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"In Cold Blood" killers could be linked to Florida cold case, investigators say

In this Jan. 6, 1960 file photo, Perry Edward Smith is led by police officers into the courthouse at Garden City, Kan. Smith was arrested in Las Vegas and charged with first degree murder in the slaying of four members of the Herbert Clutter family at their farm house in Holcomb, Kan. Fifty years ago, the Clutter murders inspired Truman Capote to write "In Cold Blood". AP Photo/William Straeter

Perry Edward Smith
In this Jan. 6, 1960 file photo, Perry Edward Smith is led by police officers into the courthouse in Garden City, Kan.
AP Photo/William Straeter

(CBS/KWCH) SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. - Notorious killers Perry Smith and Richard Hickock, whose slaying of the Clutter family in Kansas was immortalized in Truman Capote's bestselling book "In Cold Blood," are at the center of another murder investigation decades after their executions.

On Nov. 15, 1959, Herbert Clutter, a prominent farmer and community leader, his wife, Bonnie Mae Fox, and their children, 15-year-old Kenyon and 16-year-old Nancy, were brutally murdered at their rural farmhouse Holcomb, Kan.

One month later on Dec. 19, Cliff and Christine Walker and their young children Jimmie and Debbie were shot to death in their home in Osprey, Fla., CBS affiliate KWCH reports. The homicides went unsolved for decades and no arrests were ever made.

According to KWCH, authorities in Florida are now hoping to travel to Kansas to exhume the bodies of Smith and Hickock and compare DNA evidence from their remains to evidence found at the crime scene in Sarasota County.

Investigators originally linked Smith and Hickock to the Walker family murders, but the two were dropped as suspects in 1960 after they both passed a lie detector test, KWCH reports.

As for how the Walkers could have had the bad fortune to cross paths with the infamous duo, investigators say the family was just trying to buy a car. It's reported that the Walker family may have been shopping for a Chevrolet Bel Air. Smith and Hickcock were driving a 1956 model of that car.

  • Casey Glynn

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