In Cold Blood: DNA Doesn't Link Killers to Florida Quadruple Homicide
Perry Smith and Richard Hickock, the two killers profiled in Truman Capote's classic In Cold Blood, have long been suspects in a quadruple murder that killed a Florida couple and their two young sons back in 1959, but DNA evidence carried out more than 50 years later could not make a definitive link.
Smith and Hickock infamously murdered the Clutter family in Kansas and fled to Florida. A month later, another family, Cliff and Christine Walker and their two young children, turned up dead in Osprey, Florida. The killers had been spotted numerous times in Florida after the murder, and on the day of the Walker murder Smith and Hickock had checked out of a Miami Beach hotel.
When Smith and Hickock were eventually arrested in relation to the Clutter murder they were questioned about the Walker murders, but they both passed lie detector tests. Of course, nowadays the results of such polygraph tests are highly disputed.
So last December the bodies of both Smith and Hickock were exhumed. DNA samples were taken, and forensics experts tried to match those samples with semen found on Christine Walker's body.
According to The AP, a definitive match was not made. Though, only partial DNA profiles could be taken and the DNA evidence found at the crime scene have degraded. So the murderous pair hasn't exactly been cleared in the killing either. However, no more DNA tests will be made.
"We're not closing the case," Capt. Jeff Bell of The Sarasota Sheriff's Dept. told the AP. "It remains an unsolved murder. The mystery continues and we'll look for other opportunities. We've reached a point where we don't believe we're going to accomplish that through DNA testing."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Miami New Times' biggest stories.