Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Ken McElroy

McElroy's Style

But that was McElroy's style. He was not the sort to let the Legion meeting pass unnoticed.

He went to town that morning sometime before 11 a.m. and parked his shiny new Chevy Silverado on Main Street, to let the men in the meeting know that he knew what they were talking about.

Ken McElroy
Ken McElroy

This was one of McElroy's methods of intimidation, which had been working in poor, pitiful Skidmore for two decades. As a criminal, McElroy was way ahead of his time.

He was an ardent stalker long before the word was popularized on crime blotters. He used a form of drive-by shooting for intimidation. He was a ravenous pedophile.

And an analysis of his vast criminal oeuvre should also include abused-spouse syndrome, another more modern concept. He beat every woman—and girl—he was with, and they came back for more until McElroy discarded them like dirty dishrags when something younger came along.

He avoided theft and livestock rustling convictions by intimidating witnesses. He pointed guns at people—including a town marshal and a deputy sheriff—and got off scot-free. He shot a man, point-blank. The victim lived to finger McElroy, but a jury turned him loose unpunished.

He raped adolescent girls without repercussion. Once, he even burned down the house of a couple who protested the rape of their 13-year-old daughter. The owners dropped charges and allowed their adolescent child to marry the 30-year-old monster, a move that essentially nullified statutory rape charges.

No one could make a charge stick against this Teflon-coated hick—until the summer of 1981.

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