I was recently reading Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, about the gruesome murder of the entire Clutter family in Kansas on that fateful evening in November 1959, and I couldn’t help but wonder: what if they had installed good home alarm systems and video surveillance, what difference would it have made?
The answer, of course, spells the difference between life and grisly death. The thing with the southern states is that people trusted their neighbors so much that they very rarely, if at all, locked their doors at night. In fact, as we learn later on in the book (which has been made into film versions), due to the murder of the Clutter family, people were so frightened that they began to bolt their doors and windows at night. And in those distant days before advanced burglar alarm systems, locking the doors was not enough to give them peace of mind and restful sleep.
I keep imagining the Clutter family and their farm—an expansive tract of land that was the source of their fortune. Whenever I think of a property like that, I itch about installing a wireless house burglar alarm, or a video surveillance system consisting of motion detectors, at least 20 night vision high-definition security cameras, and even a laser security system that you can set up into a defensive perimeter. How, with the kind of wealth of the Clutter family, they could have saved themselves from such a ghastly end with the protection of advanced home alarm systems.
Unfortunately, the Clutters—and many victims of murders and break-ins like them—lived in a time when high-technology protective devices like a wireless residential alarm system were virtually unknown. But fast-forward to the present, in a time when a complete security alarm system with video surveillance can be bought at reasonable prices from less than a hundred dollars to the more expansive systems that cost thousands of dollars, there is no reason why you should not take on a proactive attitude toward protecting your own family. Whenever I speak about my “faith” in the defensive prowess of advanced burglar alarm systems, I think of the Clutters in Truman Capote’s book, I think about multiplying their case into millions, and then I feel the weight of the importance of installing an affordable residential alarm system in these dangerous, uncertain times.