A confession made by the boisterous American writer Truman bonnetand (September 30, 1924 – August 25, 1984), always upset by drugs and alcohol, would be among the most sincere of his life: “I will never recover from this.” This is how he identified the experience that led him to write the well-known “non-fiction” novel, Cold-blooded, in which Mexico appears as another of the stations of the drama that it rebuilds.
Published in 1965, the novel is the literary account (journalistic report) of the murder of the family Clutter in the village of Holcomb, West of Kansas in the United States, in November 1959. Multihomicide committed by Perry smith and Richard Hickock, executed six years later, with whom the writer established a relationship during his imprisonment and in whom he would have identified his personality traits.
There are not in the set of the Capotiana work referring to Mexico. Neither in his stories nor in his portraits of characters from the North American show; neither in his previous novels, although he did in Cold-blooded, always starting from the itinerary of the fugitives Perry and Richard then “to do what we did.” “We did what?” Richard asks, “the thing over there,” his partner replies.
In their exodus, the novel tells, the murderers of the family Clutter They left Kansas on November 21, 1958, heading south “never to return.” Two days later they crossed the border through Laredo, sleeping their first night in a brothel in San Luis Potosi. His intention: to reach “Mexico capital”. One week after the crimes, the date by which he himself Cloak was already “accredited” before the local justice as a journalist to enter the case, accompanied by the novelist Harper Lee (Kill a Mockingbird).
“A week in Mexico City” and Perry and Dick, as they called Richard, continue to Cuernavaca, Taxco and Acapulco. They then decide to return to the capital to meet again with two women they had met: “Inés was a prostitute who had approached Dick on the steps of the Palacio de Bellas Artes ”and“ María, a fifty-year-old widow of a very prominent Mexican banker ”.
The days go by and the circle begins to close on them. “Dick had sold the car and within three days the money was gone.” Perry He seeks work as a mechanic discouraged by the pay, “two dollars a day.” “Mexico! I have enough. We have to get out of here ”, he explodes Perry.
The final narrative, structured from among thousands of pages accumulated during his encounters with the assassins, refers to the abilities of Dick to provide financial resources at the expense of Inés and María. They thus obtain two bus tickets to California.
Perry and Dick they will live their last day in Mexico, “That hotel room without heating ”, the first hurrying the second, who has a sexual relationship with Inés,“ was so silly… I really believed that Dick he wanted to marry her and had no idea that she was going to leave Mexico that afternoon. “
“For God’s sake, Dick,” Perry snapped. Hurry up, will you? Our day ends at two ”.
It will be on December 30, 50 hours of bus travel left behind, when Perry and Dick are located by the US police. They had come to pick up the post office in Las Vegas a box shipped from Mexico by his own Perry. They waited for more than five years on so-called death row, before being hanged, at which time Cloak approached them to write Cold-blooded.
Media celebrity, character of himself, unable to master “the force that had made him stand out”, according to the Spanish writer Clara Sanchez, Truman capote remains as the obligatory referent of novel nonfiction, and Cold-blooded a novel of very wide diffusion in its different translations.
And in which Mexico occupies a place in his dizzying death count.