In Cold Blood Quotes

Quotes and quotations are phrases, sentences, lines and paragraphs in a story or some other literary piece. These quotes express universal truths or situations of characters showing their true personalities. Quotes from In Cold Blood by Truman Capote also demonstrate the skill of the writer in showing the characters and their reactions in the situations in which they find themselves. Below is an analysis of some of the quotes from In Cold Blood.

Quotes from In Cold Blood

Quote #1

 “Or you might never go home. And—it’s important always to have with you something of your own. That’s really yours.”

Part -1, The Last to See Them Alive

Spoken by Bonnie Clutter to Jolene, the girl who comes for cooking lessons, these lines show that she is giving Jolene her miniatures, that she must have one thing of her own whenever she is going somewhere. The ambivalence of this shows that she is referring to her boxes and mementos in them that later robbers and killers take away.

Quote #2

“The kid and the girl. And maybe the other two. But it’s Saturday. They might have guests. Let’s count on eight, or even twelve. The only sure thing is every one of them has got to go.”

Part -1, The Last to See Them Alive

Although it emerges later that Smith kills the whole family, here we hear Dick Hickock speak about the idea to rob and kill everyone. He insists that everybody in the house has to die, even if the Clutters have guests.

Quote #3

 “Only now when I think back, I think somebody must have been hiding there. Maybe down among the trees. Somebody just waiting for me to leave.”

Part -1, The Last to See Them Alive

Bobby Rup tells in his interview that he saw his girlfriend, Nancy, for the last time on that day. The lines foreshadow the coming events. He tells the author that, in retrospect, there were indications that somebody was hiding or waiting to kill them but he did not sense it at that time.

 Quote #4

“Dick became convinced that Perry was that rarity, “a natural killer”—absolutely sane, but conscienceless, and capable of dealing, with or without motive, the coldest-blooded deathblows.”

Part -1, The Last to See Them Alive

Spoken by the narrator, these lines shed light on the murderous nature of character Dick Hickock. The narrator states that Dick is a natural killer who knows how to use others such as Perry to kill and rob people without having a prick of conscience.

Quote #5

 “And seeing the dog—somehow that made me feel again. I’d been too dazed, too numb, to feel the full viciousness of it.”

Part -1, The Last to See Them Alive

These words are spoken by Larry Hendricks after he sees a dog, which wakes him up and causes him to feels again, to recognize the horror of the murders. The locals are speechless over these murders.

Quote #6

 “In brief, Nye learned only this: ‘Of all the people in all the world, the Clutters were the least likely to be murdered.”

Part -2, Persons Unknown

These lines spoken by the narrator demonstrate the shock of the community over the murder of the Clutters. Nye’s comments point to their likable and friendly nature, and that nobody had had any grudge against them. Therefore, they were never expected to be murdered in this way.

 Quote #7

 “Nancy wore her dress of cherry-red velvet, her brother a bright plaid shirt; the parents were more sedately attired, Mr. Clutter in navy-blue flannel, his wife in navy-blue crepe; and—and it was this, especially, that lent the scene an awful aura—the head of each was completely encased in cotton, a swollen cocoon twice the size of an ordinary blown-up balloon, and the cotton, because it had been sprayed with a glossy substance, twinkled like Christmas-tree snow.”

Part -2, Persons Unknown

The narrator here describes the scene when the bodies of the Clutters are found. He states that Nancy is wearing a red velvet dress and the parents are in casual dress. Both Mr. Clutter and his wife are lying with their heads encased in cotton and sprayed with some substance as if they are a Christmas tree. This chilling detail has been given to create an atmosphere of horror and fear.

Quote #8

“Because I never for a minute believed he meant to carry it out. I thought it was just talk.”

Part -3, Answer

Floyd Wells is giving an interview to the author to talk about his former employer, Mr. Clutter. He tells the author that he had given details about the Clutters to Dick Hickock, never believing that he would go so far as to plan the robbery and murder. Wells though Hickok was bragging, as was his habit.

 Quote #9 

“It was wrong of me to hate him; I’ve got nothing but pity for him now. And you know—I believe Mrs. Clutter would feel pity, too. Being the kind of woman they say she was.”

Part -4, The Corner

Eunice Hickock, Dick’s mother, tells the author that she feels only pity for Perry. Earlier, though, she has believed he coaxed her son into committing the crime. She thinks that Mrs. Clutter would also feel pity, for she was a great and kind lady.

Quote #10

“I don’t believe in capital punishment, morally or legally. Maybe I had something to contribute, something—”

Part -4, The Corner

Perry Smith speaks to the author to tell that he does not believe in capital punishment. However, he may be wrong, as he has voiced his opinion and his opinion may have contributed to the death penalty.