Prosecutor: 'In Cold Blood' not factual

Feb. 9, 2013 at 12:44 PM

GARDEN CITY, Kan., Feb. 9 (UPI) -- "In Cold Blood" -- Truman Capote's best-seller about the murder of a Kansas family -- is not completely factual, a prosecutor in the 54-year-old case said.

Duane West, 81, said Alvin Dewey -- the investigator in the Clutter family murder, and hero of Capote's book -- initially did not believe a prison inmate who identified two suspects who were later convicted for the murders, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.

An incarcerated former employee of the Clutter family told police Perry Smith and Richard Hickock were responsible for the deaths of the couple and their two teenage children.

"Dewey said it wasn't them," West said. "Dewey was convinced it was somebody local who had a grudge against Herb Clutter."

Capote wrote investigators believed the prisoner and Kansas Bureau of Investigation agent Harold Nye immediately went to visit the Hickock family farm on his own. In the book, Nye convinced Hickock's parents to tell him about the gun their son recently purchased -- the same kind used to kill the Clutters.

Recently unveiled KBI documents indicate this was not how events played out, the Journal reported.

The documents showed the KBI waited five days before four officials visited the farm.

West said Capote's book exaggerated the role of the KBI.

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