In Cold Blood

What do you find to be the most chilling line or set of lines in this book -- and why (or how did Capote succeed in this) ?

Asking for an opinion rather than an answer or right or wrong...but I'm curious to see if others find similar imagery to what I found absolutely terrifying ! And sold me on this writer and still 'style' of writing.

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“I didn’t want to harm the man. I thought he was a very nice gentleman. Soft-spoken. I thought so right up to the moment I cut his throat.”

Perry, pg. 244

I thought this was pretty chilling. Perry had no hatred for the family rather than what they represented. Certainly the title of the book alludes to this emotionless killing.

“[Dick] was holding the knife. I asked him for it, and he gave it to me, and I said, ‘All right, Dick. Here goes.’ But I didn’t mean it. I meant to call his bluff, make him argue me out of it, make him admit he was a phony and a coward. See, it was something between me and Dick. I knelt down beside Mr. Clutter, and the pain of kneeling—I thought of that goddam dollar. Silver dollar. The shame. Disgust. And they’d told me never to come back to Kansas. But I didn’t realize what I’d done till I heard the sound. Like somebody drowning. Screaming under water.” (page 244)

I always found it difficult to believe that Perry murder of Mr. Clutter began in such a horrific way....... that it came about not because it was premeditated or because Perry simply felt like slitting his throat but because of a confrontation with Dick. He didn't intend to do it, in fact he didn't even really realize he was doing it....... it simply happened in the middle of calling his partner's bluff.


In Cold Blood