15. The One Man Crime Wave That Terrorized a Town
Since his early youth, Ken Rex McElroy of tiny Skidmore, Missouri, was bad news. Born in 1934, the 15th of 16 children of poor sharecroppers, McElroy fell off a hay wagon in his parents’ farm when he was a kid, and cracked his skull bad enough to require a steel plate implanted in his head. Many attributed the horrible person he became to that childhood accident.
McElroy became a delinquent before reaching puberty – a bad kid who grew into an evil adult, who launched a one-man crime wave. He started small with petty thefts, graduated to livestock rustling, and soon escalated into violent assaults and vicious mayhem. He was helped by an intimidating appearance. The adult McElroy stood at over six feet, weighed about 270 pounds, had bushy eyebrows and bushier sideburns, and heavily lidded, crazy-looking, cold steel-blue eyes that sent shivers down spines.