More than 50 years after the Walker family was murdered in the quiet, carefree town of Osprey, Fla., the focus of the cold case investigation has shifted to two notorious killers who were the basis of Truman Capote’s true-crime book “In Cold Blood.”
Investigators from the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office are hoping to travel to Kansas as soon as an order is approved by a judge to exhume the bodies of Perry Smith and Richard Hickock. They hope mitochondrial DNA evidence collected from the bones of the killers, who were executed by hanging in 1965, will help close a cold case that rattled Sarasota County.
Consider me highly skeptical that Hickock and Smith had anything to do with those other murders—admittedly that is nothing more than the strong sense I have received from the book that Capote has told the entire story. Even if he, as is well known now, embellished and fabricated some elements of In Cold Blood (to a particular end and purpose, though, which I spent my poorly-written undergraduate honor’s thesis examining), I don’t think he would have failed to turn up this other crime. That being said, this strikes me as implausible: Why wouldn’t Smith have confided this to Capote, especially as he was facing imminent death? But I guess we’ll see—presumably the sheriff’s office would not go to the extreme degree of exhuming bodies if they didn’t have a decent amount of evidence.