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In Broad Daylight

por Harry N. MacLean

MiembrosReseñasPopularidadValoración promediaMenciones
2186122,256 (3.99)4
Recounts the true story of the murder of Ken Rex McElroy, a man who had terrorized and bullied the citizens of Skidmore, Missouri, and whose killer is still protected by a code of silence.

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Fascinating true crime published in 1988. The town bully Ken McElroy terrorized the town of Skidmore (pop 487 & then down to 284) Indicted over 20 times & not serving jail time (rape, molestation, bigamy, attempted murder) & then going after people who spoke out against him. The town had enough & he was shot (murdered) in broad daylight with over 20 witnesses in 1981 that didn't see anything. Still an unsolved case. A new series now on Sundance TV called "No One Saw A Thing" Almost 40 yrs later & still no one will talk. BEST KEPT SECRET EVER. Interesting story on vigilante justice & small town secrets & failings of the judicial system ( )
  LaneyLegz | Jul 29, 2023 |
On July 10, 1981, as the residents of Skidmore, Missouri watched, Ken McElroy was shot to death. When the police interviewed the witness, their statements were more or less identical,

“Where were you when he was shot?”

“Standing in front of the tavern.”

“Did you see anything?”

“No, I didn’t see a thing. I heard something, a couple of shots and then I hit the ground. There were more shots and, by the time I got up, it was all over.”

There were forty-five witnesses to the shooting and none of them saw anything. Of course that was impossible, most of them knew who shot McElroy.

In a news report about the killing, the announcer reported the Ken was “the most hated and feared man in Nodaway County.” Even the police and at least one judge were afraid of him. He had a history, he robbed, raped, burned (as in committed arson), and shot the citizens of Skidmore, Missouri. If anyone pressed charges, while waiting to go to trial, his lawyer would delay the trail as long as possible and McElroy would terrorize the witnesses. In one case, the bedroom window of a witness faced the road. He and his wife would wake to find a bright light flashing around the walls. When the husband would peek out the window, he say McElroy’s car parked on the road. As a result of these tactics, many times witnesses changed their stories or simply disappeared. Often the victims trying to get justice felt isolated because everyone was too afraid of McEroy to support them.

With all this it is easy to see how the townspeople felt the only way they could get justice was to take matters into their own hands. And so they did. The media called the shooting a vigilante killing which the town objected to, and in the strictest sense of the word it wasn’t, but still …… there is no denying the fact that some people made themselves judge, jury and executioner.

MacLean interviewed the people of Skidmore, he also consulted interviews that were taken right after the shooting, by a person who was not law enforcement. We get the full life story of Ken McElroy, MacLean also takes us through the year so we get a feel for the type of community it was. He also explains the idiosyncrasies of Missouri law, which is another reason people may have felt McElroy was getting away with his crimes. The fear and inaction of some people may have also fueled the towns peoples frustration and while you may not agree with their actions, you can certainly understand it.

One person I felt sorry for, which some may not understand or agree with was McElroy’s wife Trena. I feel she is another of Ken’s victims, her actions after he was killed are understandable and can be explained.

I enjoyed this book and recommend it to true crime fans. ( )
  BellaFoxx | Feb 12, 2015 |
Really liked it. I can see that some people thougth the story was slow, maybe it was but i did not mind that so much. I wanted to know a bit more about trena though. Nobody confronted her about what she did and she got away with money as well. grrrrr
Nice book. ( )
  Marlene-NL | Apr 12, 2013 |
Unusual true crime: The bad guy isn't the one who commits the crime that the book is really about.
  Scratch | Sep 5, 2007 |
Skidmore Missouri: After years of putting up with the bully of the town of Skidmore stealing livestock and various other illegal acts, the men of the town took matters into their own hands. In 1981, the men of Skidmore unable to prove that Ken McElroy was responsible for any wrongdoing killed him to rid the town of the menace. To this day the crime remains unsolved. ( )
  dara85 | Nov 12, 2006 |
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Recounts the true story of the murder of Ken Rex McElroy, a man who had terrorized and bullied the citizens of Skidmore, Missouri, and whose killer is still protected by a code of silence.

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