Herb Clutter Quotes in In Cold Blood
At the time, not a soul in sleeping Holcomb heard them – four shotgun blasts that, all told, ended six human lives.
Always certain of what he wanted from the world, Mr. Clutter had in large measure obtained it…[H]e wore a plain gold band, which was the symbol…of his marriage to the person he had wished to marry…She had given him four children – a trio of daughters and a son.
How was it possible that such effort, such plain virtue, could overnight be reduced to this – smoke, thinning as it rose and was received by the big, annihilating sky?
Nancy wore her dress of cherry-red velvet, her brother a bright plaid shirt; the parents were more sedately attired, Mr. Clutter in navy-blue flannel, his wife in navy-blue crepe; and – and it was this, especially, that lent the scene an awful aura – the head of each was completely encased in cotton, a swollen cocoon twice the size of an ordinary blown-up balloon, and the cotton, because it had been sprayed with a glossy substance, twinkled like Christmas-tree snow.
Perry Smith killed the Clutters…. It was Perry. I couldn’t stop him. He killed them all.
As the auction progressed, and Mr. Clutter’s worldly domain dwindled, gradually vanished, Paul Helm, remembering the burial of the murdered family said, “It’s like a second funeral.”
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.