November 1, 2014

Hickock, Perry DNA link to Fla. murders elusive

Former Edgerton resident, Richard Hickock, shows his tattoos in a prison mug shot. File photo

Danedri Thompson
dthompson@gardnernews.com
Investigators say DNA evidence that may link Richard Hickock, formerly of Edgerton, to murders in Florida are inconclusive so far.
Authorities exhumed some remains from Hickock and his accomplice Perry Smith last year to conduct DNA testing in 1959 Florida slayings.
Hickock and Perry were executed in Kansas for the notorious murders of the Clutter family, a case made famous in Truman Capote’s book, “In Cold Blood.”
The Kansas Bureau of Investigation officials said the DNA analysis is not complete though to date, investigators have been unable to link Hickock and Smith to the killings in Florida.
In 1959, the Walker family was killed in similar fashion to the Clutter family. Hickock and Smith were hanged in 1965, after being convicted of killing Herb Clutter, his wife and their two children in Holcomb, Kan.
The pair fled Kansas following the Clutter family killing, and investigators believe they were in Florida at the time of the Walker family murders.
Sarasota County (Fla.) Sheriff detectives re-opened the Walker family murder investigation when they discovered that the Walkers were interested in buying a 1956 Chevy Bel Air, the car Hickock and Smith drove while in Florida.

Comments

  1. magadog says:

    Have read “In Cold Blood” and everything else having to do with this case. Personally I do not believe that Smith and Hickock were involved in the Florida killings. I feel certain that these two guys would have used this as a chip to delay their execution if they were involved. They were aware of the incident, having read about it in a newspaper. Smith was highly intelligent and tried as hard as he could to avoid the noose. He would have been able to get all kinds of delays had he and Dick owned up to this one.

  2. chc9933 says:

    @magadog: Smith had a lifelong interest in art and literature, but it was just as much to try and impress others as it was for his own intellectual growth. Was he more intelligent than Hickock? Absolutely, but that’s not really saying much. Smith often used his charm and cocktail chatter to mask his own intellectual shortcomings, and Capote saw right through it.

    That’s not to say, of course, that Smith wasn’t a talented artist. But I think you might give him far too much credit in calling him “highly” intelligent. Smith and Hickock relied largely on Capote to be an advocate for them because they had little idea of how to protect themselves.

    — Corbin

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