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Alvin A. Dewey, 75; Investigated 1959 'In Cold Blood' Murders

November 09, 1987|Associated Press

GARDEN CITY, Kan. — Alvin A. Dewey, chief investigator of the 1959 killings chronicled in the book and movie "In Cold Blood," has died at age 75.

Dewey, who retired in 1975 after nearly 40 years in law enforcement, died Friday at a Garden City hospital after suffering a stroke at home.

He became internationally known for his investigation of the Nov. 15, 1959, murder of Herbert Clutter and three members of his family in their rural Holcomb home. Two convicted killers, Perry Smith and Richard Hickock, were executed five years later.

Truman Capote wrote "In Cold Blood," a chillingly detailed account of the case that was turned into a movie in which John Forsythe portrayed Dewey, a three-term Finney County sheriff who later worked for the Kansas Bureau of Investigation for 20 years.

At his retirement, Dewey told reporters that while the Clutter case was possibly his biggest in terms of publicity, others among the 200 homicides he investigated were more difficult.

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