Everytime I read about something like this in small town America, I think about Skidmore, MO.
So many people driving through or moving to small towns think rual = safe. The only difference is that the smaller the town the more likely the locals can point out the bad apples. Are they safer? Generally, yes they are, but not all of them. In my college days I walked into a couple of rual bars that I wondered if I was going to leave in the same condition as I walked in as.
I hope more people *cough* Overland Park Councilman *cough* realize that crime can happen any time and anyplace.