In Broad Daylight tells the story of the killing of Ken Rex McElroy on the main street of Skidmore, Missouri, in July 1981. McElroy, an illiterate hog farmer, had terrorized all of northwest Missouri for over 20 years, until the town, and even law enforcement, was terrified of him. McElroy was shot as he sat in his truck in front of the tavern. Over 45 men witnessed the shooting. Despite two eyewitness accounts and three grand jury investigations, no one has been prosecuted for the crime.
"You have to hear it to believe it"
In 1989, Eileen Franklin, a young California housewife, claimed to recover a repressed memory of her father killing her playmate 20 years earlier. In a landmark trial, the father was charged and convicted of first-degree murder, based solely on his daughter's testimony. This book chronicles the trial, explores the remarkably dysfunctional Franklin family and delves into the credibility of repressed memories as evidence....
Standing a few feet from where the killers opened fire on Ken Rex McElroy more than three decade ago, Harry N. MacLean tells the story of how he came to write his Edgar Award-winning book In Broad Daylight in his new true crime short, The Story Behind 'In Broad Daylight' MacLean had doors slammed in his face, guns pulled on him, and was bitten by a dog. Eventually, he won over the closed community of Skidmore, Mo.
On May 2, 1964, Klansman James Ford Seale picked up two black hitchhikers and drowned the young men in the Mississippi River. Seale spent more than 40 years a free man, before finally facing trial in 2007. But there could have been two defendants in the resulting case: James Ford Seale for kidnapping and murder, and the State of Mississippi for complicity - knowingly aiding, abetting, and creating men like Seale.
This fever dream begins on a stormy fall night at a lake house in the north woods of Minnesota, where we are introduced to a college professor who a few years earlier had written a novel in which he justified a gruesome campus murder under the nihilistic theory that there is no right or wrong, no moral center to man's activity. The writer returns to the lake house where he had spent his childhood summers and locks himself in the attic, intent on writing the final story of his life.