SundanceTV’s Revisiting ‘In Cold Blood’ Murders

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

The horrific murders of the Clutter family will be explored once again in Murder in the Heartland: In Cold Blood Revisited. SundanceTV just announced it’s working with Oscar nominated documentary filmmaker Joe Berlinger (Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory) on the four-part event series which will, according to the network, “present a 360-degree view and re-examination of the crime and subsequent events.” In addition, SundanceTV picked up the rights to 1967’s In Cold Blood based on the bestselling book by Truman Capote, directed by Richard Brooks, and starring Robert Blake and Scott Wilson. The network plans to air the film along with the true crime documentary series.

SundanceTV will air the four-part series in 2017 in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the release of Capote’s book. The book delved into the murder of the Clutter family of Holcomb, Kansas and the subsequent investigation and prosecutions of Richard Eugene Hickock and Perry Edward Smith. Hickock and Smith were found guilty and were executed for the crime in April 1965.

“Joe Berlinger has created a framework to explore this story that has as much to do with the cultural impact of the crime as it does the crime itself. It was not just a family and a community that was ripped apart, it was a seminal moment in post-war America that set the tone for what was to come,” stated Joel Stillerman, president of original programming and development for AMC and SundanceTV. “His vision for this SundanceTV event series gets at the idea that crime, in and of itself, is rarely the most interesting piece. The impact comes from exploring the broader story, and what a crime says about the culture, and how it shapes that culture moving forward.”

“I have long been obsessed with Capote’s genre-busting masterwork, but even more fascinated by the underlying crime and its impact on the American psyche,” said Berlinger, who has been developing the project with AMC Studios for more than a year. “The opportunity to explore my obsession, in light of new information we have uncovered, with a network and brand that I have long been associated with and which represents cinematic quality at its most intelligent is a dream situation for a nonfiction filmmaker of my background.”