"Cold Blood" returns to the crime scene so that viewers can examine all the evidence for themselves. Combining the thrill of mystery with the visceral experience of true crime drama, this series presents competing versions of what may have happened, and re-enacts the events from different perspectives as new evidence comes to light. Each episode tells the story of one homicide investigation that revolves around the forensic investigation of the crime scene, and follows the clues wherever they may lead.
Runtime: 60 minutes
Cold Blood - In Cold Blood - Netflix
In Cold Blood is a non-fiction novel by American author Truman Capote, first published in 1966; it details the 1959 murders of four members of the Herbert Clutter family in the small farming community of Holcomb, Kansas. When Capote learned of the quadruple murder, before the killers were captured, he decided to travel to Kansas and write about the crime. He was accompanied by his childhood friend and fellow author Harper Lee, and together they interviewed local residents and investigators assigned to the case and took thousands of pages of notes. The killers, Richard “Dick” Hickock and Perry Smith, were arrested six weeks after the murders and later executed by the state of Kansas. Capote ultimately spent six years working on the book. When finally published, In Cold Blood was an instant success, and today is the second-biggest-selling true crime book in publishing history, behind Vincent Bugliosi's 1974 book Helter Skelter about the Charles Manson murders. Some critics consider Capote's work the original non-fiction novel, though other writers had already explored the genre, such as Rodolfo Walsh in Operación Masacre (1957). It has been lauded for its eloquent prose, extensive detail, and simultaneous triple narrative, which describes the lives of the murderers, the victims, and other members of the rural community in alternating sequences. The psychologies and backgrounds of Hickock and Smith are given special attention, as well as the complex relationship that existed between them during and after the murders. In Cold Blood is regarded by critics as a pioneering work in the true crime genre, though Capote was disappointed that the book failed to win the Pulitzer Prize. Parts of the book, including important details, differ from the real events.
Cold Blood - Veracity - Netflix
True crime writer Jack Olsen also commented on the alleged fabrications:
I recognized it as a work of art, but I know fakery when I see it, […] Capote completely fabricated quotes and whole scenes... The book made something like $6 million in 1960s money, and nobody wanted to discuss anything wrong with a moneymaker like that in the publishing business.
Capote has, in short, achieved a work of art. He has told exceedingly well a tale of high terror in his own way. But, despite the brilliance of his self-publicizing efforts, he has made both a tactical and a moral error that will hurt him in the short run. By insisting that 'every word' of his book is true he has made himself vulnerable to those readers who are prepared to examine seriously such a sweeping claim.
That was true, of course, […] I was jealous—all that money? I'd been assigned the Clutter case by Harper & Row until we found out that Capote and his cousin [sic], Harper Lee, had been already on the case in Dodge City for six months. […] That book did two things. It made true crime an interesting, successful, commercial genre, but it also began the process of tearing it down. I blew the whistle in my own weak way. I'd only published a couple of books at that time—but since it was such a superbly written book, nobody wanted to hear about it.
Alvin Dewey, the lead investigator portrayed in In Cold Blood, later said that the last scene, in which he visits the Clutters' graves, was Capote's invention, while other Kansas residents whom Capote interviewed have claimed they or their relatives were mischaracterized or misquoted. Dewey said that the rest of the book was factually accurate. Further evidence indicates that the book is not as “immaculately factual” as Capote had always claimed it to be. The book depicts Dewey as being the brilliant investigator who cracks the Clutter murder case, but files recovered from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation show that when Floyd Wells came forward naming Richard Hickock and Perry Smith as likely suspects, Dewey did not immediately act on the information, as the book portrays him doing, because Dewey still held to his belief that the murders were committed by locals who “had a grudge against Herb Clutter”.
Cold Blood - References - Netflix