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Thursday, October 04, 2007



About 300 people live in Skidmore, Mo., where Bobbie Jo Stinnett was killed back in December 2004. It's a very small town in Nodaway County, about 100 miles north of Kansas City. But the Stinnett case isn't the first time that Skidmore has drawn outside -- and usually unwanted -- attention because of crime.


In July 1981, a man named Ken Rex McElroy -- a man known as the town thug -- was shot and killed in his pickup truck. (The image above is that truck.) The crime's never been solved, even though dozens of people were reportedly around when the attack happened. McElroy was free on bond after being convicted of attempted murder -- he shot and nearly killed a 70-year-old grocer.

There was a well-regarded book written, "In Broad Daylight," and a TV movie starring Brian Dennehy. In 25 years, though, nobody's said a word about who killed McElroy. Here's an article from 2001 by Donna McGuire on the anniversary of McElroy's death. And I really recommend this site that debunks some of the McElroy myths.


More recent is the case of Branson Perry, a young man who disappeared back in 2001. (Perry, coincidentally, is a cousin of Stinnett's.) He'd been cleaning up the house for his dad, who was coming home from the hospital. Perry reportedly took a short break. He's never been seen since. At one point, authorities were looking at a Missouri businessman after investigators discovered an Internet chat transcript describing Perry's murder and torture -- which might or might not have been made up. Nobody's been charged in the case.

There's a site dedicated to Perry's case here. And another here. And a Crime Library story about the disappearance.


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