Two killers that gained fame for being referenced in the book In Cold Blood had their bodies exhumed and examined this week. The remains belong to Richard Hickok and Perry Smith, who were both convicted and executed in 1959 for the slaying of the Clutter family in western Kansas.
A report by Reuters states that the killers’ remains were exhumed by Kansas Bureau of Investigation agents after a search warrant was issued.
The exhumation came at the request of Florida detectives who wish to see if DNA evidence collected from the bodies will connect Hickok or Smith to a quadruple homicide case committed in Florida.
An investigation has continued in the case of the 1959 murders of the Walker family in Osprey, Florida. Elements of the Florida case mirror those of the Kansas family slaying with both involving the death of children and their parents within their homes. Suspected in the Walker case by investigators, Hickok and Smith subsequently passed polygraph tests.
However, the duo had been spotted in Florida at the time of the Walker family murder, and investigators doubt the ability of polygraphs given at that time to produce accurate results.
According to CBS News, Hickok and Smith were put to death by hanging for the crimes they committed surrounding the deaths of Herb and Bonnie Clutter and their children at their home in Halcomb, Kansas.
The execution took place on November 15, 1959. The Walker case was made famous after being written about in Truman Capote’s true crime novel In Cold Blood. The book was later turned into a major motion picture starring Robert Blake, Scott Wilson, and John Forsythe.
Following their death, the killer’s bodies were buried side by side in a private Leavenworth County cemetery. Tuesday’s exhumation and reburial by Kansas officials lasted about four hours, and a deputy sheriff from Sarasota County, Florida was on hand to observe. The DNA collected will be tested by Kansas investigators and forwarded to Florida for comparison to evidence from the Walker case.
What do you think about the In Cold Blood killers’ bodies being exhumed in Kansas?