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on December 3, 2004
I live within 50 miles of Skidmore, Mo. I was 12 years old when the shooting happened.I remember watching scenes from Skidmore on Channel 2 news out of St. Joseph Mo the day of the shooting.

The book tells the story quite well. If you have a picturesque mind, what you imagine as you read is how the town really looks. I have friends from Skidmore that were affected by Ken Rex one way or another and to this day if they know who did it they don't say a word.

That's what makes rural America different from the big city. Justice will be done using the civil system or your own.
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on December 26, 2004
I thought this book was great, and I have a little trouble with all the reviews blasting the townspeople for taking matters into their own hands. My family lived in northwest Missouri at the the time, mere minutes from Skidmore. McElroy terrorized that town for decades and the law didn't help the people because that scum had a good attorney who was able to weasel him out of it. Everyone knew what he did- setting houses on fire if someone crossed him, raping the young girls, and slitting the throat of an elderly man. The townspeople did what the law failed to do for decades- take care of the problem. Even local law enforcement admit it a was a screw up. Of course, you can't understand if you've never had to live with it. Read the book with some perspective-put yourself in the townspeople's place
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on December 18, 2004
The book is well written, which would get it a 5 star rating from me even if it didn't examine a fundamental paradox of civilization without actually saying so.

A modern town, full of generally law-abiding citizens is forced to live with the kinds of fears law was created to protect them from. When the laws turned backward on themselves and became an instrument of the only person in the community who ignored the law completely, the law abiders all became accessories to a remedy forbidden by their own laws.

Afterward, the machinery of justice finally cranked up and spent an enormous amount of energy trying to make these reluctant lawbreakers pay for the crime of doing what the law was hired to do, and failed.

If you believe the machinery of justice is the friend to the common citizen, you don't want to read this book.

If you have a crack-house the police `can't do anything about' operating in the abandoned house down the block from you, you don't want to read this book.

If your wife or daughter is being stalked by some guy who has a history of rape or homicide, but the police can't stop him, don't read this book.

If there's a guy in your neighborhood who's been in prison for child molesting, you definitely don't want to read this book.

Probably no one should read this book.
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on September 15, 1997
Open to any of many (mostly short) chapters, and you won't want to stop. If you think that heroes, terrorists, and ordinary people are interesting only on the grand scale or in the big city, this book could change your mind. The event described in the title had a fascinating build-up. The author tells this true story crisply but with an appropriate longer-term perspective and great empathy for the cast of characters.
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on October 1, 2003
I read this book several years ago. I was on a bus trip to see the Ren Fest in Kansas City, KS and it was very haunting to be reading about the tiny towns I was going by. I got chills when I read that one of the witnesses ran to my hometown to avoid testifying. Growing up in the area helped me understand the mentalities of the people in the book, however I was upset that in the end justice was not really served.
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on December 18, 2004
McElroy should have been killed long before July 1981. Apparently, he never intimidated the right people outside of Skidmore. Should have killed his attorney too!
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on December 21, 2004
If you've watched the news lately, you've probably heard about Skidmore. It's where the woman was killed and her baby was stolen from her womb.

But Skidmore got its notoriety in the 1980s when a man was killed in front of a group of people. "In Broad Daylight" details that story in its chilling entirety. Probably not since the West Memphis Three has there been a crime involving ordinary citizens so compelling. It lacks all the glitz and glamor of the OJ or Robert Blake cases, but I think it has so much more to say. A great study in vigilante justice.
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on November 4, 2001
This true story of a man who terrorized a whole town for years and the ultimate justice he received. Too good to put down.
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on November 5, 2003
I have visited Skidmore on numerous occasions since the book was first published, slowly driving up and down the streets, picturing what happened, how, why, etc. Despite the rumors of McElroy murdering people, he was never charged much less convicted for murdering anyone, nor was he ever found guilty of rape.
I'll admit, he's no saint and deserved a jail cell, but I'm sorry I cannot condone a town killing a man in cold blood.
What I find interesting to this day is that nobody from Skidmore has talked....nadda, nothing.
MacLean certainly gives a lot of detail and brings you full circle; however, I would have liked to have seen his thoughts on who committed the killing.
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on October 25, 1999
This was a great book! I absolutely couldn't put it down.Working for a DA's office myself, I was stunned with each incident that McElroy was never convicted of ANYTHING! I have yet to find it's equal.
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