The World Is Watching Now

Online activists bring attention to a small-town controversy

Folks in Nodaway County, Missouri, know a thing or two about small-town justice. The rural area near the Iowa and Nebraska borders is home to the hamlet of Skidmore, where--one sunny morning in 1981--the town bully was shot dead by two gunmen. On the town's main street. In front of more than 30 witnesses. To this day, no one has said who did it.

But small-town secrets are hard to keep when the vigilantes of the digital universe saddle up. News that once was swept under the rug now spreads like a thunderclap, as Nodaway County learned when the loose alliance...

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