The Story Behind ‘In Broad Daylight’

In “The Story Behind ‘In Broad Daylight,'” Author Harry MacLean reveals the details of how he uncovered what actually happened in the vigilante killing of Ken Rex McElroy in Skidmore, Missouri, in 1981, as told in “In Broad Daylight.”

Standing a few feet from where the killers opened fire on Ken Rex McElroy more than three decade ago, Harry N. MacLean explains how he came to write his Edgar Award-winning book. MacLean had doors slammed in his face, guns pulled on him, and was bitten by a dog. Eventually, he won over the closed community of Skidmore, Mo. The inhabitants shared with him the reign of terror Ken Rex McElroy inflicted for twenty years in Northwest Missouri, and information about his murder on the main street of Skidmore in 1981. Despite 45 witnesses, the case remains unsolved. MacLean tells the story in his book “In Broad Daylight,” first published in 1988.

“The Story Behind ‘In Broad Daylight’” brings the book up to date and includes several previously unpublished pictures. It also answers many questions about the killing itself, such as who was involved, and what has become of them. The author discusses the nature of the moral consequences of the killing for the town and those involved in the killing. MacLean describes the breakthrough events when key characters agreed to speak with him, and he realized he would finally get the story.

“In Broad Daylight” was a New York Times bestseller for 12 weeks and was made into a movie starring Brian Denehey, Cloris Leachman and Chris Cooper. It was re-released as an e-book on Amazon on July 10, the 31st anniversary of the killing.

“The Story Behind ‘In Broad Daylight’” is available in Kindle format at tiny.cc/StoryBehind.

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Harry N. MacLean - In Broad Daylight book
“A riveting behind the scenes look at an author in pursuit of the story about the bully who brought down a town and paid for his sins with his life.”
—Diane Fanning, author of “Mommy’s Little Girl”

“Honest and intriguing. The riveting backstory of MacLean’s true crime classic…a can’t miss read!””
— Kathryn Casey, bestselling author of “Deadly Little Secrets”

“The Edgar Award winner takes readers right where they want to go—inside the story.”
—Gregg Olsen, bestselling author of “”Fear Collector”

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5 thoughts on “The Story Behind ‘In Broad Daylight’

  1. A very factual accounting of real life in small, Midwest farm towns and “rest of the story” behind the book. If you read the original book or saw the movie, you should follow up with this one. Its a quick read that I couldn’t put down.

  2. I’m from central Mo and remember when this happened. I started watching the new documentary last night and couldn’t help laughing. A cursed town? Yeah, if you consider the death of family farms and the infiltration of meth-making into what was left of small town America as a curse. What a crock. There are endless small towns around where I’m from (including the one my mom grew up in, my dad was from a nearby farm) that experienced the same thing, minus McElroy. No curse required. This small community came together to do what needed to be done to keep their families safe. Kudos to whoever got it done and for everyone keeping their mouths shut to pull it off. I did buy your book after getting disgusted with the documentary and look forward to reading it. Looks like you lived with the Goslee family? Kirby and the sheriff were the only credible sources as far as I could see in the “documentary”. Where the heck did they come up with the crazy mullet guy? Farmer my butt…

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