Sunday, November 16, 2008

In Cold Blood

Published in 1965, "In Cold Blood" by Truman Capote does not mention homelessness. Transients and vagrancy do show up. A young man and his grandfather that are hitchhiking are not described as homeless, yet they were evicted and crossing the country in search of a relative to find shelter.

Dick Wickock lived with his parents after being released from prison and had a decent job as a car mechanic. When he took off with his partner in crime, Perry Smith, they both could be considered homeless. They slept in the car on the side of a road; ate and slept at a Salvation Army; washed, brushed teeth and shaved in men's restrooms.

Reading about the two men who had plotted and murdered four people in an attempted robbery of a safe they never found, I think about homeless people I knew. There were two guys that someone dubbed Frick and Frack. They were on the lam, after committing some crime, perhaps an armed robbery. I could not imagine either of them being capable of murder. There are other scarier characters I met on the streets. It amazed me how the men bragged about their past and for some, present crimes.

I think of woman like Anna and the young woman who got involved with homeless men. Taking them into their homes to live. Anyone of those men could have been like Dick; charming and sweet-talking the gals out of money, with talk of love and marriage. Creepy, in retrospect, that any of those guys could have been guilty of an unsolved murder in some other part of the U.S.A. (11/07/08)

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