Is 'In Cold Blood' Tainted By Found Documents?

Feb 19, 2013

Credit Mark Larson via Flickr Creative Commons

Nearly half a century ago, Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood detailed the savage murder of the Clutter family in Holcomb, Kansas. That book is regarded as a literary landmark… the first so-called “nonfiction novel” that brought the true crime genre to the mainstream and cemented Capote’s celebrity status. It’s inspired three films, among them, “Capote,” in 2005, which earned a best actor Oscar for Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Documents have recently come to light that cast doubts on Capote’s narrative and depiction of key characters.  The son of a deceased detective from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation is in a legal battle with that agency over papers saved by his father… documents which show favoritism by and for Capote, and reveal  significant holes in the book’s portrayal of the investigation.

Joining us is Kevin Helliker, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and senior editor at the Wall Street Journal who reported on the story.