I’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.
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.