KANSAS: The Killers

Each of us is all the sums he has not counted: subtract us into nakedness and night again, and you shall see begin in Crete four thousand years ago the love that ended yesterday in Texas. The seed of our destruction will blossom in the desert, the alexin of our cure grows by a mountain rock, and our lives are haunted by a Georgia slattern, because a London cutpurse went unhung.

—Thomas Wolfe, Look Homeward, Angel!

The state penitentiary at Lansing, Kans. and the farmhouse of Herbert Clutter at Holcomb, Kans., 400 miles apart, belonged to separate worlds, and the Clutter...

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