Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Bodies of famous killers exhumed

In Cold Blood slayers to have DNA tested

  • Print

LANSING, Kan. -- The bodies of the two men executed for the 1959 murders of a Kansas family that became infamous in Truman Capote's true-crime book In Cold Blood were exhumed Tuesday in an effort to solve the slayings of a Florida family killed weeks later.

Kyle Smith, deputy director of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, said bone fragments were collected from the skeletal remains of Richard Hickock and Perry Smith, who were hanged for the murders of Herb and Bonnie Clutter and their children in Holcomb, Kan., on Nov. 15, 1959.

The fragments were collected at the request of a Sarasota County Sheriff's detective, who has been trying to determine whether Hickock and Perry Smith were responsible for the deaths of Cliff and Christine Walker and their two young children on Dec. 19, 1959, in their home in Osprey, about four hours northwest of Miami near Sarasota. Smith and Hickock fled to Florida after the Clutter murders.

Hickock and Perry Smith have been considered suspects in the Walker slayings since 1960, and Kyle Smith said Florida officials have expressed an interest several times over the decades in renewing the investigation. DNA testing now has advanced enough that older material can be analyzed more effectively, he said.

"We can get smaller samples, more decayed samples, and still get matches," Kyle Smith said during a news conference at the city hall in Lansing. "They could have tried this 20 years ago and maybe used up what biological samples they had and gotten nothing from it."

Sarasota County detective Kimberly McGath said she requested the exhumation to obtain DNA that could be compared to that from semen found on Christine Walker's underwear. All the Walkers were shot. Christine Walker also was beaten and raped. Their two-year-old daughter also was drowned in a bathtub.

"Our interest is providing closure to the Walker family," Kyle Smith said. "Obviously, where these perpetrators are dead, it's not going to result in any prosecution."

He added: "Obviously, there's a lot of historical interest as well."

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 19, 2012 A9

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

How Winnipeg's slow growth saved the Exchange District

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Korea Veterans Association stained glass window at Deer Lodge Centre. Dedication with Minister of Veterans Affairs Dr. Rey Pagtakhan. March 12, 2003.
  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 100527-Winnipeg Free Press THe Provencher Foot Bridge is lit up

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you support Canada's involvement in the fight against Islamic State?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google