In a small town in Kansas a family of four were murdered for no apparent reason. The murderers ran for a few years and finally they were caught, tried, and accused for murder. In 1965 they were hung for the crime.  In the story a family was killed for no reason. This well respected farming family had no enemies, and no quarrels. Although they were wealthy, Mr. Clutter never kept cash in the house.

The whole region and eventually the country was shocked by the randomness and brutality of the act, in much the same way it was by the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. The two men in which didn’t even know the Clutter family went into their house and shot all four of them.  There were two main characters. Dick was 33 years old and he did not have the best character. Dick was one who helped participate in the killing of the Clutter family. He struck me as the type that is your friend one minute and enemy the next. . Perry wasn’t as bad as Dick but yet he still struck me as having a bad character for what he did to the family. At the beginning, when they first started to kill all of the family members, they had them tied up and Perry didn’t want to kill the family but he thought that if he acted like he was going to kill Mr. Clutter then Dick would stop him. Then they would let them all go but when Dick didn’t stop him Perry became a mad man and went ahead and killed the whole family. Later at the gallows Perry started to have second thoughts a little too late so he tried to starve himself but didn’t succeed. He was finally hung, during the hanging period he apologized to everyone for what he did. “This is it, this is it, this had to be it, there’s the school, there’s the garage, now we turn south.” To Perry, it seemed as though Dick was muttering jubilant mumbo-jumbo.

They left the highway, sped through a deserted Holcomb, and crossed the Santa Fe tracks. “The bank, that must be the bank, no we turn west-see the trees? This is it, this has to be it.” The headlights disclosed a lane of Chinese elms; bundles of wind-blown thistle scurried across it. Dick doused the headlights, slowed down, and stopped until his eyes were adjusted to the moon-illuminated night. Presently, the car crept forward. This passage was chosen because it was what Dick and Perry were saying right before they went to the Clutter house and killed the family.   Due to Mr. Clutter not keeping any money in the home, the criminals were unable to locate any money to steal.  The criminals then proceeded to kill the family of four. The book follows the story to the trial and execution of the killers, and spares few details throughout.  The outcome of the trial was guilty and the punishment was death by hanging the accused.

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