You are on page 1of 18

Related text: In cold blood, by Truman Capote What the text is about The novel „In cold blood‟

, written by Truman Capote is a hybridization of journalism and crime non-fiction that was first published in 1966. Whilst incorporating aspects of traditional crime fiction, Capote transcends the text beyond the case of the crime and the process and accretion of evidence. Primarily, he focuses upon the psychology and profiles of the criminals. In doing so, he explores the material, psychological and environmental circumstances that cause two otherwise ordinary human beings to commit the atrocious acts of murder in cold blood. Also, he dwells upon the system of the law and the administration of justice in the form of capital punishment. How does this text depict crime? Capote's style is objective and highly innovative prose; as it combines the factual accuracy of journalism with the emotive impact of fiction. Capote said that he wanted to bring "the art of the novelist together with the techniques of journalism." Through the integration of journalism he takes a non-fiction story from a newspaper and transcends it into a narrative form told through an objective narrator. He imbues journalist techniques such as extended dialogues, and internal monologue, „Dick dropped the binoculars into a leather case.. He was annoyed. Annoyed as hell‟ which is supplied from his anecdotal sources and acts as an enhancer of dramatic intensity within the novel and providing evocative description. Also, the presence of the journalists within the novel is self referential as whenever a dire event takes place such as the murdering of the Clutters and the conviction of the murderers they are always there to capture the story. This follows the extension of the genre of crime through being self-referential which is also evident within the film „Rear Window‟ whereby, Stella makes referential comments regarding the genre of pulp fiction, highlighting the influential presence of crime fiction within society‟s everyday lives. In conjunction, Truman Capote is a variation of the detective as the story is told through an omniscient, omnipotent narrator in third person, and acts as the witness to the murder and process of investigation. He also acts as the medium through which the characterisation of alternating viewpoints are disclosed in order to construct the story upon the basis of the memory of different characters from the past leading to the present. According to Wolfe, Capote was employing "the technique of presenting every scene to the reader through the eyes of a particular character, giving the reader the feeling of being inside the character's mind and experiencing the emotional reality of the scene." Initially, the story is told through present tense, emphasised through the word „wear‟ which then changes to the past tense, „wore‟, as the narrator reflects upon the past. This combination and flitting from past to present, creates tension and suspense as the responders attempt to understand the murder with which they are first introduced and what crucial events lead to the climax of this atrocious commission.

Detectives – the detectives are instrumental within the process of observation.Al Dewey uses his intellect and powers of observation to make deductions upon the basis of evidence retrieved through scientific equipment. security and the ability to determine one‟s own fate portrayed through the citizens of Holcomb and Garden City. for ye know not when the time is‟ which foreshadows the crime that soon ensues and evokes the emotions of anticipation and apprehension within the reader. who symbolise the utmost integrity of family. A lot of time the answer seems so unattainable because the crime is so outrageous. This is also evident through the religious allusion: „Take ye heed. the main private investigator. Capote produces a stark image of the deep doubleness of American dream. as it forces us to confront those who were left behind. The Clutter killings symbolise the collusion of the two sides of America within the 1960‟s : the prosperous. Additionally. as the case involved „murder without apparent motive‟ committed by „a person or persons unknown‟. Hence. sense of morality and behaviour of individual character in the context of the book. 2. the combination of the foreboding and ominous tone within „touching the brim of his cap. Their world must suddenly include the embittered „rootless‟ person. The two distinctive version of the American dream are presented : the first being one of safety. This is evident in how the detectives struggle to discern the „motive‟ and „cause for the crime‟. The social context Capote comments upon the loss of innocence and the undermining of the American Dream. Different detectives play a role in this process. However. emulated through the detective‟s question. His rational thinking is demonstrated through the „opinions‟. „where‟s our proof?‟. detection and apprehension of the criminals which is conventional within the detective crime fiction genre. To what degree is this a ‘traditional’ crime writing text? 1. Similarly. are obliterated by Perry who represents one who comes from a broken home. „hypothesis‟ and „concepts‟ he forms in „reconstructing the crime‟ such as his „single killer concept‟ and „double killer concept‟. The Clutters. This is evident through his logical deduction and reasoning. Capote also comments on how family life is a key determinant of the psychology.Furthermore. „in studying the death-scene . Perry‟s criminality is connected to the dissolution of his own kinship ties. This is juxtaposed and thwarted by the victimization of the Clutters. the lack of evidence linking the murderers to the crime adds to the apparent lack of seeming ability to solve the crime. unaware that it would be his last‟ and „the dress in which she would be buried‟ highlights the conventional integration of suspense and tension which establishes the literary game between both the responder and the novel. for whom this dream was never an option in the first place. he headed for home and the day‟s work. watch and pray. self-assured “haves” with the disappointed and destitute “have-nots”. The seemingly perfect crime – at first it seems that the crime has been committed so meticulously that it is virtually unsolvable.

they had suffered‟. „laboratory technicians skilled in various categories of scientific crime detection‟. as he „reported on appreciable difference in the body temperatures of the victims.photographs Dewey had distinguished other details that seemed to support his notion of a murderer now and again moved by considerate impulses‟. an ugly and lonely progress towards one mirage and the another‟. Nancy. however. „had experienced prolonged terror. theorised that the order of execution had been: Mrs Clutter. as the Clutters. Also. acts as a witness „for the purpose of ascertaining whether either or both were „insane. the detectives act as witnesses for the prosecution through their testimony. is transcended as he acknowledge felt a „measure of sympathy. Truman Capote‟s novel goes beyond the whodunit murder mystery and extends to the detective having to prove that the murderers of Perry and Hickock has actually „set foot inside the Clutter house‟ which is a transformation of the detective crime genre. Other detectives which play a role in the process of investigation: The forensic scientists such as the coroner Dr Robert Fenton assist in providing details surrounding the death of the victims. His sense of moral conviction is conventional. „a total of eighteen men were assigned to the case full time‟. (blood samples. his deep sense of moral conviction overpowers his sympathy as it was not deep enough to accommodate for forgiveness or mercy. in this sense playing a role in the process of administering justice lawfully. . Furthermore. Also. Moreover. footprints. unable to comprehend their position and aid their defence‟ through discerning the psychological state of the „mental capacities of the prisoners‟. imbeciles or idiots. Mitchell Jones‟ a „specialist in criminal psychology and the criminally insane‟ in his testimony.for Perry Smith‟s life had been no bed of roses but pitiful. „studied the physical evidence connecting the accused to the murders.‟ Additionally. cartridge shells. „Dr W. He also states how „he hoped to see Perry and his partner hanged.hanged back to back‟. This is a contemporary transformation of the detective crime fiction genre as a group of detectives work together to solve the crime. including the main detective „Dewey. and on this basis. rope and tape). The presence of the psychologist is an added facet of detection in understanding the motives of the criminals. Kenyon and Mr Clutter‟. and prior to that. This parallels to „Rear Window‟ as Jeffrey the amateur detective must prove that a murder has happened. a Special Agent of the FBA‟ whose main objective was to extract the „truth‟ through the process of „interviewing‟ and interrogation. himself a former sheriff of Finely County. However. and having committed a crime with „calculated motives‟.

and under them.murderers seek their own justice 4.breaks the law goes to jail Personal justice. results from the senseless actions of Perry. that he sought vengeance upon. emphatic sentences. The suffering. registered on film. They were dead. „killed four people in cold blood‟ which is further exacerbated through the simile of ‘These were strange. Moreover. there is a dimension which is added to the murder as the victims are symbolic. Perry in his commission of the crimes was not killing the Clutter family but the representation of them as figures of his past. imbued with overtones of fear and terror. indeed the delineating glare of a flashbulb revealed their presence with superb exactness.3. such as „the viciousness of it.‟ . kindly people I knew‟ and the syntax „-murdered‟ emphasises and encapsulates the violence of the crime. short. Four of your fellow citizens were slaughtered like hogs in a pen‟. This internal rage finds a destructive outlet in the form of the brutality and viciousness of the murders he commits „cold blood‟. The horror. where „The prints. not noticeable to the naked eye. Legal investigation.public justice. incurred by his lack of lucidity and consciousness as he is blindly driven by hatred and frustration. In conjunction. dramatic. A whole family. he walked towards the trees. ferocious murders. The inability of the detectives to find a corresponding motive. Gentle. Also. The commission of a violent/ ‘vicious crime’ – This is highlighted in how the murderers. the whisper of wind voices in the wind-bent wheat‟ personification Sue Kidwell – closure „I‟m very happy‟ THE RESTORATION OF ORDER once justice has been achieved been achieved through the Retribution and avengement that has been exacted in the form of capital punishment 5. Clues /evidence – how is this traditional who is deducing the evidence from the clues? Which are normally detected by the amateur detective in this case are done so with the aid of scientific equipment. the diction of „brutal‟ and „his throat had been cut too‟ accentuates the magnitude of the suffering and „torture‟ of the victims. leaving behind him the big sky. The disruption of order and the restoration of order – CLOSURE / after justice has been served/ administered Al Dewey visits their graves– „then starting home.

the dusty trackings of shoes with diamond. What aspects does the text challenge or subvert? . You can compare this to skull beneath the skin ending and ideas of justice Photographs also provide a crucial key that ties the murderers to the crime. Coupled with „another footmark found on the same cardboard cover.patterned shoes‟. had already provided a valuable surprise: footprints.The clues and evidence are not only essential in linking the murderers to the crime but in forming a solid case in order to prosecute the perpetrators where justice can be served in a court of law.the bold and bloody impression of a Cat‟s Paw half stole‟ were influential clues used within the unfolding of the mystery and catching the murderers. as „a close-up of Mr Clutter and the mattress box upon which he lay.

„there was no rule or discipline. He explores how one‟s environment and past experiences are influential in shaping the mentality and psychology of an individual‟s mind detrimentally. Upon this basis. Which is one reason why I have an aversion to nuns. put me in it. „environment. In dealing with the issues of the criminals‟ morality Dr Jones‟ conduction of a „psychiatric evaluation‟ was performed in order to grasp the murderer‟s concept of what is right and wrong. Morality In judging the morals of the criminals the author develops different angles.„ she‟d fill a tub with ice-cold water. and hold me under until I was blue‟.The author focuses upon the psychological criminal’s profiles – and offers an insight into the murderers‟ background. or anyone to show me right from wrong‟ accentuates that his lack of morality and comprehension of this. Capote questions whether a man alone can be held responsible for his actions when his environment has relentlessly neglected him. eliciting the reader‟s empathy. LINK TO CONTEXT AND VALUES 2. in discerning Dick‟s comprehension of morality in a sense dictates whether his actions within his own eyes were justified. „at the time of the offence‟. the murderer‟s are portrayed as victims themselves. . And religion. intellectual frustration and a growing tendency towards isolationism‟. Based upon his „evaluation‟ he concluded that „within the usual definitions Mr Hickock did know right from wrong‟ however added that. he scrutinises the ability of the criminals to distinguish „right from wrong‟ and whether these morals affected their commission of the crimes. has to a degree affected his „resolve‟ indicated through his murderous. the author dwells upon whether one‟s background and upbringing are justifiable in excusing the criminals to a degree. which is heightened through Perry‟s first person narration as he recounts. Furthermore. as „the crime was a psychological accident‟. Personal/ public justice In this sense. Hence. hitting me. He also reveals: „The Black widows were always at me. this acts as a reworking of the crime conventions as the story of both the victims and the murderers are told equally.NATURE VS NURTURE NURTURE: 1. Additionally. he asserted that „the possibility of organic brain damage‟ may „have substantially influenced his behaviour‟. exploring the morals or rather lack of morals instilled within the perpetrators through their upbringing and environment. This „profundity‟ allows the readers to „fathom the pressures brought to bear upon‟ the criminals „because of their. „although he professes usual moral standards he seems obviously uninfluenced by them in his actions‟. And God. „at the time of the crime‟. uninhibited actions.‟ Law/ justice Thus. His personal sense . „This one nurse‟. because of wetting the bed. Perry‟s admission. Therefore.

Kenyon.brutality. . three of the murders Smith committed were logically motivated.of justice is a transformation of the crime genre as the responder takes into account the perception of the morality of the murder and questions whether if he regarded his actions as correct if this can be a justification. though condemned. personality and their relationship with others Legal justice. profile and sense of morality.Dr Satter Article: intertextuality??? In the American Journal of Psychiatry Labelled „Murder without apparent motive – A study in personality disorganisation‟ „In attempting to assess the criminal responsibility of the murderers. and that when Smith attacked Mr Clutter he was under a mental eclipse.represent figures from his past that he seeks vengeance upon. and without ever having absorbed any fixed sense of moral values‟. moral justice. without love. CONTEMPORARY SHIFT TOWARDS FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY and the need to justify „badness‟ does it make us feel safe? Whether we can stop them by changing environment? Symbolic victims. in his assessment of Perry he states that he „shows definite signs of severe mental illness‟ and that „he seems to have grown up without direction. the law tries to divide them into two groups.motivates them to kill „in cold blood‟ outcome of abuse.(metaphor) . and their mother had to be killed because Mr Clutter had been killed. and the “insane” one as being driven by irrational senseless motives. The “sane” murderer is thought of as acting upon rational motives that can be understood. Thus.Nancy. environment. But it is Dr Satten‟s contention that only the first murder matters psychologically. senselessness actions in the murder emphasises the lack of lucidity and consciousness of the murderers.importance of family situations and how this influences the psychological makeup of people in behaviour. the “sane” and the “insane”.‟ „Obviously. Logically motivated: The discussion of the criminal responsibilities legally of the murderers. personal justice and public justice 3. When rational motives are conspicuous (for example. when a man kills for personal gain) or when the irrational motives are accompanied by delusions or hallucinations ( for example a paranoid patient who kills his fantasied persecutor). Moreover. the situation presents little problem to the psychiatrist. deep inside a schizophrenic darkness. this acts as a transformation of the crime writing conventions as the perpetrators are portrayed as humans and are not simply deemed as inhumane and guilty upon their apprehension. but there is further investigation conducted in discerning the degree of their guilt when taking into account their psychology.

I thought so right up to the moment I cut his throat. I thought he was a very nice gentleman. exonerate the two prisoners). 244 Perry claims to have liked Mr. Clutter. it seems. „i guess somebody had to pay for it‟ “I didn't have anything against them. or all of them” (302). pg. this at first seems ironic." Herb Clutter represents “„a key figure in some past traumatic configuration‟: his father? the orphanage nuns who had derided and beaten him? the hated army sergeant? the parole officer who had ordered him to „stay out of Kansas‟? One of them. Jones is denied during the trial. This is opposed to the more lenient Durham rule. but a „key figure in some past traumatic configuration: his father? The orphanage nuns who had derided and beaten him?‟ 1. if upheld. which claims that defendants cannot be held responsible if the crime is the result of a mental defect (which would. but in fact it says a great deal about Perry‟s motive for killing the Clutters.” then he is responsible for them. were not inspired by a literal hatred of this specific family. The murders. as well as the other members of the family. but by misdirected frustration and resentment that finds a symbolic object in the Clutters and the values that they represent. This complex and nuanced interpretation of Perry and Dick‟s psychological makeup invites sympathy rather than condemnation. and this may be part of the reason that the testimony of Dr. but they are by no means its source. Perry‟s trance-like state (“mental eclipse”) while committing the murders is accounted for as a common experience of those with his background and psychological disposition. As well. which contends that if the defendant knows his actions were wrong by the “usual definitions of right and wrong. Maybe they're just the ones who had to pay for it. The family is unlucky enough to be on the receiving end of this fury. and they never did anything wrong to me--the way other people have all my life. . I didn’t want to harm the man.for it was not entirely a flesh-and-blood man he „suddenly discovered‟ himself destroying. Softspoken. The prisoners are held to the simplistic M‟Naghten rule.” Perry.

THE LETTER WAS A „compassionate demonstration of Christian principles‟ .THE SHAME COMES WHEN YOU KEEP IT DIRTY‟ „I am a normal individual with basic reasoning powers & the will to live my life according to the laws of God & Man.‟ I feel „IT IS NO SHAME TO HAVE A DIRTY FACE.you are an animal – “an eye for an eye. no one really wants it. „We have very little control over our human weaknesses. HIGH MODALITY. It is also true that I have “fallen” at times. (REPETITION) „Dad is not responsible for your wrong doings or your good deeds. he makes the distinction that Perry‟s sister‟s letter „I truthfully feel none of us have anyone to blame for whatever we have done with our own personal lives. „As far as responsibility goes. What you have done. is your own doing‟.but all of us are responsible to the community we live in and its laws. There is no shamehaving a dirty face. It has been proven that at the age of 7 most of us have reached the age of reason – which means we do. a tooth for a tooth‟. Mr Clutter‟s brother. Which puts you above the animal level. at this age. voice of reason – justice „You are a human being with a free will. Impartial Through the use of high modality and acting as the voice of rationality and reason However. whether right or wrong. But if you live your life without feeling and compassion for your fellow man. as is normal – for as I said I am human & therefore have human weaknesses but the point is again. Al dewey and Dr Jones. Of course – environment plays an awfully important part in our lives.the shame comes when you keep it dirty‟. understand & know the difference between right & wrong.Justice many different perceptions of the characters within the novel embody the different perspectives of society as we are shown through the characterisation of Perry‟s sister.

it may be the rest of my life. Finding the „cause for the crime‟ The investigators attempt to discern the killers‟ motives – classifying the crime „a personal thing – a grudge that got out of hand‟.accumulation „arrived and left with the murder weapon. Perry‟s motive „I wanted the money‟ .„resolve‟ „her letter failed because she couldn‟t conceive of the profundity of your problem. an insane grudge against the Clutters’ – ‘it doesn’t add up. nothing does’. He went on to explain: ‘Assuming the murderer was someone known to the family. „unless it was robbery‟ Theories behind the motive „Sure maybe the killer did take the money – but just to try and mislead us. Al Dewey. ‘the investigators are left faced with a sear for a killer or killers whose cunning is apparent is his (or their) motive is not‟. the kind of psychopathic rage it took to commit such a crime’. ordinary except that he had a quirk. which the investigators are wont to do‟. or possibly a combination of hatred and thievery. But then. long it takes. assuming that he was an ordinary man.she couldn‟t fathom the pressures brought to bear upon you because of environment. ‘found it difficult to understand ‘how two individuals could reach the same degree of rage. if you care to discount an abortive robbery attempt. a member of this community. I’m going to know what happened in that house: the why and the who’. calmly picking up the expended shotgun shells‟. come right down to it. intellectual frustration and a growing tendency towards isolationism‟. the motive being a psychopathic hatred. ‘Dewy’. and he believed that the commission of the murders had been a leisurely labour‟. „However. Al Dewey „believed that the death of Herb Clutter had been the criminal‟s main objective. „Acted without a motive. It doesn’t make sense. make us think this robbery was the reason‟ LINK TO Agatha Christie „Murder on the Orient Express‟ – understanding the reasoning / attempting to recreate/ see into the mind of the murderer/ discerning his motives and actions Details of crime. without being seen‟ „shot four persons in different parts of the house.

it might have substantially influenced his behaviour during the past several years and at the time of the crime‟.What aspects does the text challenge or subvert „based upon your examination do you have an opinion as to whether or not Richard Eugene Hickock knew right from wrong at the time of the commission of the crime‟ „I think that within the usual definitions Mr Hickock did know right from wrong‟. – Dr Jones . since. Dick „It is important that steps be taken to rule out the possibility of organic brain damage. if present.

an alcoholic. evocatively written account of the Clutter killings asks whether a man alone can be held responsible for his action when his environment has relentlessly neglected him. Perry Smith. „a natural killer‟ – absolutely sane. and unless you learn to control it the flaw will prove stronger than your strength and defeat you. I have the diamond in my hand. I‟m pulling at it. Willie Jay to Perry. The criminals .world suspended by two between two superstructures.temptation . when the snake lands on top of me‟. The flaw? Explosive emotional reaction out of all proportion to occasion. You are strong. . evil nature of humans. who. but there is a flaw in your strength. Well. one self expression and the other self-destruction. but conscienceless. humiliation.The composite image of Smith derived from these accounts is one of an innately intelligent. „he‟s crushing me‟ . 1. So I got to pick one. the cold-bloodest deathblows‟. abused and abandoned as a child and scorned as an adult. But I know that the minute I try to.avenger His dream „I‟m there – to pick myself a bushel of diamonds. it was „painful‟ to imagine that one might be „not just right‟ – particularly if whatever was wrong was not you own fault but „maybe something that you were born with‟. „ look at what had happened there! His mother. snake = symbol . In framing the question of nature versus nurture. a snake is gonna fall on me. Justice – the law Snake/ symbolic represents justice – tree. What it comes down to is I want the diamonds more than I‟m afraid of the snake. But I figure. who had one day driven his wife to suicide and killed himself the next‟.Dick The poem There‟s a race of men that don‟t fit in. if he gives into his desire and temptation he will bring the force of justice and law enforcement upon himself . with or without motive.foreshadows „You exist in a half. sensitive being warped and eroded by neglect.‟ Nature – Perry After all. „he starts to swallow me whole‟. – his characterisation „Perry was that rarity. A snake that guards the tree. had strangled to death on her own vomit… Jimmy. talented. I‟ll take my chances. allegedly commits all four murders. abuse. the minute I reach up. Capote's tightly documented. and unresolved emotional trauma.Nature versus nurture . and capable of dealing.

„they had experienced prolonged terror. „A roving radio reporter interviewed sundry other townfolk. Dewey was certain that capital punishment is a deterrent to violent crime. So they break the hearts of kith and kin. Dewey‟s sympathy however. Just sit there staring at each other till the day they die. strutty little man said. was not deep enough to accommodate for forgiveness or mercy‟ . an ugly and lonely progress towards one mirage and then another. the proper retribution would be for „the doers of such a dastardly deed‟ (alliteration). But they‟re always tired of the things that are. . brothers in the breed of Cain‟ 2.for Perry Smith‟s life had been no bed of roses but pitiful.hanged back to back‟. Never allowed any visitors. And they roam the world at will. „I believe in capital punishment. the present instance was it‟. They range the field and they rover the flood. in their opinion. And they climb the mountain‟s crest. „he hoped to see Perry and his partner hanged. Theirs is the curse of the gipsy blood. asking them what. . Retribution Al Dewey he felt „a measure of sympathy. And they want the strange and new Rhyming pattern / external rhyme A B A B „they at least were of the same species.‟ „They‟re mad because they aren‟t getting what they want – revenge‟ Dick „ritual of vengeance‟ execution of justice Detective „he deserved it‟ „Like the majority of American law enforcement officials.A race that can‟t stay still.‟ And a tough. they had suffered‟. They are strong and brave and true. and he felt that if ever the penalty had been earned. If they just went straight they might go far. It‟s like the Bible says – an eye for an eye. „One student replied „I think they ought to be locked in the same cell for the rest of their lives. And they don‟t know how to rest.

Because they can‟t „sleep‟.SOCIAL DISORDER/ AND ADD RESTORATION OF ORDER 3. „The real thing is I‟ve come to feel I know Herb and the family better than they ever knew themselves. Al Dewey. The effect upon the community – they act as detectives – EXPLORES THE IMPACT OF MURDER UPON THE COMMUNITY Alfred Stoecklein. makes his own deduction. „announced plans to pack up and leave not merely Finney County but the state‟. For me‟. and a loss of their former innocence. „what a terrible thing when neighbours can‟t look at each other without kind of wondering‟ they act as detectives. the residents of Holcomb experience a kind of fall from grace. 88 The Clutter killings wreak havoc on the security of Holcomb. understandably. I‟m haunted by them. I mean personally. which was once a raucous frontier town. as for the first time they are forced to confront the unseemly reality of the killers and the world they represent. „frightened‟ and „depressed‟ But the case was by no means closed for the people of Finney County‟ no closure People from the community. I ask you? repetitive questions . I felt something round here had come to an end. is quite subdued‟. 1. In allegorical terms. Until I know what happened‟. „But my opinion‟ „Nowadays. then who‟s safe. they were about as popular as a family can be. fragmenting the community and sowing the first seeds of doubt and suspicion. and if something like this could happen to them. they believed that the murderer was among themselves. This hitherto peaceful congregation of neighbors and old friends had suddenly to endure the unique experience of distrusting each other. „But who hated the Clutters? I never heard a word against them. „After what happened to Herb and his family. Garden City.” pg. I guess I always will be.

theretofore sufficiently unfearful of each other to seldom trouble to lock their doors.. found fantasy recreating them over and over again. „Most of the ministers are opposed to capital punishment. when found. Larry Hendricks acts as a detective as he makes his own observation and deduction „ the shot gun blasts‟ – „afterwards the townspeople. prayers before bed. 5.. an order that has been violated yet persists. she was wearing some jewellery. and as strangers Closing: . The deed is done and taking another life cannot change it. he had „never „come near‟ a belief in God‟. Mr Howard Fox. drawing us out of the account of waves of feeling for both the Clutters and the killers. say it‟s immoral. rattlesnakes.. somehow larger and more enduring than man's evil acts. Prosecutor . 4. Instead. Varmints. Al Dewey.[46] Weber noted the evocative quality of the book's ending:. Because that‟s a crime too.telling plain out lies. and under them.church every Sunday.. Rumourmongers‟.„well. the whisper of wind voices in the wind-bent wheat. It is not right that we should hold a grudge in our hearts.were an important part of Dewey‟s existence‟. But what can you expect? Look around you. unchristian He criticises gossip Clare ‘It‟s time for everyone to stop wagging their loose tongues”.the brother of Mr Clutter „I have even heard on more than one occasion that the man. should be hanged from the nearest tress. Let us not feel this way. leaving behind him the big sky. – the murderer will have God to answer to Perry‟s absence of faith= absence of morality and sense of what is right or wrong. His only peace of mind will be when he goes to God for forgiveness. he [Dewey] walked toward the trees. let us forgive as God would have us do. grace before meals.his faith in god „a belief in God and the rituals surrounding that belief. for lives unrealized and cut short. The doer of this act is going to find it very difficult to live with himself. Let us not stand in the way but give prayers that he may find his peace‟. and leaving us with an evocation of the serene order of the landscape.those sombre explosions that stimulated fires of mistrust in the glare of which many old neighbours viewed each other strangely.which is one of the reasons why I‟ve always discounted robbery as a motive‟. two rings.

was exceptionally competent. „reads: “He that smiteth a man. The state has no right to inflict it. not yet thirty. There is only one way to ensure that these men will never again roam the towns and cities of this land. I will request the jury. I will request the judge to set the death penalty. imbeciles or idiots. by man shall his blood be shed”. Kansas. “Who sheddeth man‟s blood. but in all humbleness…‟ Voice of Christianity / „theological debate‟ Harrison Smith „appealed to the jurors‟ presumed Christianity. That is the law‟ . both men are equally guilty. It isn‟t effective. on the average. This is especially true since in Kansas there is no such thing as life imprisonment without possibility of parole.„if the case goes before a jury. „the court was asked to permit the state hospital in Larned. Persons sentenced to life imprisonment. upon finding them guilty. a sophisticated specialist in criminal psychology and the criminally insane‟ Closing statement of the prosecutor the voice of justice „can there be a single doubt in your minds regarding the guilt of these defendants? No! Regardless of who pulled the trigger on Richard Eugene Hickock‟s shotgun. actually serve. then goes ahead and sets the example. This request is made not in vengeance. All we ask is mercy. This refers to unlawful killing‟. Mitchell Jones. to take custody of the prisoners for the purpose of ascertaining whether either or both were „insane. so that he die. „a verdict upon the mental capacities of the prisoners‟ „Dr W. a mental institution with maximum security facilities. to sentence them to the death penalty. the only way the public can be absolutely protected is to have the death penalty set against these defendants. unable to comprehend their position and aid their defence‟. The law tells us that the taking of human life is wrong. but merely cheapen human life and gives rise to more murders. „the penalty for disobedience‟. It doesn‟t deter crime. „our state provides that the punishment for murder in the first degree shall be imprisonment for life or death by hanging. If the defendant waive right to jury trial and enter a plea of guilty before the judge. shall be surely put to death”. took as his main theme the evils of capital punishment: „It is a relic of human barbarism. less than fifteen years‟. Which is almost as wicked as the crime it punished.Green Intertextuality/ theological allusions– the Bible and the ten commandments „Thou shalt not kill‟. Speaking „in behalf of the defendants‟ Persecutor‟s closing statement . We request the maximum penalty – death.‟ „I feel that due to the violence of the crime and the apparent utter lack of mercy shown the victims.

and the punishment is death‟. we the jury find the defendant. Money. Sentence/ punishment / exact justice „jury‟s deliberations‟ „Count one. guilty of murder in the first degree.legally. and four for Smith. „-and the punishment is death‟ The M’ Naughten Rule – ruled in Holcomb/ United States ‘recognises no form of insanity provided the defendant has the capacity to discriminate between right and wrong. These were strange. . but for money. 6. and calculated weighing of so many ounces of silver against so many ounces of blood‟. this is it. Richard Eugene Hickock.„and if ever there was a case in which the maximum penalty was justified. „seven counts followed: three more convictions for Hickock. Four of your fellow citizens were slaughtered like hogs in a pen. And for what reason? Not out of vengeance or hatred. not morally Other states abide by the Durham Rule ‘which is simply that an accused is not criminally responsible if his unlawful act is the product of mental disease or mental defect’. It was the cold. ferocious murders.

judge. reimagining. and challenging How changing contexts and values have brought about changes in the traditional crime stories What constitutes a crime What justice means Account for the increasing popularity of different forms of crime writing The scrutinisation of a crime and its investigation Whodunit murder mystery What constitutes a crime Who plays the role of the detective? – reader/ viewer works alongside the detective trying to solve the case and discover who in fact committed the crime.the police. jurors What justice means!!!!!! The detectives have to prove that the murderers actually „set foot inside the clutter house‟ link to rear window???in having to prove that a murder had happened .detective.the community represents us as we question and guess. lawyers.Which aspects of the rubric does the text illuminate? Scrutinises a crime and its investigation Extending.