Ken Rex McElroy’s Lost Son

Photo Of Ken Rex McElroy

Ken Rex McElroy

Ken Rex McElroy’s Lost Son

The figure sitting across from me at the small table only barely resembled the young man I had met almost twenty years ago. That fellow had blonde hair and was buffed out. This guy had dark hair, and a small paunch. As we spoke, he dropped his chin and looked at me. I was startled.  How many times had I heard that look described by the residents of Skidmore? “Cold.” “Hard.” “Scary.”  The face beneath the eyes was smiling and friendly.

This was Jeffrey.  The lost son of Ken Rex McElroy. Now 47, he is the same age McELroy was when he was shot to death on the main street of Skidmore Missouri. Jeffrey was 22 and a college graduate when he discovered who his father was. Before then he just knew he had been adopted.

In 1990 he read my recently released book “In Broad Daylight,” about the killing of Ken Rex McElroy, and certain things began to click in place. The book told the story of  “Sally,” who at fourteen began having children by Ken.  She finally gave all four of them up for adoption. I noted that one of the boys had had a hernia. Jeff had had a hernia. Jeffrey and his sister found a pile of magazines with stories about the 1981 killing of Ken Rex McElroy in a drawer in their adoptive parents house. The few legal papers they located mentioned McElroy’s name.

Now intrigued, Jeffrey managed to locate the medical papers from a surgery he had had as child to repair the hernia. There, in black and white, were the names of his parents: Ken Rex McElroy and Sally. . . .His father was indeed the legendary terrorist of Nodaway County, the man who raped and shot and assaulted and stole and burned almost at will for over twenty years, and who, until the very end, was never prosecuted. The man law enforcement was scared of, who could clear out the bar in Skidmore just by sitting at the counter. Jeffrey knew the story. He had read the book. Now he had to deal with the truth.

A few weeks after Jeffrey called me, I had received a phone call in the middle of the night from “Sally,” Jeffrey’s biological mother. She was drunk and angry. She insisted that I hadn’t told the whole story about McElroy: he was much worse than portrayed, than anybody could imagine, and it had been harder than people would ever realize for her to give up her four children. She had been just a girl, and McElroy was a monster. She had missed her children every day of her life. I told her I had spoken with her son a few days earlier. She begged to talk to him. I told her I would check with Jeffrey.
Jeffrey traveled to California to meet his mother.  Eventually, he moved to her town and lived there for two years in an attempt to help her overcome her severe alcohol problems. He threw in the towel sixteen years ago, and hasn’t spoken to her since.

Ken McElroy was a functional illiterate. He had no social security number and never filed a tax return. He had no use for the successful or the educated. He had no respect for the law or those who enforced it.  He picked on the weak. He was an outlaw. One can only wonder what he would think if he knew that one of his sons not only made it through high school and graduated from college, but had a successful career working with special education children. In the nature versus nurture debate, this story fits on the nurture side of the spectrum.

Jeffrey is a softspoken man. He has not the slightest feel of violence about him. His friends say he is kind and gentle and wouldn’t hurt a fly. Working with kids with emotional disabilities requires limitless patience and understanding. One can’t imagine a man more the opposite of Ken McElroy.

Jeffrey thinks a lot about what it means to be Ken McElroy’s son. He hasn’t married or had any children, and he wonders if one of the reasons might be that he might be worried about passing along McElroy’s genes. When I met him 22 years ago, we toured the Skidmore area, and I showed him his father’s house and where he had been sitting when he was shot. Jeffrey seemed curious, but was not interested in meeting any of many siblings living in the area.

During our conversation at the airport, I become unnerved by the resemblance between Jeffrey and his father. I, of course, never met McElroy, but I’ve heard the descriptions and I’ve seen the pictures.  In one, he is holding his daughter in his lap and looking into the camera.  When Jeffrey turns his head that way, in his eyes is a streak of coldness that is remarkable in its intensity. I find myself momentarily intimidated, in spite of what he’s saying, in spite of all the good I know about him.

Jeffrey hopes that some good will come out of all this, but he’s not sure what it might be. Neither am I. It certainly must be a burden knowing your father was Ken McElroy, but he’s certainly entitled to be proud of what he’s done with his life.

107 thoughts on “Ken Rex McElroy’s Lost Son

  1. I have known Mr. Dalsing since 1999. I have spoken to him in the past about this situation and he allowed me to borrow the book ” In Broad Daylight ” It was an amazing book, and more interesting because I know Jeff.
    I worked with him at a school for Behavior problem children.
    He is an absolute amazing man!! he is smart, attractive, sweet, caring, and has a bigger heart than anyone I have ever known. He is patient, kind and very loving.
    He taught me a lot about life and how being true to yourself makes a difference in your life and the lives of others.
    I will never forget him and all the heart to heart conversations we had.
    He is a positive man with a great personality and has a charming demeanor about himself.
    It makes me realize that no matter who your biological parents are, you choose to be the person you want to be. Jeff proved that to me!

  2. Harry,
    You know what would be really interesting would be both you and him meeting in July like we talked about.

    That would add a significant twist to the story.

    • It would be interesting. I’ll talk to him as time goes along. I’ve been amazed at the messages I’ve gotten since the post. Jeffrey has a lot of friends who think he’s an amazing guy. Some of them have posted here; others have responded on my web site. I would be interested in hearing from Jeffrey about what he thinks about the reaction.

  3. Hi Harry,

    Just read your latest blog, in which you talked about your meeting with Jeffrey. As the mother of a son with special needs, I applaud those like Jeffrey who choose to work in this difficult field. I noticed that in your book, In Broad Daylight, you mentioned that Sally had borne Ken three children – Ken Jr, Lisa, and Jeffrey. In your blog, you mention four children. What was his/her name, and have you had any contact with him/her?
    Thanks for writing such a terrific book. I’m a true crime buff, and your book is one of my favourites.

    • I believe that the blog is right and the book wrong. In researching the book, I learned of only three kids. But Jeffrey, once he found his mother, learned of a fourth, I believe. Jeffrey can straighten this out, hopefully.
      Everyone owes a huge debt of gratitude to special education teachers, the unsung heroes of the schools.

  4. Sorry Harry……just to clarify, when I asked “what was his/her name”, I was referring to the fourth child of Sally, not mentioned in your book. Thanks!

  5. I previously wrote you on your website about the professional relationship I have the privilege of having with Jeffery. I currently work with him in a Behavioral/Learning Disorders School in Kansas City. For those not familiar with the environment in which we work I can only add that a person who lacks confidence and empathy is short lived in this career field. Jeffery has done some amazing things in the 6+ years I have known him. He has resolved some of the most embattled conflicts students have engaged in while maintaining a never ending sense of humor. He has guided troubled students through angry and self destructive feelings, assisting them gain composure and self control. I truely believe Jeffery has found his calling in helping others and, although I will not speculate, feel that his history plays an important role in what he does. It is my pleasure to interact with Jeffery on a daily basis and I truely feel he helps keep me grounded.

    • I seriously doubt that his father being ken rex mcelroy has anything to do with who he is today after all he did not even know the man. He is what he is today more than likely because that is what he is skilled at in doing.

  6. In reference to Tammy Hilton’s question, the fourth child… Ken Jr., Lisa and myself were Sally’s and Ken’s biological children. Sally gave birth to a fourth child in 1965. Ken Jr. and Lisa remained together in foster care and I was moved to a different foster home due to my hernia. When Lori was born she was placed with me. Ken Jr. and Lisa were adopted together and were raised in a western state. Lori and myself were adopted together and were raised in MO.

  7. Lori, the sister who was raised with me knew. I flew Sally into our town before I moved to her town. Lori met her and they have corresponded off and on over the years. Lisa, found Sally in a very similiar fashion as I had and she too moved to Sally’s town about a year before I did. I met her but we had a falling out. Ken Jr. was the oldest of Sally’s children and knew of the story but he had no desire to re-connect with Sally, myself or Lori according to Lisa.

  8. Ken McElroy, A man better known as a coward a rapest a bully. A man who could only get his way through force and violenceThat was my first impression when I resd about the Skidmore Murder. From what I have learned about this man, he was a person without morals. And a man who had such a powerful negetive effect on others in this town that it became a town of fear for many people in this town.One can see how this part of history would never die.But now the blog talks about ( The lost son of Ken) Which the two names should not be mentioned in the same sentence.See with Jeff I am beyound first impressions. I have known Jeff for over 15 years.The best way to describe him is , ( soft spoken, kind hearted, One who never seems to get upset. Mr Dalsing is a man who puts others needs before his own. He never rasises his voice. ( unlike myself) And to look into his eyes one can see alot of innocence in a grown mans eyes, For he has a gentle soul.So Harrys first impression at the airport, was not a clear picture of the man he really is. I closing, I would like to say that ( The lost son, of Ken) was never lost at all. He has been alive and living. Working with children who need the gift of a great teacher. Goodbye Ken. And Hey, world Mr Dalsing is alive and well making a difference in this world for the better.. Live your life well Jeff!

    • The more notes I get about what a tremendous fellow Jeffrey is, the more fascinated I become with theories of the origin of the personality. He surely argues for the nurture theory. Ken McElroy would flip in his grave if he knew one of his children graduated from college and is a successful teacher of special ed kids. All of McElroy’s kids that I talked to liked the guy, but I suspect that was because he was gone from so much terrorizing other folks.

      • funny how all you people talk crap about a dead man. It went down just as Ken had said it would that they would not dig to deep for his murder and that he would go down in history just like jesse james. Oh, and by the way the skidmore people need not pat themselves on the back to hard they shot him from behind and he went to town that day knowing it was his last day and they just done him a favor. See he was tired of fighting the town people and all the rest of the crap. All this still going on is bull what he done is nonthing compared to what goes on in the big cities everyday and they don’t go making books and movies about it. This is nonthing more than a book writer who got made rich and well known for publishing this crap!!!

        • LOL. People are fully entitled to talk about a thug whether he is DEAD or NOT. You are in no position to talk :). Even your sniveling about the author being a “rich” is typical of a problem personality. If someone is wealthy or not isn’t your business. Only crybabies speak of other peoples finances. You need to get a job yourself and quit sniveling.

        • You must be relted to the monster! Why not just say that in your comment. Cause no one else except his relation thinks
          anyhing good about him.

  9. Thanks for the answer to my question, Jeffrey. I appreciate it! Thank you for your service in the special needs field. 🙂

  10. I met Jeff in the fall of 1984. He has been a best friend of mine ever since. We were teens when we met and became best friends while attending UMKC. Jeff and I both shared a huge interest in bodybuilding and worked out together for years and years. We shared summers and girls and lots of laughs, some of the best years I spent with Jeff. He is exceptional and a real person and special friend. He did not pick his father and thank god his father did not raise him. He is all the things his father was not, god bless him! Love ya Bud, Bobby

  11. I just recently read the story and I have to say how sad the whole thing is.
    Ken obviously was mentally ill and never got help.
    The towns people were being bullied and never got the help they needed.
    These poor women were left uneducated, a lot of children and no support. The were abused not only by Ken but also by the townspeople that your book shows so much sympathy to. People that burned a house for no reason other than to intimidate a woman and children in need and intimidated anyone that would have come foreward about the killing.
    I think the children are who I feel the worst for. They were innocent of all of this. Even today if you google any of the names of the children you will find hateful things written by people. No matter how many years go by and how well things seem to be going for these children, I have to wonder how all this has really scarred them. No matter what we see on the outside, I’m sure the wounds still remain and run very deep.

    • Just a comment on the burning of the house: Trena, Alice and their children were all long gone by the time McElroy’s house burned down. They left the night McElroy was shot. Also, the entire town didn’t burn the house, just like the entire town didn’t shoot Ken. I share your sympathy toward the children.

      • I live in this area of missouri and have always wanted to know the location of where the farm house use to be can you point me in a direction

        • I’m curious, also, as to where that thugs house once stood. There is a serial killer in Kansas, or was, who nicknamed himself BTK. The city literally bulldozed his house to keep it from becoming a shrine to the weirdos of our world.

      • The entire town may not have shot the thug nor burned the house down, but its pretty clear that the entire town turned a blind eye for a reason. They were of one mind, clearly, or the entire set of facts sought by the police would be known by now. You don’t have that many people of one mind unless there is a serious situation.

        • I’ve followed the story since the killing of Ken Rex, watched 60 minutes, read the book, and watched and read everything else including the latest 6 part series about Ken and Skidmore. I’m amazed Ken lives as long as he did. I was raised by a law abiding yet could me an extremely violent man who feared no one big or small. I can say without hesitation had Ken Rex come face to face with him one would have died a violent death. To fear a bully is to empower him. I’ve read al about Ken, always armed with a gun, burning hones! Stealing livestock, ambushing people. What I haven read is how tough and how much of a man he was without a gun with a man face to face that wasn’t afraid of him. It’s astonishing to think the entire population allowed it to go on. I know some were farmers there for years it was home yada. It’s like this when you have that situation and the law can’t convict him, you either sell out and move or you eliminate the threat. He would have only threatened me with a gun one time. The next time I’d be ready. You stand up to a bully you strip him of his power. He was a coward so beating him half to death or wounding him would have only caused him to back shoot someone like the grocer or ambush you. The only way to take down a bully is to confront him and meet force with force including deadly force if need be. No one who was around when this coward terrorized them will ever talk. The ones who shot him are also cowards even though he got what he deserved. The Tavern owner, had he been a man would have armed himself after the first time Ken came in his business with a gun much less shot a patron, and the next time he came in Del Clement was totally justified in killing the son of a bitch. He would never have been convicted or even I indicted for defending his life his business and customers from this coward. By fearing him and and letting him frighten him the empowered him. No way a son of a bitch is going to sit in front of my home and fire a gun at my house buy one time. I know easy for me to say I wasn’t there. But I’ve dealt with bullies through my life some very violent. You cannot show any fear. Missouri is not like NYC firearms are easy to own and I’m sure even in 81 carry permits easy to obtain.

          • I decided at an early age to never go looking for trouble. But I also decided to not live my life even for a minute being afraid of another man. I figured I might not be the toughest guy around and I wasn’t but I figured I’d do till the toughest one got there. And you do not involve anyone’s family or friends EVER. You got a beef with a man you settle it with that man. I’ve never allowed anyone to threaten me face to face and I have never once worried about a man that tells you what he’s going to do to you because he’s all talk. Whenever someone threatened me I him in the mouth. Not that I didn’t need a little help. I prepared for a much older stronger bully when I was a kid by tying a strip of Rawhide through an old Yale padlock. Stuck in my back pocket and next time I got close I yanked it out by the Rawhide and put an 8 inch gash in his head tearing his ear nearly off. He wS sent away. Ken Rex what he deserved but it was a cowardly thing.

  12. we have an individual in our farming community…the same exact behavior…the problem with these bullies they are protected ..we know who protects our town bully…he is the cousin of the states attorney…this bully steals,terrorizes,intimidates everyone including the cops…works as an informant & gets double who besides this guys attorney also was on the “take” I want to hear the whole story….bags of money ..follow the money and you will find the real culprits/gangsters

  13. I recently have seen the tv show called city confidential. It told the story of Ken Rex, since abot 2 weeks ago i have been reading non-stop about this man and feel almost sick to hear about the children, is there any word on any other children other than Jeff and his sister? btw will be reading the book soon

    • City Confidential is a rip off of the book, and it annoys me to hear it cited for anything. One McElroy kid followed in his father’s footsteps, getting arrested and imprisoned for shooting a man in a bar, allegedly the same bar that his dad shot some one. He was defended by Gene McFadin, who defended Ken. The other kids are staying well below the limelight, as far as I know.

  14. I read a few blogs last night , it looks like alot of people just quote your book, does anyone live on his property now? I guess I should wait to read but just so fascinated by this story, I at one point felt sad because he caught the shots from behind , not down playing anything he did but my human emotions just got the best of me I guess…keep up the good work,

    • No one lives where his house used to be, but his brother Tim lives in house not far away. You can make the case that shooting McElroy in the back was a cowardly act.

      • Nope. You can’t make that case at all. No more than shooting any wild animal just as soon as you can rather than give it time to turn on you and kill you. Shooting that animal was not cowardly except in a criminal mind.

    • No one lives on the property, although is brother Tim, the youngest in the family, lives a little ways down the road. It’s an old saying, but one can argue that his children are also victims in this case.

  15. I agree that the kids are the victims here, I am interested to know about them, I read a few blogs and a few posing as his children posted, Tony and Ken Jr posted on one blog, but I dont know for sure if it was them. I only know of Juarez, Ken Jr, tony and Jeff , such an amazing story

  16. I am Juarez McElroys son Damien and i think your storys a lil….well…..i guess not fully informed on the whole lifestyle of my Grandpa

    • Damien, you may well be right. I researched every aspect of the family as thoroughly as I could and tried to be as fair as possible. Many family members would not speak to me. It would be very informative to hear what you have to say about your Grandpa, and I will certainly post whatever you write.

    • Damien,
      I am interested to know, do u live in skidmore? and after the debacle died down, did any of his kids get treated fair? This is amazing, Just when you think theres nothing new a young man like Damien has the heart to come forward, Damien you are a strong person to admit this, after all that has happened, I commend you,

      • this is not new to us here, it hppeans all the time but a town bully? Not here my friends .any way I hope they catch the kidnappers and find Branson, also did anyone think for a sec that K.R had mental issues and if it was taken care of like they do nowadays this wouldnt have happened? I dont know just guessing. Btw Who do they think kidnapped Branson? were the guys fixing the car and the girl in the house in on it? was it revenger against his father? lots of unanswered questions, just like KR no one will talk, here they have shirts that say stop snitchin, but I say if u know something tell it. I wonder if del clement and kr made peace in hell, because I know they are both there.

        • I haven’t followed the Branson case that closely, but I know the crime hasn’t been solved. To many people, Del Clement was a hero. I think, after a few beers, he just snapped.

          • The County Sheriff just spoke to the media in 2019 that the suspects involved in the missing Branson case are on the radar. The Sheriff said they are “still a threat to the community” and that new leads had been developed. The Sheriff said the case was actually not mysterious at all and simply a murder among drug acquaintances.

        • The word “snitch” is a word mostly used by the criminal elements of our world. Its use generally means that the person uttering it fears being exposed for his own crimes or the crimes of his friends or family. To wear such a shirt is a real indicator of the kind of person you are looking at.

      • Do you know how young Damien is? This all happened over three decades before he was even born. How would he know anything about any of this and of course he did live in Skidmore at the time he is still a very young man

  17. I knew 3 of Ken Rex’s kids when they lived in St. Joseph, MO in the late eighties/early nineties. Juarez was a menace. He would come to a bar called Blue’s Brew Town carrying a gun and the bar would empty out. Mouse was a good looking teenager but he had a violent streak. His girlfriend lived in my apt building and he knocked her around quite a bit. He had to have been only about 15 or 16 at the time. I also hung out with Tonya and her boyfriend Chris as they started having babies. Tonya was very sweet and loving and although I’ve lost track of her in the last 20 years, I hope she has succeeded in life. I grew up in Oregon, MO which is a small town not too far from Skidmore. We all heard the stories about Ken Rex’s rein of terror which started before my family moved to Oregon, MO in 1978 and ended with his shooting. Hate to say it but of course his family members will defend him and claim he was the best grandpa/whatever but even if he wasn’t convicted of anything, his activities are well known and well documented.

    • Thanks for the post. It’s interesting to learn more about the kids and how they grew up. Juarez, I know has been in and out of jail, but I hadn’t heard anything about Mouse or Tonya. Who knows, they might be following this blog?

      • This is a compelling story whether you knew or had any connection to the McElroy’s or not. I believe your book is one of the better true crime books I have read.
        I also knew Faye Copeland of Ray and Faye Copeland fame, was the very next tenant in an apartment in St. Joe from which a young woman had disappeared and was later found murdered, and know a woman named Angela (Angie) who was kidnapped by the same guy suspected of killing Crystal Kipper-John Williams.
        All of these things have combined to make me a true crime fanatic.
        Thanks for writing the book about Ken Rex. Glad I could add a bit more info.

        • I’m always glad to hear about true crime fanatics. I never felt I got the whole story on McElroy, but at some point I had to stop researching and begin writing.

  18. I’m sorry, in my comment above I mean to say the bar was called Brew’s Blue Town. It’s located on 9th st by Patee House. Sorry, I haven’t lived in St. Joe in 20 years and didn’t realize I had reversed that until I re-read my post just now.

  19. Hi Harry, I read your book In Broad Daylight 4 years ago.I want to say it was an excellent book, Thanks for all your hard work!!
    I would also like to ask, When did Alice Wood passed away? And where are her adult children she & Ken had together now ? Are they aware of their father and the history about him?

    • I don’t remember exactly when Alice passed away, but it was at least 5 years, from cancer. Of her three kids, only Juarez has had difficulties with the law; assault, possession of marijuana, possession of a shotgun, violation of probation, etc. You can google him and see his record. All of them are aware of who their father was. Two appeared on Oprah Winfrey with me, Alice, Cheryl Brown and McFadin.

  20. How old was Ken’s daughter Tammy when she participated in the harassment along with her father and Treena? Was Treena her mother?

  21. Ken was my grandfather derome was my father I’m deromes oldest my mother is trace I wish I could of meet my grandfather

  22. Harry, my name is Summer Gross. I am the Granddaughter of Richard Stratton (my mother is Vickie). When your book came out our Grandmother made sure that all the children and grandchildren had a book. My grandfather is a great man and to know that he placed the fear of God in Ken and he never backed down from him makes him a remarkable man! He was a great state trooper and sheriff and still a well known man today.

  23. Hello, I do not wish to reveal my identity, but I would like to point some things out. After reading and researching the book, I learned that Wilma, Ken ‘ s sister has passed away 2 years ago at age 89. Who are the rest of Ken ‘ s siblings’ and are any still alive? Also, did you ever meet any of Ken ‘ s siblings, cause he had a lot?

    • I am good friends with a nephew of Ken’s. His brother is still living but not doing well. I am not from Missouri, but I have been fascinated by this story since I saw the movie in the 80’s. I moved to Kansas City in the 90’s and on the first job I started here, the first friend that I meet was a McElroy. It took a few years of us knowing each other before I discovered the connection. Getting them to to talk about it like pulling teeth. We are still very good friends and I still try to get whatever stories I can from them.

  24. Search on Find A Grave for Ken McElroy. He is in the St Joseph Memorial Park Cemetery in St Joseph, Buchanan Co, MO.
    You can see link to his father, which will list all of Ken’s siblings that are dead. The ones still living can be found listed in obituaries of some of the siblings.

  25. But his side was never told! I have heard about this man for many years growing up. He was good friends with my grandpa Daniel Nolan and I also remember all the stories that my mom and dad told me. Everyone that seen this movie and read this book has only heard one side of the story, I on the other hand have heard multiple stories about how things really went down. And I’m here to say that I fully believe 100% that he was not a bad man. I believe that he took up for his family and I believe that he took up for his rights and I also believe that the townspeople tortured him as well. I do not think badly of this man and I don’t know that the rest of you should either cuz I have heard some pretty good stories about him stories that shows that he has a heart. So before you believe anything you might want to get all the facts

    • Chelsey, regardless of anything else, an ADULT who impregnates a FOURTEEN YEAR OLD CHILD is a monster. She was a child. I’m going to repeat that so you can hear it again. HE WAS A MAN IN HIS THIRTIES WHO IMPREGNATED A FOURTEEN YEAR OLD CHILD. That alone should have put him away.

    • Check the ages of his children’s mothers when they gave birth! That isn’t “one side of the story” it is a fact. And if someone gives birth at 14, it means that the father was a pedo and a rapist.

    • Do you really think an entire town targeted one man for death, covered for his killer, even a lawman did it, and all because he was misunderstood? This man was a horrible human being. It takes quite a bit to get someone to kill another human being. People don’t just do it, unless they are already murderers, etc. You certainly don’t get an entire town to cover it up, if the man is not exceptional at being a monster and being hated by everyone. Think about this – Between 30 and 46 law abiding, normally peaceful people have NEVER had an attack of conscience over 40 years and said a word. That, alone, is testament to just how horrible a human being this man must have been.

  26. I find it AMAZING that someone like Ken Rex McElroy could even sire such a respectable son in the first place! While I was familiar with his story before, I probably forget that he had had children.

  27. Crazy book. Haven’t got to the but I’m proud of the community that took this into their hands. I would have loved to part of that neighborhood watch lol.

    • The County Sheriff just spoke to the media in 2019 that the suspects involved in the missing Branson case are on the radar. The Sheriff said they are “still a threat to the community” and that new leads had been developed. The Sheriff said the case was actually not mysterious at all and simply a murder among drug acquaintances.

  28. Harry,
    I watched the Sundance Now film “No one saw a thing” the story of Ken McElroy. I was immediately intrigued by the story and decided to read your book (well written). That being said, I can’t sort out the wives and children of Ken. Here’s what I was able to put together.
    Sharon (1st wife) children; son, daughter (Tina), daughter (Teresa), daughter (Tammy), daughter (???).
    Sally (wife/girlfriend) children; son (Ken Jr.)?, daughter (Lisa), son (Jeffrey Daising), daughter (Lori Daising).
    Alice (2nd wife) children; son (Jaurez), daughter (Tonya/Toni), son (Ken Jr./Mouse)
    Trena (3rd wife) children; three … her obituary stated she had 8 children … ??
    Thank you in advance for clarifying.

  29. Harry,
    My dad sat on the jury in one of Ken’s many hearings. As I understood it, the jurors did not hear any information because the charges were dismissed on a technicality. Dad said he was relieved that he did not have to go through a full blown trial as he was fearful of Ken Rex’s revenge/harassment of prior juries.

  30. Interesting. That might have been the St. Joe case, where he pulled a gun on a couple, and right before trial they backed out. Or it could be the Otha Embry case, but I don’t think a jury was ever seated in that case. Still hard to believe it happened in 1981 rather than 1891.

  31. I thought the group on this thread would appreciate and find the following link interesting. You will need to copy and paste the link. It is quite a few pictures from the 2021 Skidmore Punkin (sp) Show. Lots of pictures of the parade. This presents Skidmore in the rural light that enables normalcy and humanity to evolve in a place where so much despair has been documented. I must say that I read the book and it was my favorite true crime of all time. I’ve read over 100 true crime books with Harry’s book being the best.
    I spent many summers at my grandparents farm in Winigan, MO. It’s around 2 hours away from Skidmore. The vibe is the same in these northern Missouri rural towns. Hard working people who never give up. I was mesmerized by how accurate Harry was in describing the atmosphere of Skidmore. The blazing summer heat. The dry weeks hoping the crops would make it. And the local bar with a loud air conditioner in a window somewhere making a racket while the locals hid from the heat of the day. As for Ken Rex, no surprise. Del saved a lot of people, especially young girls/women, from the terror of this man.
    It’s been a while since I saw any new posts on this blog. I hope it is still active.

    • A very interesting post, and thanks for the kind words. The article on the Punkin show illustrates that Skidmore is still hanging on despite some unfavorable conditions, such as one fellow in particular buying up all sorts of property and turning it into junkyards. There are fewer and fewer people still alive from the reign of terror and the killing. The other thread that is much more active than this one is about Mcfadin, McElroy’s lawyer, and the debate over the role he played in facilitating McElroy’s crimes.

      • Just checked out the thread related to McElroy. Very interesting. I don’t think people realize how many things go by the wayside in these rural areas. My grandparents farmhouse mysteriously burnt down while they were away in the early 80’s. No investigation, no real police presence. Just a matter of a fact type situation. Kind of a nobody saw a thing situation. That’s why the book hit home with me. What you wrote about is potentially the tip of the iceberg. When cattle rustlers were taking steer out of the fields at night everyone knew who and where they lived. Nothing was ever done. So similar to Skidmore.

          • His farm was about 20 miles west of Kirksville. Extremely hard working people. Which is one of the big reasons the rustling really bothered me. These farmers worked hard to raise cattle and to have them stolen is more than just a monetary loss. It’s dealing with the loss of all the work and experience it takes to raise livestock. Probably one of the reasons people really disliked Ken Rex. He stole their livelihood in many ways.

  32. And yes, the person turning properties into storage for junk is really unfortunate. I’ve seen pictures of it and can’t understand the logic. It’s clear there is no zoning or zoning enforcement in Skidmore. Ken Rex’s demise was over 40 years ago and the majority of those who lived there in 1981 are gone now. It seems Q Goslee’s family has experienced losses at an earlier age than I would have thought. He was my favorite person in the book and someone I would have really liked to meet.

    • Q was quite an interesting fellow. One of the dryest senses of humor I’ve ever come across. I couldn’t capture that in the book. When he decided I was all right, all sorts of doors in the community opened for me.

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