HUFFINGTON POST
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Clutter Murders "In Cold Blood" Leave Lasting Impact In Kansas

Fifty years ago, on Nov. 15, 1959, four members of the Clutter family were brutally murdered at their rural farmhouse in Holcomb, Kansas, a crime which inspired the Truman Capote book "In Cold Blood."

Capote's book played a big role in the development of the crime genre, but it was never well received by those from Holcomb. "They made a tremendous amount of money off our great tragedy," said Bob Rupp, who as a teenager dated Nancy Clutter.

The hunt for their killers - Dick Hickock and Perry Smith - mesmerized the nation, drawing journalists from across the country to this rural outpost on the Kansas prairie.

The Wichita Eagle and others are asking Kansan residents in 2009 what their memories are of the Clutter murders, 50 years ago.

Writes Beccy Tanner of the Wichita Eagle, the event "became an iconic moment for many Kansans. They marked a turning point: Doors were locked. Strangers were eyed with suspicion."

The deaths of Herbert (48), Bonnie (45), Nancy (16) and Kenyon (15) Clutter also gained notoriety as a movie and TV mini series, both called "In Cold Blood," and for their role in 2005 film "Capote."