico. Here, after a day of writing hot checks, Perry is explaining to a skeptical Dick how they will make money once they leave the country. His explanation sounds delusional at best--his plans include treasure maps, fishing boats, and diving for sunken treasure. It is through the contrast between passages like this (that show the scale and intensity of Perry's longing) and the brutality of the Clutter murders that Capote critiques the American dream. Not only does the dream inspire rabid dissatisfaction and grandiose hopes, but it makes it possible to commit acts of extreme violence in the name of aspiration. Clearly, Perry just wants to have a nice life for himself, but he doesn't seem to recognize that, in the pursuit of this, he has taken four lives from others. 

Now, what kind of person would do that – tie up two women…and then draw up the bedcovers, tuck them in, like sweet dreams and good night?

Related Characters: Alvin Dewey (speaker), Perry Edward Smith, Richard Eugene “Dick” Hickok
Page Number: 103
Explanation and Analysis:

Here, Alvin contemplates the specifics of the murder scene, saying that he is most tantalized by the trouble that the killers went to to make sure the Clutters were comfortable. Alvin seems unable to understand how a cold-blooded murderer could be in the process of killing and simultaneously beholden to the impulses towards kindness that would make him tuck Nancy and Bonnie in, or put a pillow under Kenyon's head. With this passage, Capote continues to explore the complex nature of evil. Evil, Capote seems to say, is not monolithic--an almost scarier proposition than the idea of somebody being purely evil, since it makes us ask to what extent one has to follow evil impulses to do evil, and, conversely, how much kindness is required to save us from evil.

In these considerations, the passage also makes a commentary on our perceptions about what is normal. It seems that Alvin does not believe that these impulses towards kindness are "normal" behavior for a killer, though kindness would be "normal" behavior for the middle-class Christians in his community. Alvin's inability to categorize "normal" and "abnormal" people is, he seems to say, more difficult to process than the fact of the murders itself.

Deal me out, baby. I’m a normal.

Related Characters: Richard Eugene “Dick” Hickok (speaker), Perry Edward Smith
Page Number: 111
Explanation and Analysis:

This quote comes in an exchange between Perry and Dick in which Perry raises the possibility that there is something wrong with the two of them, since they were able and willing to kill the Clutters. Dick responds confidently that he is normal, though Capote reveals that Dick is strongly convinced that Perry is not. Dick cites Perry's childishness, his stormy emotions, and his obsession with treasure hunting as examples that Perry is not "normal," but Dick's relentless defining of normalcy also reveals to us Dick's own preoccupation with being normal himself. Normalcy is a virtue that Dick seems to cherish and one that he believes (with pride) that he has, despite Perry's very good evidence to the contrary. In a sense, Dick's quest for normalcy is his version of Perry's treasure hunting dream--both are aspirations that guide their actions, and both are delusional in that, because of who these men are and the circumstances they're in, neither one of them can ever achieve their dream.

Part 3 Quotes

But I’m afraid of [Perry]. I always have been. He can seem so warmhearted and sympathetic. Gentle. He cries so easily…. Oh, he can fool you. He can make you feel so sorry for him –

Related Characters: Barbara (Smith) Johnson (speaker), Perry Edward Smith
Page Number: 182
Explanation and Analysis:

This quote is spoken by Perry's sister, who is a source of torment for him--at this point in the book he has expressed his hatred for her patronizing attitude and her lack of sympathy for his plight, as well as his wish that she had been in the Clutter home the night of the murders. While this passage, spoken by Barbara, seems, perhaps, less sympathetic to Perry than the reader might expect, her sentiment does not seem unjustified. For her, Perry's evil lies in the dichotomy between his outward appearance of sweetness and his inward tendencies toward violence. Barbara seems to view this as pathological manipulation, and it forces us as readers to step back and wonder if we have been similarly manipulated by Capote's attention to Perry's inner conflicts, dreams, and passions, which seem to soften his cruelty.

Barbara also presents a challenge to the fatalistic hypothesis that Perry is the way he is because his childhood was so bad--Barbara herself had a similar childhood, and she has achieved a life that she, and most others, would consider normal. This is an important counterpoint to Perry's own idea that he is not totally responsible for his actions, since he is controlled by fate and the past.

Things hadn’t changed much. Perry was twenty-odd years older and a hundred pounds heavier, and yet his material situation had improved not at all. He was still…an urchin dependent, so to say, on stolen coins.

Related Characters: Perry Edward Smith
Page Number: 193
Explanation and Analysis:
This is one of the most damning passages for the American dream in the whole book. Perry, who is much beholden to his fanciful dreams, here realizes that his life has actually been marked by a lack of progress of any kind. He is, at this point, still supporting himself by petty theft, just as he did as a kid. It's a complicated passage because he remembers those childhood thefts fondly--it even cheers him up to think about them--but he also notes cynically that his lack of progress seems incredible for someone of his intelligence and talent. As readers, we're left not knowing what to believe--since he seems to enjoy theft, is he in his current position because his aspirations are actually much less extravagant than he seems to believe? Or has he been unable to achieve his tremendous potential because of fate and circumstance? Regardless, this passage once again critiques the empty promise of progress and success in America.

Dick was sick of [Perry] – his harmonica, his aches and ills, his superstitions, the weepy, womanly eyes, the nagging, whispering voice. Suspicious, self-righteous, spiteful, he was like a wife that must be got rid of.

Related Characters: Perry Edward Smith, Richard Eugene “Dick” Hickok
Page Number: 214
Explanation and Analysis:

Just before their arrest in Las Vegas, Dick reveals that he has tired of Perry and that he plans to ditch him without saying goodbye. Significantly, Perry's characteristics that most grate on Dick are the ones that Dick sees as being most abnormal--it's worth noting, too, that to Dick, the most abnormal thing a man can be is feminine. So Dick, in his relentless protection of his own normalcy, wants to get rid of Perry. While Capote has brought attention throughout the book to Perry's femininity, this passage is significant because Dick has never before been so disgusted with Perry and, correspondingly, has never described Perry in such concertedly feminine terms. He brings attention to Perry's womanly eyes, his feminine voice, and his nagging, before explicitly comparing Perry to a wife. In prior passages, Dick has seemed to enjoy aspects of feminizing Perry--in a traditionally masculine way, Dick is the leader of the two of them, and he calls Perry pet names like "honey" and "baby." However, as their relationship splinters, Dick uses Perry's femininity as a scapegoat for the deeper problems of trust and cruelty that plague their relationship. 

Perry Smith killed the Clutters…. It was Perry. I couldn’t stop him. He killed them all.

Related Characters: Richard Eugene “Dick” Hickok (speaker), Perry Edward Smith, Herb Clutter, Bonnie Clutter, Nancy Clutter, Kenyon Clutter
Page Number: 230
Explanation and Analysis:

Throughout the book, Dick is portrayed as the more cold-blooded of the two killers due to his lack of remorse and kindness. When presented with an evidence photograph of a bloody footprint and told of all the murder charges he is facing, Dick does not keep to his word that he and Perry will tell the same story to police interrogators, and instead he blames the killings on Perry. This further cements the reader's negative opinion of Dick, as he is essentially attempting to sacrifice his friend, who he dragged into the killings in the first place, in order to spare his own future. While Perry represents a nuanced and even banal vision of evil (he commits an evil act because Dick tells him to, and feels some remorse after), Dick is a much more polar version of evil. Dick is shown as cruel, manipulative, and lacking empathy in a way that almost points to psychological pathology. 

Nonetheless, [Alvin] found it possible to look at the man beside him without anger…for Perry Smith’s life had been no bed of roses but pitiful, an ugly and lonely progress toward one mirage and then another.

Related Characters: Perry Edward Smith, Alvin Dewey
Page Number: 246
Explanation and Analysis:

This quote comes at the end of Alvin hearing Perry's full confession to the Clutter murders. Capote devotes pages to Perry giving an account in excruciating detail of how he and Dick killed the four Clutters, and then Alvin proclaims that he has a certain sympathy for Perry, and he's not angry, though he does not feel inclined towards forgiveness or mercy either. Alvin, perhaps, has the most nuanced perspective on Perry of all. Unlike Perry's sister, he does not think of Perry as pure evil; unlike Dick, he does not think of Perry as weak and abnormal; and unlike Perry himself, he does not chalk the man's actions up to fate and rotten circumstance. While Alvin acknowledges that Perry has been, for his whole life, in the maddening position of chasing a dream that is actually a "mirage," he still believes that Perry is responsible for his own choices, indicating that he believes that evil is something not inherent to a person, but something within his or her control. 

Part 4 Quotes

The cats, for example: the two thin gray toms who appeared with every twilight and prowled the Square, stopping to examine the cars parked around its periphery – behavior puzzling to [Perry] until Mrs. Meier explained that the cats were hunting for dead birds caught in the vehicles’ engine grilles. Thereafter it pained him to watch their maneuvers: “Because most of my life I’ve done what they’re doing. The equivalent.”

Related Characters: Perry Edward Smith, Josephine Meier
Related Symbols: Two Gray Cats
Page Number: 264
Explanation and Analysis:

The two gray tomcats are obvious symbols of Dick and Perry themselves. From his cell, Perry watches them and at first feels perplexed by their behavior. This harkens back to Capote's concern with normality and abnormality, as Perry clearly finds the cats' behavior to be abnormal—until Mrs. Meier explains that they're hunting for dead birds in car grilles. At this point Perry seems heartbroken by watching them, because he sees himself in the cats: surviving by foraging for what's cast off by the world, living on the margins of society, and benefiting from violence and death. In comparing his own behavioral patterns to the behavior of the cats, Perry seems to embrace the same fatalism that led him to conclude that his behavior was largely outside of his control. He is pitying himself here by comparing himself to animals who are not taken care of and have little hope for a better life. 

Soldiers don’t lose much sleep. They murder, and get medals for doing it. The good people of Kansas want to murder me – and some hangman will be glad to get the work. It’s easy to kill – a lot easier than passing a bad check. Just remember: I only knew the Clutters maybe an hour. If I’d really known them, I guess I’d feel different. I don’t think I could live with myself. But the way it was, it was like picking targets off in a shooting gallery.

Related Characters: Perry Edward Smith (speaker), Herb Clutter, Bonnie Clutter, Nancy Clutter, Kenyon Clutter
Related Symbols: Death Row
Page Number: 291
Explanation and Analysis:

At this point in the story, Perry is beginning to unravel psychologically, so his words cannot be considered reliable. However, in a sense, this passage seems to be one of the most honest in the book. It would have been easy for Perry to play up his moral conflict (evident in his efforts to make the Clutters comfortable before their deaths, his questioning whether he and Dick are normal if they're capable of an act like that, or his thinking of Nancy Clutter on her birthday) and earn the sympathy of his Christian friend, but instead he presents himself in a pretty unforgiving light. This is another example of Perry's brand of evil being complex--Perry admits that he would have felt remorse if he'd known the Clutters, but says he is not sorry since he didn't know them, which seems sociopathic. However, this assertion is contradicted by the fact that by the time this quote occurs we've just found out that Perry tried to take the blame for the murders to spare Dick's family shame, indicating that Perry does have some empathy for people he doesn't know. Perry also makes a moral comparison between the Clutter murder and the acts of soldiers and executioners, and questions whether one can make a meaningful distinction between them. Essentially, this quote indicates that Perry cannot understand the depths of his own moral confusion, and he seems weary of trying. 

I think…it’s a helluva thing to take a life in this manner. I don’t believe in capital punishment, morally or legally. Maybe I had something to contribute, something – It would be meaningless to apologize for what I did. Even inappropriate. But I do. I apologize.

Related Characters: Perry Edward Smith (speaker)
Related Symbols: Death Row
Page Number: 340
Explanation and Analysis:

Perry's last words further show the complexity of evil. Perry did something evil, and the humility of his apology shows that even he would likely admit that at this point. However, he does not believe that this makes him wholly bad, and he does not believe that the taking of one life (or even four) justifies the taking of another. Despite Perry's flaws, he emerges from this story seeming reasonably human and sympathetic. It's profound that Perry acknowledges that even if he is sorry for what he has done, it is meaningless to say the words in the face of the lives he has taken. 

This passage is also Perry's final appeal to his beloved dreams. Throughout the book Perry has been full of dreams--he is always aspiring to a better life than the one he has, but his visions for the future have, up until now, been largely concerned with personal wealth and adventure. That at the moment of his death Perry's dream for the future is to contribute to society opens the possibility that Perry has grown.

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Perry Edward Smith Character Timeline in In Cold Blood

The timeline below shows where the character Perry Edward Smith appears in In Cold Blood. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1: The Last to See Them Alive
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Perry Smith is sitting in the Little Jewel Café in Olathe, Kansas. He’s drinking a root... (full context)
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Perry gets into Dick’s car – a black 1949 Chevrolet. Dick is still wearing his blue... (full context)
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...lie: he’s told them that he’s going on an overnight trip to Fort Scott with Perry in order to collect money from Perry’s sister. They finish tuning up the car at... (full context)
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Having finished tuning up the Chevy, Dick and Perry spend the next hour “sprucing up” in the body shop’s bathroom. Both men are rather... (full context)
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Dick and Perry reach the large town of Emporia, Kansas in order to pick up supplies for the... (full context)
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Dick and Perry, still on the hunt for black pantyhose, are parked outside of a Catholic hospital on... (full context)
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Dick and Perry drive through the night. Perry gazes out at the flat landscape and reflects on how... (full context)
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Dick and Perry have a veritable feast at a diner in Great Bend. They take off for Holcomb,... (full context)
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While in the car, Dick worries that Perry has changed his mind about the “score” – something Dick hadn’t expected. Perry had once... (full context)
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Perry sleeps in a motel room in Olathe, Kansas. His boots are soaking in the washbasin;... (full context)
Part 2: Persons Unknown
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Perry and Dick sit in a café in Kansas City. Perry obsessively reads a front-page article... (full context)
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Dick questions Perry’s premonitions. Perry shrugs. “[O]nce a thing is set up to happen, all you can do... (full context)
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Kansas City. Perry and Dick have been busy – Dick has been writing bad checks all over Kansas... (full context)
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After a day of pawning, Dick and Perry have made quite a bit of money. Perry is excited – finally, his dream of... (full context)
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Having loaded the Chevy with stolen goods and all of Perry’s worldly belongings, Perry and Dick cross into Oklahoma. Perry is relieved, but Dick is uneasy... (full context)
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Dick and Perry are having a roadside picnic in Mexico. Perry speculates that there must be something wrong... (full context)
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As they drive away, Perry reflects on their conversation. Memories of the murder haunt him. He wonders if he was... (full context)
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Dick and Perry are aboard a small boat off the coast of Acapulco. A young Mexican man and... (full context)
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Dick and Perry are in a motel room in Mexico City. Perry has come to realize that Dick... (full context)
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Checkout time at the motel is drawing near, and Perry rifles through his memorabilia, trying to decide what he can afford to take with him.... (full context)
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Perry thinks back on his time as a Merchant Marine. He’d loved the seafaring life, but... (full context)
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Perry is shaken from his reminiscence and pulls out another letter, this time from his sister... (full context)
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After Perry reads this letter, it is revealed that he hates Barbara, and that he harbors a... (full context)
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Perry picks up a notebook: “The Private Diary of Perry Edward Smith.” Perry’s diary contains quotes,... (full context)
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Dick and Perry are hitchhiking in the Mojave Desert. Their plan is to get picked up by a... (full context)
Part 3: Answer
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...to him that the Clutter family was well off. Dick subsequently boasted that he and Perry were going to rob and kill the Clutters. Floyd is afraid to squeal on Dick,... (full context)
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...seemed resentful that his family couldn’t afford to send him to college. Mrs. Hickok blames Perry for Dick’s continued criminal behavior. Agent Nye catches a glimpse of a 12-gauge shotgun leaning... (full context)
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Dick and Perry hitch a ride with a traveling businessman. Dick chats up the businessman, all the while... (full context)
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Agent Nye visits a rooming house in Las Vegas where Perry had once lived. The landlady remarks that she’s expecting Perry to turn up any day,... (full context)
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Iowa. Dick and Perry seek shelter from a rainstorm in a barn. They’re headed for Kansas City, where Dick... (full context)
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Kansas City. Perry is at the Washateria, doing laundry and waiting for Dick to return. He feels sick... (full context)
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Alvin, in the midst of a dream about catching Dick and Perry, is awakened by a call from Agent Nye. Dick and Perry have been traced to... (full context)
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Christmas Day. Dick and Perry are on the beach in Miami, Florida, where they’ve been for several days. Dick collects... (full context)
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Perry – aware of his friend’s pedophilia - is concerned that Dick will try to rape... (full context)
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Dick and Perry pick up a couple hitchhikers – an old man and a young boy. Dick is... (full context)
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December 30th. The Dewey household. Alvin gets a call notifying him that Dick and Perry have been arrested in Las Vegas. Alvin is at first delighted and then is overcome... (full context)
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Earlier that day, Dick and Perry arrive at the post office in Las Vegas to pick up a box they mailed... (full context)
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...denies his involvement with the murders. Agent Nye emerges from the interrogation room and spots Perry. He’s fascinated by Perry’s short legs, tiny feet, dark complexion, and “pert, impish features.” Alvin... (full context)
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Perry and Dick are jailed in separate cells, and they ruminate about their respective interrogations. Perry... (full context)
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Perry and Dick are interrogated a second time. Perry sticks to the alibi. Dick, on the... (full context)
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Dick and Perry are being driven back to Garden City in a police caravan. Perry sits in the... (full context)
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Once in Garden City, the agents turn Perry against Dick, and Perry fills the investigators in on details of the murder. Perry recounts... (full context)
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Perry describes how he’d tried to make the Clutters more comfortable after he’d tied them up.... (full context)
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...automobiles. Nearby, a large crowd has gathered outside of the courthouse to see Dick and Perry get escorted to jail. The crowd falls silent when they finally arrive, “as though amazed... (full context)
Part 4: The Corner
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Perry is the first man to ever be held in the “ladies’ cell,” which is built... (full context)
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Perry proves to be a rather charming detainee: he acquires a pet squirrel; he takes pride... (full context)
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Perry receives a letter from an old Army buddy named Don Cullivan. He doesn’t have a... (full context)
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Perry watches the two gray cats from his window and realizes that his life has been... (full context)
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...that the trial will be held in Garden City, given that sentiment toward Dick and Perry is essentially uniform throughout the state. Additionally, many of Garden City’s Christian leaders are opposed... (full context)
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A jury is selected, and during that time Dick and Perry write autobiographical statements for Dr. Jones, the defense’s psychiatrist. Perry’s statement details a shattered family... (full context)
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...recesses for the weekend, Alvin testifies that Dick had planned on raping Nancy and that Perry had prevented him from doing so. He also reveals that Perry had willingly taken the... (full context)
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Spurred by religious feeling, Don Cullivan visits Perry in prison. Perry has a special meal prepared for his guest, and he makes sure... (full context)
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...allowed to speak, other than to state whether he has an opinion whether Dick and Perry knew right from wrong at the time of the murders. Dr. Jones states that he... (full context)
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...argues that the Bible is in favor of the death penalty, and that Dick and Perry are so dangerous that anything short of the death penalty would effectively give them the... (full context)
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After the trial, Mrs. Meier overhears Perry weeping in his cell. She holds his hand, and he says, “I’m embraced by shame.” (full context)
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The next day, Dick and Perry are sent back to Kansas State Penitentiary in Lansing, where they’re put on Death Row.... (full context)
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Dick and Perry survive their first execution date, given that their case is in appeals court. Perry and... (full context)
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...is conducted in Garden City, in which “the whole cast” is reassembled (minus Dick and Perry). After much deliberation, it’s decided that Perry and Dick had “received a constitutionally fair trial,”... (full context)
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In the meantime, Andrews is executed. Dick and Perry watch the proceedings from their cells in Death Row – they can see everything but... (full context)
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...innocence – he’s convinced, at this point, that he never killed anyone. He claims that Perry wants Dick to die – “He’s plain determined that if he goes I go.” Dick... (full context)
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Three years pass, and Dick and Perry manage to slip by three more execution dates. Finally, their final appeal fails, and their... (full context)
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Perry is then led to the gallows. His last words are solemn: “I think,” he says,... (full context)