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In Broad Daylight: A Murder in Skidmore, Missouri

First paragraph

Summer 2006

Twenty-five years have passed since Ken Rex McElroy was shot to
death on the main street of Skidmore. No one has yet been charged
with his murder. I often think that were it up to the citizens of
Skidmore, McElroy would still be sitting slumped over the wheel in
his Silverado in front of the D & G Tavern, his face jig-sawed
from the impact of the high-powered bullet. A reminder to all who
passed that true justice is in the eye of the beholder.

Closing paragraphs

All of this, of course, leaves the underlying moral issue of the
killing unresolved. I have never settled the matter for myself. As
a lawyer and advocate of the justice system, as a citizen of a
country committed to the rule of law, I know it is a highly
dangerous thing to excuse murder, no matter what the reason. Due
process means on the state can decide when a man’s behavior
warrants his death. Another part of me is simply curious to know
what actually happened on the street. If an eyewitness required a
promise of eternal silence in exchange for telling me what went
down that morning, I would give the promise, and live up to

As for the killers, I wonder what goes through their heads when
they drive through town, past the spot where they stood with their
rifles, past the spot where McElroy sat dead in his truck. I wonder
if they feel a tiny thread of regret or guilt—lots of kids
lost their father that morning, after all. Finally, I wonder if
they worry. There is no statute of limitations on murder, even now,
it would take only one guy out of many to have a change of heart. A
deathbed confession, say, or a conversion to the faith of a God who
viewed lying under oath as a serious sin.

Excerpted from IN BROAD DAYLIGHT: A Murder in Skidmore,
Missouri © Copyright 2011 by Harry N. MacLean. Reprinted with
permission by St. Martin's True Crime. All rights reserved.

In Broad Daylight: A Murder in Skidmore, Missouri
by by Harry N. MacLean

  • Genres: Nonfiction, True Crime
  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's True Crime
  • ISBN-10: 0312942362
  • ISBN-13: 9780312942366