The late Ken Rex McElroy
After 30 years, David Baird, prosecuting attorney of Nodoway County, Missouri, is retiring after being defeated 1,356 votes to 1,381 votes, a margin of 25 ballots, in the democrat party primary.
The famous town bully shooting in Skidmore which took place within months of Mr. Baird first assuming office remains unsolved to this day.
Ken Rex McElroy, 47, was a big, burly man with bushy sideburns, cold eyes and an ever-present gun. He was the Skidmore bully. On July 10, 1981, on a hot summer morning in a fed-up town, he was shot to death in plain view of 30 to 40 people who gathered around his Chevrolet pickup outside a beer joint on Main Street.
Killed instantly by rifle bullets, his foot pushed the accelerator to the floor. The engine roared. Like something in literature, no one shut it off. They just walked away.
Except for McElroyâ€™s wife, nobody told who did it. Investigators and grand juries heard the same thing time and time again: â€œI heard shooting and got down. Didnâ€™t see a thing.â€
Apparently, McElroy was mean enough to unite a town of plain, good folks to do murder. He had terrorized Skidmore for years. He allegedly stole livestock, burned houses, chased women, preyed upon young girls â€” and threatened a bullet or buckshot for anyone who got in his way.
Baird could never charge anyone.
Despite being a democrat, it sounds like Mr. Baird was a responsible prosecutor. Let’s hope his successor continues to follow his example.
McElroy’s pickup truck