Lansing, Kas. -- Richard Eugene Hickock, 34, and Perry Edward Smith, 36, were hanged early Wednesday for the 1959 slayings of a family of four. They were convicted of the Nov. 14, 1959, robbery-murder of rancher Herbert W. Clutter, his wife, and the couple's two teen age children. The four victims had been bound, gagged and shot point blank in the head with a 12 gauge shotgun. Clutter was a farm adviser of the Eisenhower administration. The killers had been searching for a nonexistent fortune supposedly stashed away by the Clutter family in their Garden City (Kas.) home. All Hickock and Smith got for their efforts was $80 a portable radio and a pair of cheap binoculars. Their last hope of avoiding the noose died Tuesday when United States Supreme Court Justice Byron R. White took no action on a last minute appeal for a stay of execution.
-- Story by United Press International
-- Photo by Associated Press; Hickock is at left
Note: "In Cold Blood," Truman Capote's account of the killings, first appeared as a four-part series beginning with the September 25, 1965, issue of The New Yorker magazine, and was then published in book form in January 1966.
* 50th-anniversary story from The Topeka Capital-Journal: @