Morning Snip:
MOmertà

The murder of a town bully, Ken Rex McElroy, thirty years ago, in Skidmore, Missouri, will probably never be avenged by the law. Outgoing prosecutor David Baird has never believed that he could make a case, given the concerted silence of the townspeople who witnessed the event. Or, in the alternative, that justice could be served by the law.

As his long tenure comes to an end questions about the lack of resolution in the murder case — perhaps the most infamous in the area since Jesse James was shot nearby a century earlier — continue to follow Mr. Baird. He was charged with wading through the sensational details and moral ambiguities of the case to ensure that, in his words, justice was served.

But justice is a loaded term in a case that challenges the usual assumptions of victim and perpetrator. And Mr. Baird, all these years later, is still unwilling to give his own view on whether justice was served even though — or because — the killer was never tried.

“You could talk to everybody in this case, and they’d give you a different answer,” he said in an interview at his office in the red brick county courthouse in nearby Maryville. “I’m never going to answer that question. It’s never going to happen.”

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