In the first section, "The Last to See them Alive," there is a passage in which Perry is waiting for Dick at a Kansas cafe called the Little Jewel. Capote writes from Perry's point of view, "Still no sign of Dick. But he was sure to show up; after all, the purpose of their meeting was Dick's idea, his 'score'" (page 14). Capote presents the Clutter robbery and murders as largely Dick's idea (though in this passage, Dick is contemplating going to Mexico).
Capote sees Perry as twisted and manipulated by Dick, who is unsympathetic towards Perry's needs. For example, later in this passage, Capote writes about the two large boxes Perry carts around with books, maps, and letters: "Dick's face when he saw those boxes! 'Christ, Perry. You carry that junk everywhere?'" Capote portrays Dick as hardened and unsympathetic, while Perry, whose history of abuse at the hands of his parents and foster caregivers Capote relates in harrowing detail, is presented as more sympathetic and as Dick's pawn. Later in this same passage, Perry romantically suggests prospecting for gold, and Dick dismisses the idea by referring to the movie Treasure of the Sierra Madre and saying, "Whoa, honey, whoa. I seen that show. Ends up everybody nuts" (page 15). Dick is clearly in control of their relationship, and he discounts Perry's ideas, dreams, and emotions.