He Shot To Fame After ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s,’ But This Is The Sad Story Behind Truman Capote’s Final Works

ID 207258878 - © Ralf Liebhold - - illustrative purposes only

When you hear famous author Truman Capote’s name, you might immediately think of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and the iconic Audrey Hepburn film.

While “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” was a major piece of Truman’s career, the final two books of his career, one being a major hit and the other being incomplete, are a fascinating bit of history to look at.

After “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” was published in 1958, Truman entered a new phase of his writing career. By 1959, he embarked on an intense journey for his nonfiction novel, “In Cold Blood.”

Truman had read an article in The New York Times in 1959 about the tragic, brutal, and unexpected murder of a wealthy farmer, Herbert Clutter, and his family in Holcomb, Kansas.

Truman quickly traveled to Holcomb to investigate the murder and conduct research for a novel. He was there for five long years, carefully earning the trust of Holcomb’s residents, including the Chief Investigator of the case, Alvin “Al” Dewey, and his wife, Marie.

Shockingly, once the police had found the two men responsible for the Clutter’s murder, Truman was able to interview them and learn their stories. He felt a connection with one of the men, Perry Smith, and over time, he began to grow somewhat of a fondness for him with their similar upbringings and bonded with him.

When the two murderers were sentenced to death, including Perry, Truman became a changed man. Yet he finished his novel and successfully published “In Cold Blood” in 1966 after it was also placed in The New Yorker.

It became an international success and made Truman a celebrity. He suddenly became a household name and got a taste of glamor and wealth. However, after the execution of Perry and the years he spent researching a brutal murder, from the 1960s to the end of his life, Truman struggled with alcohol and drug addiction.

Amid his sad, downward spiral, Truman signed a book deal to write his final novel, “Answered Prayers.”

ID 207258878 – © Ralf Liebhold – – illustrative purposes only

Sign up for Chip Chick’s newsletter and get stories like this delivered to your inbox.

1 of 2