Considered the Trope Codifier
for the Non-Fiction Novel
, In Cold Blood
by Truman Capote was published in 1966.
It told the story of Perry Smith and Richard Hickock, two recently parolled convicts. One day, in 1959, they hear from a fellow con named Floyd Wells about a farmer he worked for named Herb Clutter. According to Wells, Clutter kept a safe in his house with lots of cash inside. So, the two decide to rob the place, Leave No Witnesses
and head for Mexico with the cash. And that's what they do. Except for one small thing: there was no safe.
Capote originally started the book as an article on the massacre. He was able to interview both Smith and Hickock for the project shortly after their arrest. The huge amount of info he got led him to change course during development.
This was adapted into a 1967 movie directed by Richard Brooks and staring Robert Blake as Smith and Scott Wilson as Hickock. It was also made into a TV Miniseries in 1996 starring Anthony Edwards as Hickock and Eric Roberts as Smith.
The story of its creation
was told twice within a year
: first as Capote
in 2005, and then as Infamous
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