Until one morning in mid-November, 1959, few Americans, in fact few Kansans, had ever heard of Holcomb. Exceptional happenings never stopped there….”
-Truman Capote. In Cold Blood.
I awake early, hours before the sun will rise. I silently sip my coffee, thinking about the day ahead. It’s not often one goes to visit a place of such gruesome and senseless murder.
It’s midday when I pull into the tiny town of Holcomb. Situated off highway 54, you could blink and miss it during the summer when the crops are high. In the dead of winter the fields lay dormant like the Clutter’s of fifty years ago.
November the 14th, 1959. Two men hear a rumor that $10,000 in cash is in a safe at the Clutter home. They kill, with a shotgun at point blank range, Mr. and Mrs. Clutter and their two children.
They leave with between $40 and $50 dollars. A community wonders why…..as do I.
Some say that everyone has equal parts good and evil in them, we must decide which urges to follow. It can be one bad decision, a snap of a synapse that causes you to forever be doomed down a dark path.
The citizens here know this better than most. As I walk the streets, I feel wary eyes on me.
An intruder, an outsider.
Will it happen again?
The passing of time has not, and will not heal the hearts and minds of the wholesome community. Sadness covers the town like the insecticide of a crop duster.
The pain is palpable, I feel the empty. I pray that the next generation will heal more quickly than those currently living here.
But I feel the story of the Clutter’s will be passed down from generation to generation.
Trying to protect, but only keeping fear alive.