The senseless murders of innocent people. Two males. Outcasts. Mentally ill.
The deaths of the Clutter family in Holcomb, Kansas on November 15, 1959 as portrayed by Truman Capote in his classic work “In Cold Blood?” Or the violent slaughter of classmates at Columbine High School nearly a half century later?
Two males? Check.
Mentally ill? Check.
Paranoid schizophrenics? Check.
If Richard Hickok and Perry Smith were somehow to travel in time to Columbine
High School as teenagers as the century was about to turn, they could have easily morphed into Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, taking innocent lives in a society that breeds contempt – if looking for it.
However, if Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris were to somehow travel back in time to
Holcomb, Kansas in November of 1959, would the outcome for the Clutter family have been the same? Would the Midwest farm life – sans internet – have bred two killers as it did in the late 21st century?
Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris were bullied at Columbine. This, coupled with their unfettered access to the internet and all it has to offer, created two monsters willing to get their revenge – and notoriety – at the source of all of their pain.
Would they have found that in Kansas? Would they have found fodder (no pun intended) for their angst to be among the comfortable, though hard working,
The answer is probably no. Hickok and Smith, in the halcyon days of the 1950’s, both got in trouble in such a way that led to jail terms in the same prison. Both met the man who claimed, erroneously, that Herb Clutter had a safe that contained some $10,000. Both schemed to take what wasn’t theirs, leading to the horrific murders of a father, his wife, and two of their four children. In another time, in another place, would...