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TRUE CRIME BOOKS BLOG

FROM AUTHOR HARRY N. MACLEAN

Del Clement A Hero

A recent post suggested that Del Clement was a hero for his role in shooting Ken McElroy. That debate is a fascinating and endless one, and I won’t go into it now, except to repeat a common remark that I heard from residents of Skidmore. It went something like this: “The guys should be given a medal for doing what they did, and they should be strung up for the way they did it.” Meaning, that shooting him on the mainstreet of town in front of 45 witnesses was a dumb thing to do.  But the truth was, it was an impulsive act, done out of years of frustration and a well-founded belief that nothing was going to stop this man from further bloodshed. I think Del just lost it and went for his gun, and didn’t think it through. Luckily for me, of course. If they had nailed McElroy on the backroads of Nodawaya County there would never have been a book entitled “In Broad Daylight,” and I might still be practicing law!

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