Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Ken McElroy

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The people of Skidmore prepared to travel en masse to the hearing, set before the trial judge in Bethany, to oppose McElroy's continued freedom. The plan was to meet at the Skidmore Legion Hall the morning of the hearing and travel to Bethany as one. But on July 10 the town woke to the news that the hearing had been postponed until July 20 because McFadin had a conflict. The lawyer would later say that he called McElroy and advised him to stay out of Skidmore, in the interim. If so, McElroy chose not to take his advice.

Although the hearing had fallen through, most of the men in the area went to the Legion that morning nonetheless. A gripe session broke out, and someone suggested they ask Sheriff Estes to drive over from Maryville. He agreed. The men wanted to know what they could do to safeguard the town, especially the four who had signed the affidavit seeking revocation of McElroy's bail.

Maryville Daily Forum logo
Maryville Daily Forum logo

Estes told the Maryville Daily Forum that someone suggested a neighborhood watch.

Estes said, "They wanted to know what they could do to protect themselves. Basically, the questions concerned 'could they be allowed to patrol each other's homes and farms?'"

Within an hour, the people of Skidmore made the neighborhood watch moot. They permanently disposed of their problem by murdering Ken Rex McElroy.

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