The mind of a killer is one that is not easily comprehended. The events of their lives deeply root and morph themselves into disturbed thoughts and mind sets that fuel a killer to commit murder. In Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, the case of the quadruple homicide of the Clutter family in Holcomb, Kansas involved murderers who were two very different individuals that had teamed up to commit an important “score”. The plan was devised by Dick Hickock to rob and murder the Clutter family and he brought about his cellmate from prison, Perry Smith to assist him with the job. Each man’s past contains different events that contribute to their not-so-sound states of mind and each view the crime differently. The psychological differences between the
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Perry later enlisted as a Merchant Marine at the age of 16 and in turn served in the army a couple years after. During this time he became more bitter and estranged due to his lack of education. He says, “From this time on I started to realize the importance of an education. This only added to the hatred and bitterness I felt for others” (276). Following several tours, he planned to return to Alaska and his father but got into a motorcycle accident. This accident delayed his travels a year and severely damaged his legs. Once he was able to travel to Alaska, he met up with his father and they began constructing a hunting lodge. The lodge proved to be unsuccessful though and they began to starve due to lack of money and food. The two finally ended their relationship over the last biscuit they owned. Perry then left Alaska and got mixed up with a few bad people and robbed an office supply store in Kansas with them. The people were arrested, but he managed to escape in a stolen car before he was eventually brought back to Kansas in order to serve jail time, during which he met Dick.
Unlike Perry, Dick was not brought up in a disturbed home. Dick was a decent student and had a regular life at school as most teenagers had. He claims he “can only remember my mother and dad having one argument that amounted to anything”(277). Although his family life was above average, his father was very