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Psychosis Leads to Murder

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Psychosis Leads to Murder

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  • Feb. 2013
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Psychosis Leads To Murder
Throughout In Cold Blood, Truman Capote writes on the events directly before, during, and the happenings after the brutal murdering of the Clutter family in the quaint town of Holcomb, Kansas. The actions Dick Hickock and Perry Smith attracted Capote and led him to ultimately report on the entire ordeal. Throughout Capote’s masterpiece, In Cold Blood, Hickock and Smith’s deranged and psychotic actions directly correlate to a deep psychosis they both suffered for multiple years. Throughout the novel, In Cold Blood, the two murderers, Dick Hickock and Perry Smith, show instances of unwarranted anger and aggression that leads readers into believing that a serious issue with their psyches have occurred. Early in, the novel Hickock states, “I didn’t want to harm the man. I thought he was a very nice gentleman. Soft-spoken. I thought so right up to the moment I cut his throat” (Capote 88). Here, the reader can clearly see Hickock contradicting himself but in in a rather frightening way. Smith also shows an instance of this as well later in the novel when he says, “I wish she’d been in that house that night. What a sweet scene!” (Capote 259). When Smith says ‘she’ in the previous, quote he is referring to his own sister. He vocalizes that he wishes his sister was among the Clutters in their house the night he and Dick killed them. This allows the reader to truly gage the depth of his psychosis by not even allowing himself to show any compassion to his own family. In Brian Conniff’s article “Psychological Accidents: In Cold Blood and Ritual Sacrifice,” he agrees with the previous thought by stating, “Hickock was the one with the ‘sexual intrest in female children’ who wants to stop, in the middle of the burglary, to rape Nancy Clutter,” a direct quote from Smith (5). Furnished from Capote’s personal accounts, it allows the reader to see further into the extreme violence of the convicted felons. Aside from unwarranted anger...