Truman Capote's In Cold Blood is a true description of a multiple murder.
The victims were a renowned and respected family that lived in Holcomb, Kansas.
They were murdered in their home in the early morning hours of November 15th,
1959. Though the book goes into great detail when it comes to analyzing the victim's
thoughts, it leaves the reader to wonder just exactly Perry's motives for
committing the crime.
Perry Edward Smith's family life was very unstable. His parents, a
Cherokee rodeo girl and an Irish cowboy, divorced when he was six years old. His
mother, an alcoholic, took custody of her four children, but Smith's life with his
mother was short-lived. During that short period of time, Perry lashed out against
his mother frequently. He tried to run away from home and rejoin his father that
ended in failure each time. As time progressed Perry began to despise his mother
because of her drinking habit.
After a short period of time Perry's mother left him
at an orphanage. The orphanages where he stayed abused him because of his
Cherokee blood, including the nuns in a Catholic orphanage, who always hit him
"because of wetting the bed"(132), a problem he never did get over. He had a good
relationship with his father, but after a falling-out with him over their failing
business, they never had civil words again before Smith's problems with the law.
In 1952, he had a motorcycle accident. It permanently crippled his knees,
stunted his height, and forced him to become an aspirin addict. To top it off, two of
his three siblings committed suicide. Smith "tried to believe Fern slipped"(110), but
"it was sad to think of her climbing over a window sill and falling fifteen
floors"(111). His brother, Jimmy, had "driven his...