July 10, 1981
Skidmore, Missouri
Ken McElroy is shot and killed after a vigilante mob descended upon his vehicle

McElroy was known as the “town bully” and had been accused of assault, child molestation, statutory rape, and attempted murder among others. One instance occurred in 1980, when McElmore shot a 70-year-old grocer in the neck with a shotgun (the victim survived his attack) after the grocer accused one of McElroy’s children of attempting to steal candy.

On July 10, 1981, the townspeople gathered to discuss how to protect themselves against him. They had previously attempted to petition lawmakers to do something about McElroy, but their pleas went unanswered. When McElroy was seen at the local bar, the group confronted him, filling the tavern. As McElroy left the bar and got into his vehicle with his fourth wife, the crowd of around 30-45 people surrounded the vehicle. During the chaos, an unidentified assailant shot and killed McElroy. No ambulance was called, none of the witnesses aside from Mrs. McElroy could identify the killer, the District Attorney declined to press charges, and a federal investigation ended with no charges being filed against any person for the murder.

One thought on ““Town bully” shot, killed in front of crowd of 30-45; none could identify killer

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