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The Clutter Family Home in Holcomb, Kansas shares a shocking and brutal history that many Kansans know, remember and talk about especially the locals. Four Clutter family members were murdered in November 15, 1959 and this murder shook the community and then later became the inspiration for Truman Capote’s book In Cold Blood and later the story was converted into a motion picture which is claimed to have started the true crime genre. (The home is not open to the public, passers are expected to respect the current residents privacy. There is a park dedicated to the family located in Holcomb that can be visited and their burial sites are located at Valley View Cemetary in Garden City.)

Clutter Family Picture

Clutter Family Picture

Photo of Clutter Family Home

Photo of Clutter Family Home

Herbert and Bonnie Clutter were the parents of Eveanna, Nancy, Kenyon and Beverly.  They were active church members and in the community.  Mr. Clutter was a man who was described to have no vices and was active in many local committees.  Bonnie was described as a friendly person who was very supportive of her husband and a devoted wife and mother.  Nancy was known to be a great baker and a loyal friend. Kenyon was a local athlete who enjoyed the nature of his surroundings in the Kansas countryside.   The two surviving daughters Eveanna and Beverly were away the night that their four family members were killed in 1959 by Richard Eugene Hickock and Perry Edward Smith, ex-convicts who were in search of a large amount of cash that Mr. Clutter was rumored to have in his home.

Holcomb, KS is a small town in Southwest Kansas and was shook by the murders of this family.  It is described as a peaceful place where everyone knew everyone, and people didn’t have to lock their doors at night.  As a matter of fact, the murders got in through an unlocked door. The community remained afraid because they did not know who to suspect of such a crime, even after the killers were found, Holcomb was in the limelight, locally because of the murders and nationally because of Capote.  Something many Holcomb residents wish they could leave behind.

The home itself was popular among local teens who skipped school or felt daring at night to drive by and get a glimpse of the house and to retell the story what happened that November night in 1959.

Capote, Truman. In Cold Blood. Random House Inc., 1965

Baker, KC. In Cold Blood Family Breaks their Silence: Why They’re Speaking Out Now About Infamous Slayings.

Nicolaou, Elena. The Story That Started the True Crime Genre. 

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