In Cold Blood case files up for auction

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2015-06-26 11:04:20

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In Cold Blood case files up for auction

18 Jul 2012, 12:04 GMT+01

A fascinating archive of case files, unpublished crime scene investigation notes, photos, confessions and documents connected with the gruesome 1959 Clutter murder case are to be auctioned by Vintage Memorabilia, Seattle, on August 31st.

The subject of Truman Capote’s bestselling 1965 novel In Cold Blood, the murders of the Herbert Clutter family in Kansas, were extensively documented and researched. This singular and extensive cache of investigative evidence related to the case will be available to the public for the first time.
Capote famously built strong and questionable relationships with the convicted killers and case investigators involved.

The sale will also feature the personal archives of Harold Nye, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation officer in charge of the Clutter case, who assisted Capote in his research. Letters between the two include one from Capote to Nye in which the writer states: ‘I assume the Kansas Supreme Court will have set a new execution date for Perry and Dick. And now I suppose they will go into the federal courts, and the whole thing will drag on into eternity! No, I’m not bloodthirsty either, but I do with the damn thing would end. So that I can finish the book before I’m too old and feeble to hold a pen’. Harold Nye and Truman Capote stood side by side as they watched the execution of the murderers.

Along with Nye’s personal notebooks and crime scene photographs, mug shots, hundreds of pages of investigative documents, fingerprint sheets, transcripts of interviews with and confessions of the murderers, this collection is composed of truly unique ephemera offering an unparalleled insight into the case.

A first edition of In Cold Blood, considered the first non-fiction novel, signed by Truman Capote and personally inscribed to Harold Nye, is included. Several case investigators have also signed the book, along with members from the 1969 film adaptation, making this an extremely important copy of the book.

The archive has been put forward for auction by Agent Harold Nye’s son Ronald. With bids starting at $20,000, the sky is the limit for what this significant real-life and literary archive of the Clutter case could achieve. As president of Vintage Memorabilia Gary McAvoy comments, due to the shocking nature of the crime, and its representation in the novel and as a film, ‘the Clutter case still resonates deeply in the minds of the millions’.

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