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New movie mirrors real-life Skidmore missing person's case

"Below the Fold" is a fictional story about two journalists following up on new evidence in a 10-year-old cold case of a missing Skidmore, Missouri girl.

Posted: Sep 9, 2019 9:48 AM
Updated: Sep 10, 2019 10:06 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) --  A new fictional movie titled "Below the Fold" could be a story ripped right from the headlines.

It's backdrop is the mystery surrounding a young girl from Skidmore, Missouri, who has been missing for years. In the movie, two journalists follow up on new information on the case 10 years after a 12-year-old girl first turned up missing.

Writer, director and producer Clayton Scott said he drew on his experience of growing up in northwest Missouri for creating the movie.


"Branson Perry was a big influence," Scott said, referring to the disappearance of Branson Perry, the 20-year-old who disappeared without a trace in 2001. I remember growing up seeing billboards of his and over time seeing it fading. It was such a haunting, striking image that was hard to forget."

Over the years, the dark lore of Skidmore has grown. Perry's disappearance is only one of several notorious crimes that has occurred in the small northwest Missouri community of less than 300 people.

In 2004,, the then-pregnant Bobbie Jo Stinnett was murdered by Lisa Montgomery. Montgomery cut out Stinnett's unborn baby from her stomach and left her for dead. There was also the case of Ken McElroy, the town bully who was murdered in the streets of Skidmore in front of dozens of witnesses. Nobody has ever been charged with his murder because none of the witnesses would come forward.

Scott said it was important to shoot at least part of the movie in Skidmore to reflect its darkness.

"The aura of that town is almost a character upon itself. "It seeps into the performances. It seeps into the cinematography, the sound design," Scott said. "It affected every aspect of the film. It has a sense of foreboding and dread within it."

"Below the Fold" is Scott's first feature length film. He recruited actors from across the region.

"I'm very happy with the actors we got. They were all true professionals," he said.

Among them was former KQ2 sports director Matt Tritten, who played the role of a news anchor in the movie. The scenes from the set of a television news studio were shot at KQTV.

With the movie now complete and ready for release, Scott says he is now looking for viewers. He says he plans on taking his film to several different movie festivals including the Sundance Music Festival and festivals in Omaha and Kansas City.

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