The bodies of Perry Smith and Richard Hickock were exhumed Tuesday morning after agents with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation received a search warrant to collect samples of their DNA.
Earlier this month law enforcement authorities in Sarasota County, Fla., presented compelling evidence that might link Smith and Hickock with an unsolved 1959 quadruple homicide.
It has been more than a half-century since Smith and Hickock, on parole from the state penitentiary, murdered Herb and Bonnie Clutter and their children Nancy, 16, and Kenyon, 15, on Nov. 15, 1959.
The killers had heard a fellow jail inmate describe how the Clutters were wealthy, how they kept a safe filled with money in their home. It wasn’t true. They ended up with about $40, a pair of binoculars and a transistor radio.
In his book, “In Cold Blood,” Truman Capote described the Clutter murders as: "Four shotgun blasts that, all told, ended six human lives."
Smith and Hickock were caught after a six-week manhunt. They were executed for their crimes on April 14, 1965.
The two killers were buried in the Mount Muncie Cemetery in Lansing.
The exhumation Tuesday was conducted by members of the KBI’s Crime Scene Response Team.
A representative of the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office also attended the exhumation.