LANSING, Kan. — Kansas Bureau of Investigation Agents obtained and executed a search warrant on Tuesday to exhume the bodies of Perry Smith and Richard Hickock and collect samples for DNA testing.
Smith and Hickock were convicted and executed by Kansas for the 1959 murder of Herb, Bonnie, Nancy and Kenyon Clutter in Finney County, Kansas. Smith’s and Hickock’s remains are buried in a private cemetery in Leavenworth County, Kansas.
According to the Associated Press, The Sarasota County, Florida, sheriff’s office requested the exhumation, and a representative from Sarasota County was present.
Florida officials believe Hickock and Smith may be guilty of a similar 1959 quadruple homicide; the victims were Cliff and Christine Walker and their two children in Osprey, Florida.
The Associated Press reports says the Walkers were killed not long after the murders of Herb Clutter and his family in Kansas.
Sarasota officials say Hickock and Smith fled to Florida after the Kansas killings and were in the area when the Walkers were killed.
The Kansas murders became the subject of a popular book written by Truman Capote, in which he detailed the killings in the small Kansas town of Holcomb, Kansas. In Cold Blood became the best-selling crime book of its time in the late 60s and early 70s.
The exhumation was conducted by members of the KBI’s Crime Scene Response Team.