In Cold Blood
Capote had been researching the topic of his next book when he came across a headline in the New York Times in 1959. A wealthy and prominent rancher, his wife, and teenage son and daughter had been brutally murdered in Holcomb, a suburb of Garden City, Kansas. Capote made arrangements to do a series on the murders for the New Yorker and within days had moved to Kansas to write his book.
The result of Capote's investigation was In Cold Blood, a new type of novel involving true crime (see sidebar). Capote divided the book into four sections, moving the narrative back and forth between the criminals and their victims, and then between the detectives and the criminals. Capote used film techniques of flashbacks and close-ups to create maximum tension in the novel.
In Cold Blood was first serialized in the New Yorker and then released in book form by Random House in 1965. It sold out and created quite a sensation before being produced as a Hollywood movie in 1967. Capote celebrated his success by throwing a party at New York's Plaza Hotel in 1966, inviting five hundred friends to attend.
For several years after In Cold Blood was released, Truman was seen as an authority on the criminal justice system. Journalists sought his opinion on prisons and capital punishment. In 1976 he wrote Then It All Came Down, which also dealt with crime and criminal justice.