By Yana BondarchukSat. 20 Apr. 20243min Read

10 Best In Cold Blood Quotes for Capote Fans

Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood" is a pioneering work in the true crime genre, detailing the brutal 1959 murders of the Clutter family in Holcomb, Kansas.
10 Best In Cold Blood Quotes for Capote Fans

If you're intrigued by true crime stories that probe deep into the human psyche, you might be familiar with Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood."

Published in 1966, this nonfiction novel investigates the brutal 1959 murders of the Clutter family in Holcomb, Kansas. Capote's detailed account covers the investigation, trial, and execution of the killers, Perry Smith and Richard Hickock, blending intense narrative style with meticulous research. 


"The village of Holcomb stands on the high wheat plains of western Kansas, a lonesome area that other Kansans call 'out there.'" – Narrator


This opening sets the stage for the isolation of Holcomb, highlighting its remoteness and the stark backdrop against which the tragedy unfolds. "In Cold Blood" captures the essence of a small, tight-knit community shattered by a senseless crime, exploring the profound impact on its residents.

"I thought Mr. Clutter was a very nice gentleman. I thought so right up to the moment I cut his throat." – Perry Smith

This chilling confession from Perry Smith starkly contrasts his calm demeanor with the brutality of his actions, illustrating the complex psychological portrait Capote paints of the killers.

"It is easy to ignore the rain if you have a raincoat." – Narrator

Used metaphorically, this quote reflects the theme of preparedness and resilience in the face of adversity, a recurring motif in the detailed accounts of the community’s and the investigators' responses to the crime.

"People who've led a full life and have a long history of experience behind them enjoy the consolations of old age, the respect and recognition of family and friends; they can look back contentedly." – Narrator

This reflection speaks to the life and tragic end of Herb Clutter, a respected and successful man whose life story is rendered incomplete by his untimely death, prompting readers to ponder the fragility of life.

"The truth is I had not been in such a good house for years. And I liked it. I felt for a moment that I was somebody else." – Richard Hickock

Richard Hickock’s words reveal his envy and the longing for a different life, shedding light on one of the possible motives behind the crime. Capote delves into the backgrounds of the murderers, exploring how their desires and disappointments contributed to their actions.

"There's got to be something wrong with us. To do what we did." – Perry Smith

This introspective confession from Perry reflects his moment of realization about the moral depravity of their actions. Capote’s exploration of guilt and recognition of wrongdoing adds a profound layer to the narrative.

"We never thought about the danger, that these men were killers; we were just kids and we wanted to see the show." – Susan Kidwell

Susan’s quote captures the innocence of the community’s youth, juxtaposed with the harsh realities of crime and punishment. Capote portrays the wide-ranging effects of the murders on various community members, including the younger generation.

"I believe in hard facts. The rest is just illusion." – Alvin Dewey

Alvin Dewey’s pragmatic approach to solving the crime contrasts with the more emotional responses of the community. Capote uses characters like Dewey to discuss themes of justice and the methodologies of law enforcement.

"Maybe I had something to prove. Something to myself, I mean. Life seemed to be telling me I would never amount to anything." – Perry Smith

Perry’s struggle with his self-worth provides insight into his psychological makeup and hints at one of the driving forces behind his criminal behavior, emphasizing Capote’s interest in the complexities of human psychology.

"Memory is an odd thing, filtered by emotion and sharpened by hindsight." – Narrator

This philosophical observation reflects on the nature of memory and perception, which play significant roles in the narrative structure of the book, especially in how the events are recounted and interpreted by different characters.

Download In Cold Blood PDF Free

Read “
In Cold Blood” on PDF

Download PDF Reader Pro to quickly and easily enable “Read Mode” for a pleasant reading experience on your desktop, tablet or phone.

Get Started with PDF Reader Pro Today!

If you liked this collection of quotes, you will also like our list of classic romance novels, available to read about, download and to import to PDF Reader Pro, right here on our blog. 

Get Started with PDF Reader Pro Today!