Classic Print Edition of In Broad Daylight

 

KeepsakeCoverI’m excited to announce the availability of a new Classic edition of “In Broad Daylight.” This print edition contains the original Edgar Award-winning “In Broad Daylight,” as well as the first print edition of “The Story Behind In Broad Daylight.” I bring the story of Ken Rex McElroy’s unsolved murder up to date as of March 2013 in this edition.

http://tiny.cc/ClassicPrintEdition

 

As most of you know, “In Broad Daylight” has been out of print for over a year. The only versions available were used books and an e-book on Amazon. In the past several years I have received many requests for a new print edition that would not only bring the story up to date but would serve as a keepsake or classic edition of the book. This edition, with 498 pages, has a new cover and new photographs.

 

People have frequently asked me how I came to write the book and about the trials and tribulations of researching a story about an unsolved murder in a small town. There seemed to be almost as much interest in that story as in the story of the killing itself. I initially wrote the “Story Behind ‘In Broad Daylight’” only for sale as an e-book. It was released several months ago, and generated much interest not only because of the anecdotes of my journey in northwest Missouri but because it contained many photos of people in the story that had not been previously published.

 

When we decided on a Classic print edition, it quickly became clear that we should include “The Story Behind ‘In Broad Daylight,’” so that a reader could have in his/her hands both stories and be completely up to date on the characters and the town. Also told in this supplement is the story of a young man who grew up in Kansas City only to discover when the book was first published that he was the son of Ken Rex McElroy, the notorious bully of Nodaway County who is subject of the book.

 

Two final points on this new edition. People ask on my blog and elsewhere why I just don’t let the story die. Why do I keep writing about it and posting videos of the movie and interviews on Larry King and Oprah? Isn’t it time to move on? Were this just a story of the killing of a bad man in 1981 I would tend to agree. There’s a lot of evil in this world that doesn’t need to be continually discussed and rehashed. But the story of what happened in Skidmore, Missouri, on the morning of July 10, 1981, is more than just the story of a murder of a bad man. It is the story of how one man was able to bring a community to its knees; the story of how one man for years was able to defeat an entire criminal justice system; a story of how that criminal justice failed in so many ways to protect the citizens of a small community; a story of what happens when a community loses its faith in the criminal justice system; and it is a story of how a killing can go unpunished for over 30 years, even when the identity of the killer is well known. It is a story about vigilante justice. It is a story that won’t go away, no matter how much time passes or how much some of us may wish it would.

 

Lastly, I have received some criticism for naming the killer in “The Story Behind In Broad Daylight.” In previous editions and writings, I have avoided intentionally avoided naming the killer. I simply pointed to the overwhelming evidence indicating that the killer was Del Clement. I explained that it really didn’t make any difference who killed Ken McElroy, because somebody was going to do it sooner or later. In my view, history now demands the identification of the killer. There never has been any reliable evidence shown to me that anyone other than Del Clement was responsible for firing the first shots into the head of Ken Rex McElroy. Two eyewitnesses identified him without hesitation and under oath. The record now stands complete.

 

This will most likely be the last edition of In Broad Daylight. For longtime fans of the book, I hope you will value this new edition. For new readers, I hope you find the story stimulating and interesting.

 

5 thoughts on “Classic Print Edition of In Broad Daylight

  1. Harry:
    I first became aware of Ken Rex McElroy about 25 years ago when I was working in Excelsior Springs, Missouri. A co-worker was reading “In Broad Daylight” and he asked me if I had ever heard of Skidmore and the events surrounding Ken’s murder. We spoke about Ken’s reputation and I found myself intrigued at how an entire town could remain so stymied by fear. It was a fascinating story, one that spoke to the control a single individual could maintain over others.

    I eventually forgot about Ken and the people of Skidmore. The story, like most others of its type fade away and are replaced by more recent events. Human nature dictates that we continue to look forward. To me Skidmore had moved into the background.

    In 2008 I was attending an education seminar at a local behavior management school and I overheard a fellow educator and a colleague discussing your book. They were talking about Ken and his 30 year reign of terror on the people of Skidmore. My interest perked and I found myself joining in on the conversation. The three of us talked about Ken’s reputation and how he exerted control over others. We spoke about so many individuals allowed themselves to be traumatized to a point where they could not stand up for themselves. It was then that my fellow educator; Jeff told me that he was Ken McElroy’s “lost son” Jeffery.

    Jeff and I have spoken on numerous occasions about “In Broad Daylight” and what it meant to have such an infamous individual as a biological parent. Although Jeff has been able to physically separate himself from Ken and Skidmore, it has been apparent that questions about their genetic bond remained. At times Jeff seemed concerned that inheriting Ken’s emotional and behavioral characteristics was a possibility. The nature vs. nurture paradigm was crystal clear and the nature argument was a very distinct possibility.

    However, Jeff has always presented himself as a caring and compassionate individual. He is a professional educator who works with “at risk” children and their families. He views these children as difference makers and not as something to merely cast aside. He understands the impact one person can have on others.

    Over time I have gotten to know more about Jeff. I have seen him interact with students, parents and colleagues. He appears to understand the dynamics of interaction and others seem at ease around him. Ken’s reported abusive traits do not appear to be components of Jeff’s character.

    Then it dawned on me. Maybe the nature component of the nature vs. nurture theory was not a negative thing for Jeff. After all a nurturing home life was not reported by Jeff as a component of his childhood. Therefore, Ken and Jeff were maybe very much alike; their behaviors were not too dissimilar.

    Ken has been presented as a uneducated hog farmer who preyed on the masses. He is viewed as an aggressive, manipulative, cold blooded criminal. He is seen as someone unworthy of our sympathy or concern. He was Skidmore’s bully, deserving of what he got.

    The problem is maybe Ken was nothing more than an uneducated hog farmer who wanted to provide for and protect his family. What if Ken and his family were actually the ones who were being bullied by a township of individuals who had long since ostracized them form the community? What if the town targeted Ken over the years and he was just trying look after his family. What if Ken felt like he had no allies and no one he could trust because what he cared about the most (his children) risked being taken away by the State. It had happened before, what would prevent it from happening again?

    The more I spoke with Jeff and the more I learned about Ken and the people of Skidmore the more I believed that Ken may have been the victim. Most of the evidence appeared to be statements from the individuals who were present when Ken was murdered. During a July 1981 interview Ken’s wife indicated that no one would ever be prosecuted for her husband’s murder. Maybe she knew something and was aware of how the town felt about her husband and her family.

    What is certain is most of the facts/opinions about Ken, his family, and Skidmore were provided by a town of known liars and murderers.

      • Mr. MacLean….I say let your typewriter flow….I have not read either book, yet….but I can certainly understand how fans of this particular book would want a follow up….I would love to have a follow up on each TC I read, so I do my own research in following the characters I am most interested in…I’m anxiously awaiting for the arrival of both….

        I have a FB friend named Kim Cantrell. She writes reviews for Amazon (truecrimezine.com). I always go to her to get a final review on all TC I read….She put the finishing touch on your books..

        • Thanks for your note. I’m off to Skidmore again in a few days, so there might be a few additional notes. I hope you find the books interesting. Let me know. Kim is an excellent reviewer.

          Harry MacLean

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