The Town That Got Away With Murder and Other Largely Forgotten Historic Events

Ken Rex McElroy. YouTube

39. A Mile Long Rap Sheet

Ken McElroy piled up a long list of indictments, ranging from burglary to child molestation to rape to attempted murder. His lawyer, Richard McFadin, estimated that he defended McElroy from an average of three or four felonies each year. However, the indictments produced no convictions: McElroy so terrorized the residents of Skidmore with his brutality and threats of the revenge he would exact, that none dared to testify against him.

Livestock owners looked the other way when some of their cattle or hogs vanished, or if the gas barrels used to fuel their farms were emptied. On the rare occasion that a case did make it to trial, jurors received unsubtle warnings, such as rattlesnakes in their mailboxes or shotgun blasts shattering the quiet of the night near their homes. The result was a series of mistrials followed by the eventual dismissal of charges, or outright acquittals.