Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Insulated: Mcginnis' Hometown Handles News Quietly

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Insulated: Mcginnis' Hometown Handles News Quietly

Article excerpt

With a display case full of baked goods and the smell of strong coffee in the air, Sweet Al's Donut Shoppe on North Walnut seems like the perfect place for the locals to gather to chew over the topics of the day. High school football. Presidential politics. This year's crops. The weather.

But one topic that does not come up is the 12-week, nationwide manhunt for Kelly McGinnis, who grew up in Cameron and is now wanted in the killing of his ex-wife's divorce lawyer Aug. 12 in Greenville, Ill.

The 330 miles between Greenville and Cameron - in northwestern Missouri farm country between St. Joseph and Chillicothe - apparently are enough to insulate McGinnis' hometown from the echoes of the gunshots that killed lawyer Thomas Meyer, 66. Al Broce, who has owned the doughnut shop for 18 years, has not heard a single conversation there about the charges against McGinnis. "The last name sounds familiar, but it doesn't mean anything to me." Relatives Live In Cameron McGinnis, 40, left after graduating from Cameron High School in 1974. He got a degree in physics in 1978 from the University of Missouri at Rolla, where he was an honor student. He never lived in Cameron again but still has relatives there: a mother who reared her six children alone after a divorce when Kelly McGinnis was 10, a sister who teaches school, two brothers. One brother, Steve McGinnis, said the family did not want to comment on the case that has been so painful for them. "We've cooperated with the authorities," was all he would say. He was drawn into the case again Oct. 14 when his fugitive brother sent a third letter to the Post-Dispatch, offering more criticism of the court system that he blamed for his loss in the bitter divorce and child-custody battle with his ex-wife. For the first time, Kelly McGinnis used a return address - that of the one-story, white-shingled house on North Harris Street in Cameron where he grew up and where Steve McGinnis now lives. Cameron Police Chief Hal Riddle said his officers have talked to the relatives in town, but there is no evidence Kelly McGinnis has been there. Riddle said there has been almost no talk of the case in Cameron. Those who know the family offer high praise for Lois McGinnis and her children. Andy Drinnin, who runs the Drinnin Shoe Store on East Third Street and has been active in organized sports over the years, called the McGinnises "an American success story." "A single mother raised them all alone, and they all went on to get college degrees," he said. "They're an outstanding family." State Rep. Randall Relford, D-Cameron, a retired principal at the elementary school, knew the children and still attends church with the family. He remembers Kelly McGinnis as a good student who was active in sports. "He has a tremendous mother, and his brothers and sister are excellent, outstanding citizens," Relford said. …

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