Ken McElroy of Skidmore Missouri

Ken McElroy of Skidmore Missouri


In this article we will be taking a look at the mystery of Ken McElroy of Skidmore Missouri – what really happened on the hot morning of  July the 10th, 1981, when McElroy met his demise…and why were there no witnesses to his murder?

Let’s take a closer look…


The Bully

Well, it’s pretty safe to say that Mr. McElroy was a bit of a dick…and spent a lot of his life terrorising the residents of Skidmore. Most people knew not to cross him, and at times he was rumoured to have used a sidearm to get his point across.

Simply put – Ken McElroy had free reign over everyone and everything in Skidmore.

He was born in 1934 as the penultimate child among 16 other children, and his parents were not exactly rich (they were farm workers). With little money and so many kids…you can only imagine how hard they had to struggle to keep things together.



His life of crime started off with teenage minor crimes, but these minor crimes quickly developed into crimes of mindless violence. He quickly became known for harassing women and taking the law into his own hands. Reports suggest that he was being charged with approximately three felonies a year…but he never faced conviction for any of them!

The local law force meant nothing to him…and it seems as though they could do little to stop him.




Trena McCloud

In 1971, McElroy met a 12-year-old girl named Trena McCloud…and decided she was the ‘woman’ for him. He didn’t really seem to care about her age.

Within two years she was pregnant with his first child…and then the violence started. Since she was still a minor, Ken McElroy was also facing charges of molestation. However, he was told about a possible loophole.

If he married Trena then she would not be able to give any sort of evidence against him.

When the baby was born Trena decided to escape for the sake of the child, and ended up back at her parent’s house. McElroy chased her down, shot the family dog, and then burned down her parent’s home.


The Bowencamp Incident

The Bowencamp incident seemed to be the beginning of the end for McElroy. His daughter got caught up in a shoplifting incident in the Bowencamp’s shop and even though the elderly couple let his daughter off…McElroy wouldn’t let things lie.

He actually ended up shooting Ernest ‘Bo’ Bowenkamp in the throat…but somehow the old man survived the shotgun blast.

Although McElroy was arrested, charged, and convicted of the shooting assault, the court released him, pending an appeal.


The End – The D&G Tavern

McElroy went about harassing all of the witnesses to the Bowenkamp shooting, and at this point, the town had had enough. Locals appealed to the governor, attorney general, and even state legislators…

But none of them would help.

After a meeting at in Legion Hall, a group of vigilantes cornered McElroy outside the D&G Tavern, and seconds later, the town bully was dead. Although there were 46 possible witnesses at the tavern, no one, except for Trena, claimed to have seen anything. No ambulance came.


The End - The D&G Tavern


A investigation into the murder did take place, and shells from a .22-calibre Magnum and an 8mm Mauser were found at the scene. It is thought that two gunmen killed McElroy.

Trena was the sole witness who came forward with information about the crime – she claimed that one of the killers was a local man named Del Clement.

Nobody really cared about her statement – the town was finally rid of a violent bully.

To this day nobody outside the town really knows who killed Ken McElroy of Skidmore Missouri.

If you have any thoughts or opinions on this subject, please leave them in the comment section below.

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