Items from ' In Cold Blood' on the auction block

Friday, February 17th 2006, 10:00 am
By: News On 6

The movie "Capote" is up for several Academy Awards including Best Picture. It traces Truman Capote's trek to western Kansas to write his classic novel "In Cold Blood."

The story and the characters are real, and News on 6 reporter Rick Wells has found a local connection to the crime.

Some local folks own a piece of history. "Capote" is up for Best Picture among other things, it chronicles Truman Capote's trip to Kansas to research the 1959 murder of a farm family in the town of Holcomb. Herbert Clutter, his wife and two teenagers. Capote intended to write an article, he wrote a book. "In Cold Blood", a classic.

Perry Smith and Richard Hickock were convicted in the killings and sentenced to death; they were both executed in 1965. Lynda and Angela Knowlton are Richard Hickock's closest living relatives.

They have some of his personal affects, including some post cards sent to him by his mother. There's also his last letter, an hour before his execution, typed because he wasn't permitted pencils or pens and two paintings.

Angela Knowlton: "He had a little wallet sized picture of her while he was in prison, that's what he used to paint this." The painting is of Lynda in elementary school, the other the image of Jesus.

Lynda Knowlton: "for the longest time I didn't want to get rid of them." But they've decided perhaps because of renewed interest in the case because of the movie, now's a good time to sell them. Angela Knowlton: "We, we're planning on putting it out on eBay." They have no idea what they'll bring.

Interestingly, Angela read "In Cold Blood" in high school, and had no idea she had a connection. No one ever told her.

She expects to have the two paintings and the letter up on eBay within a month.