Loss of innocence / undermining American Dream ("He cries so easily..…
Loss of innocence / undermining American Dream
"Dick was not to be dissuaded. Kansas City, he again insisted, was the one place he was certain he could successfully, 'hang a lot of paper' "
"You people are sending me to a better world than this ever was" (At the hanging)
"And suddenly he saw the truth: it was Perry he ought to have silence. On a mountain road in Mexico. Or walking across the Mojave"
"Dick said, "The trouble with you, Andy, you've got no respect for human life. Including your own" " (To Lowell Lee Andrews)
"Dick, because he didn't care to hear Perry "get going on that subject", shrugged and grinned and trotted down to the ocean's edge..."
"Dick loves to steal. It's an emotional thing for him - a sickness" (Perry)
"But 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"
"There are four killers up here and one railroaded man. I'm no goddamn killer. I never touched a hair on a human head" (Dick in jail)
"I know it is wrong. But at the time I never give any thought to whether it is right or wrong. The same with stealing. It seems to be an impulse"
"I never would have believed he had the guts. To take it like he did. I tagged him a coward" (Roy Church's verdict)
"The preceding execution hsd not distrubed him, he had never much use for Hickock, who seemed him "a small-time chiseller who got out of his depth, empty and worthless" "
"Convinced that such a ceremony would be the outcome of any trial - certainly any trial held in the state of Kansas - he had decided to "bust jail. Grab a car and raise dust." But first he must have a weapon; and over a period of weeks he'd been making one: a "shiv", an instrument very like an ice pick - something that would fit with lethal niceness between the shoulder lades of Undersheriff Meier"
" 'No witnesses,' he reminded Perry, for what seemed the millionth time"
"I know about hell. I been there. Maybe there's a heaven, too. Lots of rich people think so" (To Nye and Church)
"Mrs Hickock came once a month; her husband died, she had lost the farm and, as she told Dick, lived now with one relative, no another"
"We're plain people, just country people, getting along the same as everybody else." "Dick was the best-natured little kid" (Mrs Hickock's testimony)
"Envy was constantly with him; the Enemy was anyone who was someone he wanted to be or who had anything he wanted to have"
"Perry Smith. My God. He's had such a rotten life"
"He cries so easily... he used to cry because he thought a sunset was so beautiful... He can make you feel sorry for him" (sister Barbara speaking)
"They both laughed loudly, and a cameraman photographed them. The picture appeared in a Kansas newspaper above a caption entitled: "The Last Laugh?" "
"He seems to have grown up without direction, without love, and without ever absorbing any fixed moral values..." (Dr Jones' potential but unheard testimony)
"As a child he had often thought of killing himself"
"When he was seven years old, a hated, hating half-breed living in a California orphanage run by nuns - shrouded disciplinarians who whipped him for wetting his bed"
" 'Know what I think?' said Perry, 'I think there must be something wrong with us. To do what we did.' "
"But Smith, though he was the true murderer, aroused another response, for Perry possessed a quality, the aura of an exiled animal, a creature walking wounded, that the detective could not disregard"
"And it wasn't because of anything the Clutters did. They never hurt me. Like other people. Like other people have all my life"..."life... Maybe it's just that the Clutters were the ones who has to pay for it"
"Dick, and all his talk about a rich man's safe, and here I am crawling on my belly to steal a child's silver dollar. One dollar. And I'm crawling on my belly to get it"
"His mother, an alcoholic, had strangled to death on her own vomit"
"The terrible destinies that seemed promised the four children of Florence Buckskin and Ted John Smith..."
"My mother was always drunk, never in a fit condition to properly provide and care for us. There was no rule or discipline, or anyone to show me the right from wrong"
"Perry is no Angel. He has done wrong many times same as many kids" (Perry's dad)
"Only Dad wouldn't help me. He told me to be good and hugged me and went away"
"Perry does not have much schooling I don't either..." (Perry's father)
" 'I finished the third grade,' Perry recalled, 'which was the finish' "
"I never killed any niggers"
"He preferred root beer. Three aspirin, cold root beer, and a chain of Pall Pall cigarettes"