Courts & Crime

Memories of 'In Cold Blood' killings still haunt victims' family

Sixteen-year-old Diana Selsor had just come back from a beach party and was home alone in Palatka, Fla., that Sunday afternoon. So it was she, not her parents, who opened the shocking note police had left with a neighbor.

"It said, 'Four members of the Clutter family killed in Holcomb, Kansas.' There was a number to call."

Sunday marks 50 years since Selsor — now Diana Selsor Edwards — learned that her uncle Herbert, 48, aunt Bonnie, 45, and cousins Nancy, 16, and Kenyon, 15, had been slaughtered, hands tied behind their backs, in their farmhouse near Garden City.

It was a high-profile crime, the details splashed across front pages from coast to coast. Yet the murders might have been largely forgotten by now had it not been for Truman Capote's groundbreaking book "In Cold Blood."

And for that, Edwards and others in the normally private family remain eternally bitter.

"It has been, to me, a great injustice," she said. "They were complex people, and (Capote) turned them into cardboard figures."