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Belmont Hotel Fire of 1908

Added by yongli on 07/08/2020 - 16:00, last changed on 07/08/2020 - 16:00
On September 8, 1908, a fire broke out on the second floor of Denver ’s Belmont Hotel, claiming as many as fifteen lives and injuring several others in one of the city’s deadliest fires. After the fire, authorities suspected that theft may have been a motive for arson, as valuables had gone missing...

Columbine Massacre

Added by yongli on 06/24/2016 - 16:15, last changed on 08/25/2017 - 18:01
The massacre at Columbine High School in 1999 was, at the time, one of the worst school shootings perpetrated in the United States. Fifteen people, including the two shooters, were killed. In the months and years following the tragedy, discussions about public safety, access to firearms, and the...

Cotopaxi Train Robbery

Added by yongli on 08/15/2016 - 15:57, last changed on 10/03/2019 - 10:22
The 1891 Cotopaxi train robbery typified a new era of crime in the American West—robbing trains carrying railroad and federal property—and set off one of the highest-profile manhunts of the era. The robbers, Peg Leg Watson and Bert Curtis, took thousands of dollars in cash and gold bars from a...

Italian Murders of 1875

Added by yongli on 04/09/2020 - 10:58, last changed on 05/27/2020 - 17:36

The Italian Banditti

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In October 1875, the mutilated bodies of four Italian men were discovered in a house on Lawrence Street, shocking Denver citizens. Police eventually captured and charged nine members of a gang known only as the “Italian Banditti,” all of whom pled guilty to involvement in the crime. The so-called...

Lake County War

Added by yongli on 03/13/2020 - 15:28, last changed on 03/13/2020 - 15:28
The Lake County War of 1874–75 grew out of a personal dispute over land and water rights in an area where increasing settlement was making both resources relatively scarce. The conflict ultimately turned into a test of law, justice, and state legitimacy in a frontier community. After Elijah Gibbs...

Lynching in Colorado

Added by yongli on 11/19/2015 - 16:13, last changed on 10/04/2019 - 09:21
Lynching, a form of vigilante punishment involving mob execution, has an active history in Colorado. Between 1859 and 1919, Coloradans carried out 175 lynchings. Lynching is usually associated with the Reconstruction Era in the American South, but before Colorado’s statehood in 1876, lynching was...


Added by yongli on 06/09/2020 - 14:51, last changed on 03/29/2021 - 08:16
Alcohol prohibition in Colorado (1916–33) was a Progressive Era experiment, based on reform-minded and religious sentiments, to completely ban the sale and transport of alcohol. While the intention of reformers was to reduce violence, drunkenness, and crime, outlawing alcohol instead created more...

River House Saloon Fire of 1862

Added by yongli on 06/10/2020 - 12:11, last changed on 06/10/2020 - 12:11
Seeing them as public nuisances that bred sin, enraged citizens burned down several saloons and dance halls in Denver during the 1860s. One of the first and most significant of these attacks was the burning of the River House Saloon on Ferry Street on November 1, 1862. The River House fire was...

The Bloody Espinosas

Added by yongli on 04/27/2017 - 10:42, last changed on 09/07/2021 - 09:44
The so-called Bloody Espinosas were two brothers—some contend they were cousins—and a nephew who terrorized southern Colorado in the early 1860s. On their vengeful rampage, Felipe, Vivian, and José Espinosa killed dozens of people and remain Colorado’s most prolific serial killers. Today, the...

The Denver Police Department since 1933

Added by yongli on 01/25/2021 - 14:39, last changed on 09/15/2021 - 08:50
The Denver Police Department is the primary law enforcement apparatus for the city of Denver . Officially formed in 1859 as a small group of marshals, today’s Denver Police Department consists of more than 1,500 officers in sixteen units active in a metropolitan community of more than 620,000...

The Reynolds Gang

Added by yongli on 04/27/2017 - 15:12, last changed on 01/18/2020 - 10:47
The Reynolds Gang, formally members of Company A of Wells’s Battalion, Third Texas Cavalry, was a group of about fifteen Confederate cavalrymen who conducted raids and robberies in the South Park area near the end of the Civil War . Initially considered to be a group of Confederate sympathizers,...

The “Nude” Silks-Fulton Duel

Added by yongli on 09/21/2016 - 14:28, last changed on 01/31/2021 - 17:15
The so-called Nude Duel was a legend that sprouted from a drunken brawl involving two well-known madams—Mattie Silks and Kate Fulton—at Denver Gardens in 1877. Although the original accounts of the fight are hardly remarkable, the story took on a life of its own thanks to the diligent exaggerations...

Thomas E. Ketchum

Added by yongli on 09/21/2016 - 15:46, last changed on 03/26/2018 - 14:10
Thomas “Black Jack” Ketchum was a famous outlaw in the late 1800s who, along with his brother Sam and their gang, was responsible for a number of high-profile robberies and murders. While his criminal career achieved great notoriety, it was Ketchum’s eventual hanging, which was badly botched by New...

William “Bat” Masterson

Added by yongli on 01/17/2017 - 13:06, last changed on 10/29/2019 - 10:41
William Barclay “Bat” Masterson (1853–1921) was a US marshal whose life and work in the American west during the mid-to-late 1800s granted him legendary status in the region’s folklore. In Colorado, where he spent several years during the 1880s, Masterson’s run-ins with the law and other important...
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