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Archive for Tuesday, January 5, 1960

Other ex-convict admits his part in Clutter deaths

January 5, 1960

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— County Atty. Duane West announced today that Perry Edward Smith, 31, ex-convict from Las Vegas, Nev., had admitted participation in the slaying of four members of the Herbert W. Clutter family.

West said Smith, who had been implicated in the slayings by the confession of another ex-convict, Richard Eugene Hickock, 28, Edgerton, Kan., made an oral statement in a car bringing him here from Las Vegas.

No details were available immediately.

Logan Sanford, director of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, said Smith told KBI agents he would sign a statement on his return to Garden City.

West told a news conference he still could not disclose the exact time of arrival of officers with Hickock and Smith at Garden City. He said they spent last night in Arizona.

Sanford displayed a 12 gauge shotgun and a six-inch hunting knife which were taken from the home of Hickock's parents.

Clutter, his wife and two children were killed by shotgun blasts. Clutter's throat also was slashed. West has not said whether it has been established that the shotgun and knife found in the Hickock home were the murder weapons.

West said some unexpended shells also were found with the gun. He said they were the same size and type of shot used to kill the Clutters.

Hickock has told officers he would take them to the spot where shells used in the killings were buried. West said it was "somewhere in this area."

Sanford reported that a 1949 Chevrolet owned by Hickock and believed to be the same one in which the men came to Garden City the night of Nov. 14 has been found in Mexico City.

He said Smith and Hickock left the car there and returned to Kansas City by bus. They were driving a 1956 Chevrolet, believed to have been stolen in Iowa, when arrested in Las Vegas, Nev., last week.

Sanford declined to give any information when asked who gave the tip that put authorities on the trail of Smith and Hickock.

"It doesn't make any difference who gave the tip," Sanford said.

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