50th Anniversary of 'In Cold Blood'

Truman Capote started 'true crime' genre

Monday, November 16, 2009

Fifty years ago today, Truman Capote came across an article in The New York Times about an entire family murdered in their Kansas home. He immediately began to investigate the crime and write what became the first major piece of literary non-fiction: "In Cold Blood." Patricia Cornwell, best-selling crime writer, and true-crime television journalist Bill Kurtis talk with us about Capote's work, why it remains popular and how it helped launch our national obsession with true-crime journalism.


Patricia Cornwell and Bill Kurtis

Produced by:

Kristen Meinzer

Comments [1]

lari Frank

Listening to you folks this am brought back quite a vivid memory for me. In 1969, I was in 10th grade (back then it was the beginning of high school and I was 14 years old) and "In Cold Blood" was one of the first reading assignments given to my English class. I began the book and soon found it unreadable, just terrifying, horrible etc. and muddled through by skimming. It had a huge impact on me-the terror and
I swore that I would never go near this "story again".
Years later after reading most of Capote's other works which I enjoyed, I steadfastly refused to revisit "In Cold Blood, I had such a visceral reaction to it. I found I had to deal with that in the movie theater during a screening of "Capote" which had I known it dealt with the writing of "In Cold Blood" I never would have agreed to see it. I sat through it,
thought it was quite a good film and performance, and faced my fears!. I do have to say, this was an inordinately stupid reading assignment for 14 year olds.

Nov. 16 2009 10:16 AM

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