Everyone in Skidmore, MO knows who killed town bully, Ken Rex McElroy

25 years after the controversial murder, townspeople speak of torment and regret, but won't identify killers!

Best-selling book is updated.

Sheds new light on the McElroy murder, and speaks volumes about the cloud that hangs over this tiny Missouri town.


[Skidmore, MO - Jan. 4, 2007]  In the summer of 1981 the townspeople of Skidmore, Missouri had finally had enough. They were tired of living in fear when local farmer Kenneth Rex McElroy came to town. The bully had terrorized the community and all of northwest Missouri for more then twenty years. McElroy took what he wanted, when he wanted it, and no one dared oppose him.

McElroy robbed, cattle-rustled, raped, burned and assaulted almost at will. Local cops were scared of him. The law couldn’t convict McElroy because no one would testify against him. Was this bully ever to be punished? Who would stop him?

After a town meeting on July 10, 1981, 45 of the town's men decided to take action. McElroy and his wife Trena left a local bar and got into their pick-up truck. As the crowd gathered around his vehicle, McElroy smiled and lit a cigarette, as if to mock them.  Two men grabbed guns from their trucks, and suddenly 3-4 shots rang out, and McElroy slumped dead over his steering wheel. His siege of terror was finally over. Despite all of the eyewitnesses, and three grand jury investigations and a nine-month investigation by state police and the FBI, the murder of Ken Rex McElroy remains unsolved to this day.

Everyone in the tiny Missouri town of 410 knows who pulled the trigger, but like the witnesses who would not testify against McElroy, they remain silent about the identity of the killers. The murder of Ken Rex McElroy remains the most infamous cold case on record.

The story of McElroy's reign of terror, the killing, and the cover-up was first told by Denver lawyer Harry N. MacLean in his best-selling book,  IN BROAD DAYLIGHT, published by HarperCollins in 1989.  When he arrived in Skidmore no one would speak to him. Some suspected he was an undercover cop. Others thought he was just another nosy journalist. His tires were slashed, he had a shotgun shoved in his face, and he was bitten by  dogs.  Finally a well-respected farmer took him into his home, and the veil of distrust began to lift. Over the following 3 1/2 years MacLean became a trusted member of the Skidmore community. He is the only outsider to this day who has interviewed the witnesses and other principles to the 1981 murder.

IN BROAD DAYLIGHT won an Edgar Award for Best True Crime and went on to become a NY Times bestseller, selling more than two million copies. The Skidmore story was also made into a feature film in 1992. Brian Dennehey stunned audiences in the lead role of McElroy. Marcia Gay Hardin played his wife Trena, with Cloris Leachman, Chris Cooper and John Anderson starring in supporting roles.

25th Anniversary Edition... 

As the 25th anniversary of the McElroy murder approached, Harry MacLean decided to go back to Skidmore, MO. It was time for him to visit his old friends and re-interview witnesses and the town folk, gather new evidence about the case, and update his 1989 bestseller.

In a revised and updated edition of his book (68 pages longer than the original) MacLean reveals for the first time information about the identity of the killers, which he gleaned from access to never-before released state police and FBI investigative files.  His new book contains previously undisclosed information about the killing and provides detailed information about the witnesses and killers.

MacLean learned how the murder has haunted and tormented the God-fearing people of Skidmore. Though many of them regret their actions, no one will come forward to expose or speak out against the killers. In their minds the killers are heroes.

In the fall of 2004, Skidmore, MO was back in the news when a young pregnant housewife was murdered and her baby taken from her womb. Fortunately, the baby was recovered alive within 24 hours. MacLean attended a memorial service for the woman last year and writes in his latest book how the town is haunted by the two notorious crimes.  

About the Author:

Harry M. MacLean is a lawyer and author, living in Denver. He has had a successful career as an attorney, working as a juvenile court magistrate, First Assistant Attorney General, adjunct professor of law, General Counsel of the Peace Corps, and labor arbitrator.

MacLean's 25th anniversary edition is as haunting and compelling as his original, and the updated information and interviews will shock readers (read recent review). The book was released nationwide on Dec. 4th, 2006 by St. Martin's Press. The harrowing experiences MacLean faced while writing his first book are as fascinating as the book itself, and a feature film deal is in the works.


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