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True Crime Author Harry N. MacLean
True Crime Book: The Story Behind In Broad Daylight by Harry MacLean




Harry MacLean graduated from Shattuck School, Lawrence University, and the University of Denver College of Law. Aa a lawyer, he worked as a trial attorney for the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C., adjunct professor at the University of Denver Law School, and juvenile court magistrate in Denver. In the Carter administration he served as General Counsel of the Peace Corps. On his return to Denver, he worked as Special Counsel to Governor Richard Lamm and began his career as an arbitrator-mediator.



His career as an author began when in 1981 he read a news story about a man shot to death on the street of a small Missouri town in front of 55 witnesses. Ken Rex McElroy had terrorized northwest Missouri for over twenty years before two citizens of Skidmore took the law into their hands. MacLean’s telling of the story in earned an Edgar Award for Best True Crime and a spot on the NY Times bestseller list for eleven weeks. In Broad Daylight was made into movie starring Brian Denney and Cloris Leachman.


Harry’s second book was Once Upon A Time, A True Story of Memory, Murder and the Law, which told the story of a twenty-eight year old woman who claimed to recover a memory of her father murdering her playmate twenty years earlier. Her father was tried and convicted solely on the basis of her testimony. The book was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. The four-part Showtime series Buried, in which MacLean serves as a primary narrator, was based his book.


Harry has long been interested in the state of Mississippi as the supposed unrepentant heart of the old South When James Ford Seale was arrested in January 2007 for his role in the kidnapping and murder of two black youths in 1964, he decided to tell the story of the trial and explore the landscape of modern Mississippi. The result is The Past Is Never Dead.


The Joy of Killing, a literary thriller, was MacLean’s first novel and was described in the Denver Post as a “Dark, compelling literary work that . . . combines an eerie night in a deserted house with the recollection of a teenage sexual encounter on a train, in a story that explores the lure of violence. The mystery repels and haunts.”


Starkweather, the Untold Story of the Killing Spree that Changed America, is MacLean’s latest work. This is the true story of Charles Starkweather, often considered to be the first mass killer of the modern age of America and served as a precursor to the violence of contemporary America.



Harry has appeared on Larry King, Oprah Winfrey, Inside Edition, NPR All Things Considered and Weekend Edition, Travis Smiley, C-SPAN Book TV, CNN, and numerous other TV and radio shows. He has presented at the American Association of University Women, Colorado Bar Association, American Hospital Association, The University of Denver College of Law, Lawrence University, University of Colorado, Rotary Clubs, and many other legal organizations, educational institutions and fraternal organizations around the country.


His newest offering is Confessions of a True Crime Writer, which tells of the trials and tribulations, highs and lows, scary moments and breakthroughs, in investigating and telling the story of some America’s most notable criminal episodes.

True Crime Book: Starkweather by Harry MacLean
True Crime Book: The Joy of Killing by Harry MacLean
True Crime Book: Once Upon a Time by Harry MacLean
True Crime Book: The Past is Never Dead by Harry MacLean
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