menu search

This Home In Kansas Has A Dark And Evil History That Will Never Be Forgotten

Like most places, Kansas has seen its fair share of good and bad through the years. From triumph to tragedy, pride to hardship, the Sunflower State has truly seen it all. One of the most tragic and memorable occurrences to many of those alive during the late 1950s would shake the state to its core and leave a dark stain on not just this home on Oak Street, but on the state as a whole.

On the evening of November 14th, 1959, the Clutter family (a well known and respected farm family comprised of father, Herb; mother, Bonnie; daughter, Nancy; and son, Kenyon) slept peacefully in their Holcomb farmhouse when ex-convicts Perry Smith and Richard Hickock entered the home through an unlocked door after being informed by former Clutter farmhand/jail mate Floyd Wells that the family kept thousands of dollars in a safe. After waking the family and discovering that there was neither a safe nor any “worth-while” valuables in the home, Smith and Hickock killed the family; first by slitting the throat of Herb Clutter and then shooting Bonnie, Nancy, and Kenyon.

After leaving the scene of the crime, police were tipped off by Floyd Wells, who had heard news of the murders and suspected it could be his former cellmate’s doing. The duo was later caught and arrested in Las Vegas on December 30th, 1959, and admitted to their crimes soon after being questioned by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

After reading an article in the New York Times about the cold-blooded murders, author Truman Capote met with and interviewed the tried and convicted men, later making their story into the literary classic In Cold Blood, which would go down in history as the second highest selling crime book. To this day the haunting story lives on in infamy through both the printed words of Capote as well as several films, including the 2005 Academy Awarding winning Capote (starring Philip Seymour Hoffman).

Were you in Kansas during the Clutter family murders? What do you remember the most?

Annie
Annie is a wife, mom, new homeowner, and blogger with a love of God, family, and chicken nachos (in that order).