Archive for Wednesday, November 18, 1959

Police find lead in brutal murder of Kansas family

November 18, 1959


— Bloodstains found on an Arkansas River bridge near the Herbert Clutter farm home gave officers a lead today in their investigation of the slaying of four members of the Clutter family last weekend.

However, County Atty. Duane West told a news conference it had not been determined if the stains were made by human blood or by that of animals.

The bridge, on a well traveled county road, crosses the river about a quarter of a mile south of the entrance to a long lane leading to the Clutter home.

West pointed out many pheasant hunters are in the area and it is possible that stains came from game.

The stains, fingerprints, rope and tape used to bind the victims, and other items taken from the house were to be sent today to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation laboratory in Topeka for analysis.

West said it is not known if fingerprints found in the home were from persons other than the victims.

Also causing intensive questioning by newsmen was the arrival of KBI Agent Wendell Cowan of Topeka with lie detector equipment. West stressed the detector was not brought here for use on any particular person.

"We just want to have it handy," he said.

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