BIRTH: January 2, 1943
DEATH: November 15, 1959
BIRTH: August 28, 1944
DEATH: November 15, 1959
Nancy, 16, Kenyon, 15, and their parents Herbert, 47, and Bonnie, 44, were brutally murdered inside their home by two ex-convicts that were on parole.
Another inmate inside the prison in which they were released from told them he use to work for Herb Clutter, the father of Nancy and Kenyon. The inmate told the murderers that Herb was wealthy and had a safe full of money in his house.
After their release from prison they went to the Clutter’s home where four of the six family members happened to be home. Two sisters, Beverly and Eveanna Clutter were not living at the home during the brutal murders of their brother, sister and parents. Beverly, attending college, was away attending the college homecoming festivities. Eveanna, married, lived in Illinois with her husband and son.
Once entering the home, they realized that there was not a safe that contained any money in the house. They awoke Herb and he gave them the little cash he had and said there was no more. They then had Nancy, Kenyon and Bonnie get up from their beds and confirm Herb’s story.
Once the rest of the family stated there wasn’t a safe in the house containing money, they commenced to ransacked the entire house. The two men got no more than roughly fifty dollars, a pair of binoculars and a transistor radio. Once the two had all they could find and assuming that Herb wasn’t volunteering the information of where the cash was stored, executed in cold blood all four family members, including Nancy and Kenyon.
Herb was found sprawled on a mattress in the basement, he was stabbed, his throat slashed, and a shotgun charge fired to his head. His hands were bound and his mouth was taped shut.
On a couch in an adjoining room was Kenyon, bound, gagged and shot in the head. In separate upstairs bedrooms were the bodies of Bonnie and Nancy. Bonnie was bound and gagged, Nancy only bound. Each had been shot in the head. An autopsy showed there was no sexual assault on either Bonnie or Nancy.
When Richard Eugene Hickock and Perry Edward Smith were captured in Las Vegas, Nevada they were a driving a stolen car they had acquired in Iowa while on the run after the murders. They also had in their possession the boots, which made a bloody print at the home of the Clutter’s. While in jail for the murders they confessed and were flown back to Kansas to stand trial.
Richard Eugene Hickock was charged with 4 counts of first-degree murder. He was convicted and sentenced to death. He was executed on April 14, 1965 by hanging at the age of 34.
Perry Edward Smith was charged with 4 counts of first-degree murder. He was convicted and sentenced to death. He was executed on April 14, 1965 by hanging at the age of 37.
NOTE: The last words of Perry Smith were, “I think it is a hell of a thing that a life has to be taken in this manner. I say this especially because there’s a great deal I could have offered society. I certainly think capital punishment is legally and morally wrong. Any apology for what I have done would be meaningless at this time. I don’t have any animosities toward anyone involved in this matter. I think that is all.”
The last words of Richard Hickock were, “No, I guess I don’t.”
A book was later written about the murders of Nancy, Kenyon, Herb, and Bonnie Clutter. The book “In Cold Blood” was written by Truman Capote and published in 1966.