Douglas K Wilson, Colorado State Public Defender

Office of the Colorado State Public Defender

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Cataloge of Colorado Executions:



            1. JOHN STOEFEL (a.k.a. Stofel, Stuffle). April 9, 1859. Denver. W-W. Hanging. For committing the first murder ever recorded in the new settlement of Denver, Stoefel became the first of five men executed under orders by Denver’s “People’s Court.” Stoefel “confessed to shooting a fellow prospector for his gold dust.”339 The victim was Stoefel’s brother-in-law, Thomas Biencroff. A party of three Germans, including an elderly man and his two sons (one of whom was Biencroff), and a son-in-law (Stoefel, who was Hungarian) had left their camp looking for cattle, and Stoeffel shot Biencroff during the trip.  The hanging occurred less than forty-eight hours after the murder. At the time, Denver was part of Arapahoe County, Kansas Territory, and had been settled for only six months. Although the settlement only consisted of 150 buildings (mostly saloons and gambling halls), some one thousand spectators attended the execution. A fortnight later, the inaugural issue of the Denver newspaper, the Rocky Mountain News, referenced the hanging.340

            2. Moses Young. March 15, 1860. Denver. W-W. Hanging. Young was convicted by Denver’s “People’s Court” of murdering William West with a shotgun. Both men hailed from Leavenworth, Kansas, and were “old acquaintances, if not friends.”341 Within forty-eight hours of the murder, Young was tried before a twelve-man jury and hundreds of spectators. The next morning, a scaffold was erected on the site of the murder (the slain man’s house), and amid the roar of drums, Young was marched to the gallows and hanged.342

            3. MARCUS GREDLER. June 15, 1860. Denver. W-W. Hanging. Gredler was convicted of murdering Jacob Rodler, a friend and traveling companion, by chopping off his head with an axe while passing though Denver. Gredler, a thirty-one year- old brewer by trade, was born in Germany and had lived in the U.S. for six years before the crime. Rodler often quarreled with others, and even his wife, a member of the traveling party, said that her life was better with Rodler dead. Gredler claimed that Rodler’s wife had asked him to kill Rodler. Between three and four thousand people attended the hanging.343

            4. JAMES A. GORDON. October 6, 1860. Denver. W-W. Hanging. By age twenty-three, Gordon’s “reputation as a desperado accredited him with having killed three or four men before he came here.”344 He was educated as an engineer and owned a saloon in Denver. While intoxicated in a Denver bar on July 20, 1860, Gordon shot and killed an unarmed stranger, a German named John Gantz. Gordon escaped to Kansas but was apprehended and taken to Leavenworth. There, after being freed briefly on a writ of habeas corpus, he was nearly lynched by a mob of German citizens who were angered by the atrocious nature of the crime. After being rearrested, the authorities returned him to Denver on the morning of September 28. His trial began that afternoon before a People’s Court, twelve jurors, and an audience of one thousand people. Gordon was found guilty, and was hanged the next week in front of a crowd of several thousand.345

            5. PATRICK WATERS. December 21, 1860. Denver. W-W. Hanging/Broken neck. Waters, a farmhand born in Ireland, shot and killed Thomas R. Freeman, his employer, near Ft. Lupton, where the two had journeyed to pick up a load of hay. Water’s motive was to rob Freeman of the money that he carried to purchase the hay. Once arrested two weeks after the homicide in Nebraska and returned to Denver, Waters was taken to the scene of the murder by a party of a dozen men who were searching for Freeman’s body. They threatened Waters with immediate lynching if he did not disclose the location of the body, and so he did—as the rope was being placed over his head. Waters had no prior arrest record and a reputation of peaceableness and honesty. He fully confessed before his death.346

            6. WILLIAM S. VAN HORN. December 18, 1863. Central City. W-W. Hanging. Van Horn was convicted of murdering Josiah Copeland. Van Horn’s mistress allegedly lured Copeland to the scene of the murder, where Van Horn lay in wait to kill him, although the mistress was never charged with the crime.347 Hundreds attended the trial. To avoid a lynching, Van Horn was taken to Denver and lodged in the Arapahoe County jail. Thousands attended the execution, which was the first carried out under territorial law in Colorado.348

            7-8. FRANKLIN FOSTER AND HENRY STONE. May 24, 1866. Denver. W-W. Hanging. The two defendants, both former Union soldiers with no prior criminal records, were convicted of murdering two men, Isaac H. Augustus and H. Sluman, and stealing some eight thousand dollars in gold.349 Foster was twenty and Stone was twenty-four years old at the time of the crime.350 The murders occurred approximately one hundred miles east of Denver.351 “Foster confessed to the crime and implicated Stone, who denied all connection with the murder for which he was executed, but admitted the commission of four other murders of men in the states.”352 “There [were] probably not less than 3,000 spectators present . . . .”353 Said the Rocky Mountain News, “Although we hope never to witness another scene like that presented yesterday, it is an extremely gratifying thought that the majesty of the law is upheld by a people who are evidently looked upon by the ‘all-civilized’ people of the east as little better than barbarians.”354

            9. GEORGE SMITH. February 18, 1870. Central City. B-W. Hanging. Smith was convicted of murder by beating and strangling to death William Hamblin, a milkman. The murder occurred in February 1868; Smith sought to rob the victim. Suspicion immediately fell on Smith and another African- American, Bob Reynolds. Both were soon apprehended, and both confessed.355 Reynolds, however, escaped from custody and a week later suffered injuries while being apprehended. He died in prison before trial. After Smith’s conviction and death sentence, several unsuccessful efforts by local citizens were made to save him from the gallows, including a plea to the governor.356 Approximately two thousand people witnessed the hanging.357

            10. THEODORE MYERS (a.k.a. Meiers, Miears, or Maier). January 24, 1873. Denver. W-W. Hanging/Broken neck. A German immigrant and farmhand, Myers, age twenty-six, was

convicted of murdering his employer, George Bonacina, and wounding a female companion of the employer’s, variously described as the employer’s mistress or sister. Myers had loaned the employer twenty-five dollars, and the murder resulted from an argument when the employer failed to return the money. The defense argued alternatively that the killing lacked premeditation and it was in self-defense. Myers was first convicted in February 1872, but a motion for a new trial was granted,358 and he was again convicted later that year. Appeals for relief to the Colorado Supreme Court, supported by  a petition signed by over three hundred citizens, and to the governor failed. Because the governor was out of state, the acting governor, who later wrote his reflections on the case, made the clemency decision.359 In addition, the defense attorney, N. Harrison, later published his criticism of both the trial judge’s refusal to issue a writ of error and the statute under which Myers was executed.360 Three thousand people attended the execution.361

            11. JAMES MILLER. February 2, 1877. West Las Animas (Bent County). B-W. Hanging/Strangulation. Miller’s execution was the first in Colorado after the territory achieved statehood. Miller, a twenty-three-year-old “mulatto,” had served as a soldier with the United States Colored Troops for the previous five years. He entered a dance hall which was reserved for whites that night, and an inebriated white customer forced him at gunpoint to leave. Another white customer, John Sutherland, told the thug to leave Miller alone. Miller and a friend, Benjamin Smith, later returned and randomly shot into the bar, missing the thug but killing Sutherland. Both men received death sentences; the governor commuted Smith’s sentence. At the hanging, which the governor delayed two weeks so Miller could join a church and be married, the trapdoor would not open at first, and when it did, it fell to the ground. Miller dropped through the opening in the platform, but the rope was too long and his feet came to rest on the trap door that had fallen below him. The trap door was quickly removed so Miller could swing unimpeded. He hung for twenty-five minutes before expiring. Later, the sheriff, distraught over the bungled hanging, resigned his position and left the community.362

            12. VICTOR NUNEZ. March 14, 1879. Pueblo. H-H. Hanging/Broken neck. Despite consistent protestations of innocence, Nunez, a fifty-seven-year-old ranch-hand born in Mexico, was executed for the murder of an affluent Mexican rancher. Nunez’s alleged motive was that he “entertained an unlawful passion” for the victim’s wife, who served as a prosecution witness. No one immediately suspected that the victim, Luis Rascone, had been murdered—they thought he had simply left town—while Nunez spent the winter with the victim’s wife in Pueblo. Eventually a young Indian girl who had witnessed the murder came forward and revealed the story. Between twelve and fifteen hundred people witnessed the hanging. “Among them we were astonished and pained to see many females and a horde of children, from five years old upward. The morbid curiosity that prompts such desires ought not to be gratified and we hope that the next execution that occurs in Pueblo will be a private one.”363

            13. CICERO SIMMS (a.k.a. Sims). July 23, 1880. Fairplay (Park County). W-W. Hanging/Broken neck. At age twentytwo, Simms, a prospector and miner, was convicted of murdering a friend, John Johnson, in Alma. Simms shot and killed Johnson after some horseplay resulted in an angry rage.364 Johnson, a Dane by birth, was well respected in the community and had provided housing and food for Simms in exchange for cooking and household duties.365 On at least three occasions prior to the murder, Simms had inappropriately brandished a pistol during various quarrels with Johnson. Simms had been arrested several times for crimes of varying degrees of violence and was suspected of a previous murder. His attorney protested that Simms received an unfair trial because on the night before it began, another prisoner, recently spared the death penalty, had been removed from the local jail and lynched.366 This, argued the defense attorney, led to an increased appetite for legal executions to deter lynching. After Simmsexecution, an editorial in the Rocky Mountain News questioned capital punishment, especially in cases such as this where the crime was committed in the “spasm of passion.”367 Approximately eight hundred people attended the hanging.368

            14. W.H. SALISBURY (a.k.a. William H. Canty). June 17, 1881. Buena Vista (Chaffee County). W-W. Hanging/Broken neck. After a change of venue to Colorado Springs, a jury deliberated for four hours and convicted Salisbury, age thirtyfour, of the murder of a Buena Vista police officer, Thomas L. Perkins. Salisbury shot Officer Perkins four times as he attempted to arrest a friend of Salisbury’s. Several eyewitnesses identified Salisbury, but Salisbury argued that the friend, and not he, was the triggerman. The execution took place in the jail yard of the El Paso County Jail in Colorado Springs, with only an unknown number of ticketed spectators present. Over one thousand people, however, assembled in an open square surrounding the jail to try to get a glimpse of the hanging. On the scaffold, Salisbury made a tearful speech in which he insisted upon his innocence. When the trap opened, the rope broke from the hook holding it to the scaffold, allowing Salisbury’s body to fall to the ground. The rope was quickly reattached, and physicians later claimed that the original fall broke Salisbury’s neck and the broken rope caused no additional agony.369

            15. MERRICK ROSENGRANTS. July 29, 1881. Leadville (Lake County). W-W. Hanging. Rosengrants was convicted on the victim’s deathbed declaration. John Langmeyer claimed Rosengrants shot him when he found Rosengrants inside his cabin ransacking his trunk. Rosengrants was well-respected, and his acquaintances believed he would never rob another person’s property, much less shoot someone. He also had an alibi witness, who did not testify at trial because the defense attorney thought that the witness’s alcohol abuse lessened his credibility. Rosengrants steadfastly maintained his innocence until his death, along with a number of Leadville citizens. He was hanged on a two-rope gallows simultaneously with Franklin Gilbert (q.v.).370

            16. FRANKLIN GILBERT. July 29, 1881. Leadville (Lake County). W-W. Hanging/Broken neck. A charcoal salesman, approximately thirty years of age, Gilbert was convicted of murdering James McCollom. The state contended that Gilbert shot and stabbed McCollom because McCollom owed him some money. Gilbert was hanged alongside Rosengrants (above) in front of some five thousand spectators.371

                         17. THOMAS COLEMAN. December 16, 1881. Gunnison (Gunnison County). B-B. Hanging/Broken neck. A railroad worker and foreman of a grading crew, Coleman, age twentyseven, was convicted of murdering another African-American, a teamster named Albert Smith. The two had quarreled several months before the murder over five dollars that Coleman had lost in a card game. Coleman believed Smith had cheated him, and on July 5, 1881, he shot Smith when Smith refused to return the money. The execution took place before a “large crowd” in the yard of the Gunnison jail. Coleman was intoxicated and had to be carried to the gallows.372 When the signal was given to proceed with the hanging, the trap door failed to open, and Coleman was removed from the gallows while the mechanism was repaired. Once adjustments were made, it worked properly. The Pitkin Independent’s headline after the hanging read, “Jerked to Jesus. The Negro Coleman bids adieu to all earthly sights and takes a flying trip over the river Jordan.”373 Later, Coleman’s body was left to freeze and bits of it were chipped off for souvenirs.374

            18. GEORGE N. WOODS. June 23, 1882. Durango (La Plata County). W-W. Hanging/Strangulation. Woods was executed less than one month after he shot and murdered M.G. Buchanan. Both Woods, age thirty-four, and Buchanan were members of the “Stockton Gang,” and both were friends with Stockton’s widow, who had already remarried by the time of the murder. Woods and Buchanan frequently quarreled about her, apparently because Woods was attracted to her and Buchanan, a friend of the widow’s new husband, tried to discourage the romance. The murder occurred in a Durango  saloon, where both brandished weapons before Woods killed Buchanan. Woods argued self-defense. Shortly before his execution, Woods told a newspaper that he regretted was that he did not also kill the woman’s new husband, Joel Estes.375                          19. MIGUEL GARCIA. December 20, 1884. Pueblo. H-W. Hanging/Broken neck. A native of Mexico, Garcia, age fiftyfour, did not speak English. He was employed gathering old rags, bones, iron, etc. After a change of venue to Pueblo, Garcia was convicted of killing his employer, Dennis Wilkes, near Las Animas, in Bent County.376 Garcia crushed Wilkes’ head while he lay in bed sleeping; the alleged motive was robbery. The murder occurred after Wilkes had employed Garcia for two weeks. Garcia abruptly left town before the body was discovered and pawned the victim’s watch. Garcia was actually tried and convicted three times; the first conviction was set aside by the trial court because of errors in the trial transcript, and the second was set aside by the trial court because of insufficiency of the evidence. A crowd of approximately four thousand attended the execution, which, like the trial, was held in Pueblo.377

            20. CHARLES HIBBARD. April 24, 1885. Trinidad (Las Animas County). W-W. Hanging/Broken neck. Hibbard was convicted of the murder of William Knowles in Stonewall, approximately forty miles north of Trinidad. Hibbard was living at his uncle’s ranch in Stonewall when Knowles, an elderly man who had a large sum of money, came to visit. When the uncle left for a trip to Illinois, Hibbard and Knowles stayed behind to care for the ranch. Soon neighbors realized that Knowles was missing, and their inquiries prompted Hibbard to leave town. The uncle discovered Knowles’s body when he returned from Illinois. Upon his apprehension in  Kansas, Hibbard confessed to the murder and a long history of  other crimes, including murder and horse and cattle theft.378

            21. MARSHALL CLEMENTS. December 3, 1885. Saguache (Saguache County). W-W. Hanging. Clements was convicted of murdering his brother, Thomas H. Clements, and sister-inlaw, Susie Y. Clements. In his written confession, Clements accused the victims of mistreating his father and sister, who had raised the boys and four other siblings after the mother’s death, and living off them. Clements also called his sisters prostitutes and blamed the victims for causing his father’s death through physical and psychological abuse. The family had emigrated from Ireland two years before the murders.379 At the execution, because the sheriff “had no stomach,” an anonymous person sprung the trap with a rope strung from the hanging scaffold to the nearby county clerk’s office.380 Some five thousand spectators attended the hanging.381

            22. CYRUS MINICH. February 5, 1886. Leadville (Lake County). W-W. Hanging. Minich was convicted of murdering Samuel Baldwin, a miner who was widely rumored to hold all his money on his person because of a distrust of the banking system. Four robbers allegedly beat Baldwin to death, and the fact that Minich deposited $360 in a bank on the day after Baldwin’s death served as the only evidence connecting him to the crime.382 One self-confessed participant fingered Minich, but he later jumped bail and, like a third suspect, was never heard from again. The fourth man implicated in the murder had an alibi and therefore was never tried for the crime. Meanwhile, Minich, age thirty-seven, maintained his innocence from the time of his arrest until the time of his death. Although the Colorado Supreme Court acknowledged that the State’s case against Minich was based only on circumstantial evidence, it stated: “Yet there is woven about the defendant a web of circumstances which, coupled with his attempted explanation thereof, point irresistibly to him as one of the guilty parties.”383 On the gallows, Minich again proclaimed his innocence, and then said: “Good bye to all. Good bye.”384 As the local newspaper described: “The crowd then responded with one voice, saying twice, ‘Good bye, Cy.’”385

            23. ANDREW GREEN. July 27, 1886. Denver. B-W. Hanging/Strangulation . Green was convicted of robbing and murdering Joseph C. Whitnah, a driver for the Denver City Railway Company. Green, age twenty-five, and an accomplice were overheard while talking in a saloon about the murder, and within a few days Green had been arrested for vagrancy, drunkenness, and carrying a concealed weapon—charges that were soon replaced with a charge of murder. He had previously served time in prison in both Colorado and Missouri for theft, and at age twelve he had shot and wounded his father. Green argued that he simply wanted to rob Whitnah, that he had no intent to commit murder, and that his gun had discharged accidentally. Nonetheless, he was convicted under the felony murder  doctrine and sentenced to death. The accomplice, after pleading guilty to second-degree murder, was sentenced to life imprisonment at hard labor. In the twenty-five days between the verdict and the execution, the Denver newspapers engaged in a lengthy debate about whether the hanging should be public. This debate continued on after Green’s death, eventually culminating in legislation signed in 1889 that relegated all future Colorado executions to the state prison in Cañon City. Some fifteen thousand to twenty thousand people attended the execution, many of whom were repulsed while they watched, for nearly twenty-three minutes, as Green twisted and slowly suffocated to death. A century later, University of Colorado historian William M. King authored a detailed book about the crime, execution, and late-nineteenth century race relations in Denver.386

            24. NICOLAI FEMENELLA (a.k.a. Mike George). August 23, 1888. Buena Vista (Chaffee County). W-W. Hanging/Broken neck. An Italian immigrant, Femenella was convicted of murdering Irishman William “Pat” Casey, who, like Femenella, was employed as a railroad section hand in the city of Granite. The murder resulted from a quarrel between several Irish and Italian immigrants about the men’s different ethnic heritages. After his conviction, Femenella began to claim that he killed in self-defense, a plea that may have saved him from the gallows had he originally used it at trial.387 Governor Alva Adams deferred the execution on three occasions. “According to prevalent opinion here Femenella has received more consideration than would be accorded to the majority of lifelong citizens in this community.”388 Approximately seventy-five people were admitted to the jail yard to witness the hanging, and a “large crowd” mingled outside the jail fence. He was hanged with rope left over from that ordered from a St. Louis company to hang Andrew Green (q.v.).389

            25. JOSE ORTIZ (a.k.a. James Abram Ortiz). July 16, 1889. Antonito (Conejos County). H-W. Hanging/Broken neck. Ortiz was convicted of murdering O.E. LeDuc, a miner. “The murder was one of a peculiarly revolting character.”390 LeDuc, on a short business trip, disappeared after stopping to spend the night at Ortiz’s cabin. His friends spent several weeks searching for him. After tracking him to Ortiz’s home, a search party found the home abandoned and smeared with blood, and they soon found LeDuc’s body on the property. The evidence indicated that he had been killed with a heavy instrument, probably an axe, while in bed. When Ortiz was found, he wore LeDuc’s watch. The jury, which included six Mexicans, deliberated for a full day before returning their verdict. The execution, which took place before a “dense” crowd, occurred three months after Governor Job A. Cooper had signed a bill prohibiting public executions.391 The ban, however, did not take effect until July 19th, three days after Ortiz’s scheduled execution. Thereafter, all Colorado executions took place at the state prison in Cañon City. Wrote the Rocky Mountain News, “Ortiz was small and stunted, and a typical Mexican, stunted naturally and morally as well as physically.”392

            26. NOVERTO GRIEGO. November 8, 1890. Trinidad (Las Animas County). H-W. Hanging/Broken neck. Griego (Mexican) was convicted of murdering W.L. Underwood, a merchant who ran a grocery store that catered to the Hispanic community. Underwood’s killer hit him on the back of his head with a hammer while he worked at the store. His hand clutched a piece of paper, which indicated that his last sale had been to someone named “Griego.” Upon discovering his body the next morning, the authorities also found that Underwood’s jewelry, as well as all the cash in the store, had been stolen. A second participant in the crimes, an African-American named George Upton (a.k.a. John Jones), received a sentence of life imprisonment, rather than death, in exchange for testifying against Griego. Both men confessed to their crimes. The execution was the first under state authority at the prison in Cañon City. The public did not know exact time of Griego’s execution in advance or the name of the executioner, and no representatives from the press were permitted to witness it.393

            27. JAMES T. JOYCE. January 17, 1891. Denver (Arapahoe County). W-W. Hanging/Broken neck. Joyce was convicted of “one of the coldest blooded murders in Colorado’s history.”394 Both Joyce, age thirty-three, and the victim, twenty-year-old John Snooks, worked at a Denver slaughterhouse. The murder occurred on July 4, 1890, when many of the employees had celebrated Independence Day by drinking all day, first at work and then in a neighborhood saloon. At the bar, Joyce and others accused Snooks of drinking more than his share of the beer, and Snooks was thrown out. Snooks returned a few minutes later with an empty musket and threatened Joyce with it. Later that day, back at work, Joyce was skinning a sheep when Snooks walked by. Joyce attacked him with the knife, killing him. Joyce was believed to have committed an earlier murder in Kentucky, and had also been involved in a prior assault. No journalists were permitted to witness the execution.395 “The neck was instantly broken, and, according to the surgeons present, the most successful and painless execution that has ever been performed

in America.”396

            28. WILLIAM H. DAVIS. Sept. 22, 1891. Pueblo. W–B&W. Hanging/Broken neck. Davis was convicted, at age twenty-five or twenty-six, of murdering his foster mother, Carrie Armsby (“a light mulatto”), and her alleged white paramour, James Arnold, because they refused to give him money to continue a drinking binge. The time of the execution was not announced before the hanging, and no journalists were invited to attend.397

            29. CHARLES SMITH. December 14, 1891. Walsenburg (Huerfano County). B-B. Hanging. A thirty-year-old coal miner, Smith was convicted of killing Taylor Sillman, a neighbor whose wife was having relations with Smith. The affair resulted in “bad blood” and physical altercations between the two men. Eventually, after receiving a hefty beating by Sillman, Smith returned home, got his shotgun, and shot Sillman off his horse.398

            30. THOMAS LAWTON. May 6, 1892. Colorado Springs (El Paso County). W-W. Hanging. Lawton was convicted of murdering a streetcar conductor, John Hemming, during an attempted robbery of his streetcar. An accomplice, Albert Russell, admitted his role in the crime to friends, implicating Lawton. Russell was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. Twenty-four-year-old “Lawton,” an assumed name, refused to tell anyone his real name or anything about his background or family.399 He spent the four hours before his death moaning and wailing, although by the time he was executed he had become calm.400

                        31. THOMAS A. JORDAN. May 11, 1895. Littleton (Arapahoe County). W-W. Hanging/Strangulation. Jordan was a native of Ireland and age twenty-nine at his death. He worked at a Denver-area smelter, but after drinking heavily and being tardy for work, he was fired. The next day, continuing to drink heavily, he purchased a pistol and went to  the smelter to kill the foreman who had fired him. That person was not at the factory when Jordan arrived, but Jordan’s presence at the smelter caused a disturbance. He instead shot a friend named Gustavus “Gus” Gisin, a smelter watchman who had come to quell the ruckus.401 On death row, Jordan’s sanity was questioned and a panel of physicians was appointed to evaluate him. They found him to be sane. Governor Albert W. McIntire also visited with Jordan in the prison but denied executive clemency. At the execution, Jordan’s neck was not broken and he strangled to death. The Rocky Mountain News asserted that Jordan and Peter Augusta, who were hanged that same night, had “the most remarkable records of any persons ever sentenced to execution at Canon City. Through the law’s delays and executive clemency their lives were prolonged by two years.”402

            32. PETER AUGUSTA. May 11, 1895. Littleton (Arapahoe County). W-W. Hanging/Broken neck. Augusta was convicted of murdering Harry Sullivan (a.k.a. David McClennigan) in a jealous rage, under the belief that Sullivan was having an affair with the woman with whom Augusta was living. In a dying statement, Sullivan fingered Augusta as the man who assaulted him, saying he was stabbed while sleeping in the woman’s house. Augusta was a forty-seven-year-old immigrant from Italy, and the Italian consulate was among those petitioning for a commutation.403

            33. ABE TAYLOR. December 13, 1895. Alamosa (Conejos County). W-W. Hanging/Broken neck. Taylor, a thirty-twoyear- old ranchman, was convicted of murdering Charles H. Emerson. With William Thompson, aged sixteen or seventeen, Taylor stole a wagonload of oats. Emerson was the town marshal and constable of Alamosa, and Taylor shot him while he apprehended the two men for theft. Taylor used a gun given to him by Thompson. In his final statement, Taylor told the fourteen witnesses to the execution that the murder was not premeditated and that he never held any malice toward the victim.404

            34. BENJAMIN RATCLIFF (a.k.a. Radcliff). February 7, 1896. Salida (Chaffee County). W-W. Hanging/Broken neck. A farmer, Ratcliff was convicted of murdering three members of the Park County School Board: George Douglas Wyatt, Samuel Taylor, and L.F. McCurdy. Ratcliff believed that McCurdy had slandered Ratcliff’s daughter by claiming she was pregnant. The murders occurred at a school board meeting. Ratcliff had gone to the meeting to demand a retraction and apology, but when McCurdy refused to apologize, Ratcliff shot wildly at all three men.405 Later he turned himself into the authorities, who housed him in several jails before trial to avoid lynching.406

            35-37. WILLIAM HOLT, ALBERT NOBLE, and DEONICIO ROMERO. June 26, 1896. Trinidad (Las Animas County). WW. Hanging/Broken necks. These three codefendants were convicted of the felony murder of a Trinidad police officer, John SoloMonday In July 1895, Romero, age twenty-one, and Noble, age thirty-four, became acquainted with Leonardo Martinez and Pedro Baca, who were being held in the Las Animas County Jail pending trial for murder. Romero was serving a jail sentence for assault, having served several previous sentences for petty offenses. Noble had been arrested for a robbery in New Mexico, having previously served a seven-year sentence for robbing a post office.407 Upon release from jail, Romero, Noble, and a third man, William Holt, age twenty-one, conspired to rob the Horse Shoe Gambling Club in Trinidad to secure funds for Martinez and Baca’s defense. Several others, including Martinez’s mother, also assisted with the scheme. Officer John Solomon discovered and foiled the robbery., Solomon first struggled with Holt before Noble shot him in the back. Holt was the first person arrested; a gun left at the scene, which he purchased from a local pawnbroker a few days previously, tied him to the crime. Upon interrogation by the authorities, Holt confessed, and Romero quickly confirmed his story. Noble was tried first, followed by a joint trial for Holt and Romero. The convictions were affirmed on appeal.408 The three were executed in the first triple execution in Colorado’s history. The men were executed in alphabetical order, in private, with all details prior to the executions kept secret. Originally the men were supposed to be hanged in the order of their culpability—Noble, Romero, and then Holt—but Holt was distressed that he “was called first.” Notably, Holt had to be carried to the death chamber.409

            38. AZEL D. GALBRAITH. March 6, 1905. Central City (Gilpin County). W-W. Hanging/Broken neck. Galbraith was convicted of murdering his wife and eight-year-old son. The Rocky Mountain News dubbed the crime “one of the most shocking in the criminal annals of the state.”410 Shortly before the murders, Galbraith had been dismissed from his position as a mine manager. After the murders, he lived in Denver for one month before an arrest for forgery; he had signed his employer’s name to one thousand dollars worth of checks. Two days thereafter the bodies were discovered. Galbraith confessed to the murders, detailing how he shot his unsuspecting wife as they lay in bed together and how he then brought his eight-year-old son into the bed and shot him. Galbraith blamed his crimes on drinking, gambling, and a desire to be with his paramour.411 He was thirty-four at the time of his death, had no prior convictions, had attended two years of college, and worked as a timekeeper in a mine.412 He faced his death stoically, with the witnesses reportedly in agreement that he was “[t]he bravest man that ever stepped on a scaffold in Colorado.”413

            39–40. J. NEWTON ANDREWS and FRED ARNOLD. June 16,  1905. Denver. W-W. Hanging/Broken necks. The pair was convicted in separate trials of the murder of sixty-three-year- old Amanda E. Youngblood during an attempted robbery at her home, which also served as a small neighborhood grocery store. Her husband responded to a knock at the door at eleven-thirty p.m. on New Year’s Eve, 1903, and found three men who requested to use his telephone. Without suspicion, he invited them inside, where they immediately announced a hold-up. Mr. Youngblood resisted. The commotion awakened Mrs. Youngblood and the Youngblood’s son, and they entered the room where the confrontation was taking place. The three men then murdered Mrs. Youngblood and shot the Youngblood’s son in the jaw. Although both defendants confessed to involvement in the crimes, claiming they were drunk, each blamed the other for firing the fatal shot. The third intruder, Charles Peters, age twenty-five, received a death sentence for the murders, but his sanity was questioned and he was never executed. Arnold, a laborer, was nineteen-years-old at the time of his execution; Andrews, who worked for the railroads, was two years older and had a prior arrest for burglarizing telephone boxes.414 Before their executions, the Colorado Supreme Court upheld a new death penalty statute passed by the Colorado legislature in 1901, ending a four year period of abolition.415

            41. JOSEPH JOHNSON. September 13, 1905. Trinidad (Las Animas County). W-W. Hanging/Broken neck. Johnson was convicted of killing John H. Fox, “ex-county treasurer, and one of the most prominent Democratic politicians of the county and state.”416 Johnson was a deputy sheriff and worked as a bodyguard for a state senator. When Fox’s former clerk was arrested in California for misappropriating Las Animas county funds, Johnson wanted the job of going to California to retrieve the prisoner. Fox refused to grant Johnson the appointment, a quarrel ensued, and Johnson shot Fox with a revolver. Johnson was immediately apprehended and admitted his guilt.417

            42. JOHN MCGARVEY. January 12, 1907. W-W. Grand Junction (Mesa County). Hanging/Broken neck. A native of Scotland, McGarvey was in jail awaiting trial for the attempted criminal assault of a twelve-year-old girl when he crushed the skull of the jailer, Edward Innes, with a piece of firewood. He then stabbed the unconscious jailer, stole his pistol, and escaped.418 Innes died a few days later. McGarvey was quickly apprehended, tried, and convicted at age twenty-three.419

                        43. GUISEPPE ALIA. July 15, 1908. Denver. W-W. Hanging/Strangulation. Alia shot and killed a Catholic priest, Father Leo Heinrich, as Heinrich distributed communion to Alia and other congregants during mass at St. Elizabeth’s Church in Denver. Alia, fifty-one at the time of his death, spent his first thirty-eight years in Italy and did not speak English. After leaving Italy, he worked as a shoemaker in Argentina for twelve years. He hated the Catholic Church and believed that Father Leo had somehow mistreated him in Portugal some years before the murder. His insanity defense, however, failed. The acting governor did not accept pleas for clemency by the Italian government and the Franciscan order to which Father Leo belonged. At the time of his death, less than five months after the crime, Alia shouted “Viva Italia” and “Viva Protestant,” and he implored God to destroy the Roman Catholic priesthood. Because the rope slipped, it took nineteen minutes for Alia to strangle to death.420

            44. JAMES LYNN. October 8, 1908. Pueblo. B-W. Hanging/Broken neck. On May 14, 1908, the front-page headline in the local newspaper shocked Pueblo residents: “Negro Drives Two White Women from Their Home and Shoots Them Down in the Street.421 The article identified a neighbor, James Lynn (a Pueblo resident for twenty-two years), as the shooter. Sarah James, sixteen, was dead, and her mother, Julia, was wounded and “expected to die at any moment.”422 Julia, however, a widow with six children, later recovered. She and her daughter had fled their home when Lynn burst into it at one o’clock in the morning. The wages Sarah earned as a “servant” to a local physician supported the entire family of seven. Lynn, a day laborer, was infatuated with Sarah, and was jealous when another man, who left by the rear door as Lynn came through the front, was spending the night with her. Lynn had a prior arrest for assaulting a man with a poker.423 After his arrest, Lynn was kept in Colorado Springs to prevent a lynching. His trial occurred exactly one month after the murder, and Lynn maintained his innocence. The jury, however, returned a guilty verdict after only fifteen minutes of deliberation.424

            45. LEWIS J. WECHTER. August 31, 1912. Denver. W-W. Hanging. Wechter was convicted of murdering W. Clifford Burrowes, a salesman for a hardware store, during the attempted robbery of a cafe. Burrowes had just finished eating at the cafe when a masked robber entered, ordering everyone to move behind the counter. Burrowes refused and was shot. The mother and daughter who owned the cafe quickly overpowered Wechter, disarmed him, and held him until the authorities arrived. Burrowes died the next day. Wechter, twenty-nine, had served in the Navy for twelve years and at the time of the crime worked in a mattress factory.425 He had killed a man in Utah a few months prior to the Burrowes murder and was wanted by the Utah authorities.426 The jury deliberated for only fifteen minutes before returning a guilty verdict and recommending a death sentence.427 On appeal, the state Supreme Court affirmed the conviction.428 Although personally opposed to capital punishment, Governor Shafroth declined to commute the sentence.429 The prison warden, Thomas Tynan, also opposed the death penalty and refused to participate in the execution.430 Because the time of the execution was supposed to be secret, Wechter’s execution was postponed for twenty-four hours after the newspapers learned its originally scheduled time. Death was by strangulation: “For 23 minutes the blackcapped form dangled to and fro in the shadows cast by a great arc lamp.”431

            46. HARRY EDGAR HILLEN (a.k.a. James Nelson, Frank Allen). June 24, 1915. Denver. W-W. Hanging/Broken neck. Hillen was convicted of murdering real estate agent Thomas J. Chase during the commission of a robbery. Several other robberies occurred in Denver in the time period surrounding the murder.432 When arrested for brandishing his weapons while drunk, Hillen confessed to nine of the robberies.433 The next day, he confessed to killing Chase “because he snarled at me. I can’t stand snarls.”434 The widow said: “The lawyer who would defend the confessed slayer of my husband is a far worse criminal than [Hillen].”435 The Colorado Supreme Court affirmed his conviction on appeal.436 Hillen, twenty-four at the time of the murder, was suspected of over fifty forgeries and armed robberies throughout the U.S., including approximately twenty robberies in Denver during the week of the murder.437

                        47. GEORGE QUINN. January 28, 1916. Denver. W-W. Hanging/Broken neck. Quinn was convicted of murdering the husband of the woman with whom he was having an affair and who was carrying his child. Quinn used a sawed-off shotgun and fired from close range to kill William Herbertson, a thirtysix- year-old contractor. Quinn, thirty-two at the time, worked as a teamster. After shooting Herbertson, Quinn also threatened his mistress and her twenty-month-old baby. This woman became the chief prosecution witness, but while Quinn was in jail, she (the victim’s widow) recanted her testimony and married him “so that the babe might be given a name.”438 She also actively attempted to get the governor to commute the sentence. Ultimately, the Colorado Supreme Court affirmed the conviction on appeal.439 At the execution, Warden Thomas Tynan, an opponent of capital punishment, refused to enter the death chamber and instead remained in his office until the prisoner was executed.440

            48. OSCAR COOK. February 26, 1916. Denver. W-W. Hanging/Broken neck. Cook was convicted of murdering patrolman William McPherson and saloonkeeper Andrew J. Loyd in an exchange of gunshots during a robbery of a Denver saloon. Two men entered the saloon announcing a holdup, and the shooting commenced when Officer McPherson, who was visiting the saloon in uniform, reached for his revolver.441 In an ante-mortem statement, Officer McPherson implicated two other men as the culprits; these men were arrested but released upon the arrest of Cook and Edward Seiwald, an accomplice. Cook, twenty-five, worked as a miner. His arrest occurred after he requested medical care for a bullet wound, which the state argued he received in the crossfire but Cook said he received when trespassing in a lumberyard. Thinking he was dying, Cook first claimed he had been wounded in a robbery. Seiwald, who was tried with Cook for the murders, offered a more complete confession. Seiwald, nineteen, implicated Cook as the gunman, claiming that he (Seiwald) shot Cook after he realized that their robbery plans had ended in murder because of Cook. At trial, Cook argued insanity,442 but received a death sentence. Seiwald was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to twelve years in prison. On appeal, Cook’s conviction was vacated because of a failure to grant a severance.443 At retrial, Cook was again convicted and sentenced to death; this conviction and sentence were affirmed on appeal.444 In his last words, Cook continued to maintain that he had not fired the fatal shots. As was the custom, the warden allowed Cook to name the exact hour of his execution.445

            49. GEORGE R. BOSKO (a.k.a. Bosco). December 10, 1920. Pueblo. W-W. Hanging/Broken neck. Bosko was executed for the murders of William T. Hunter and Elton C. Parks. Bosko’s brother and accomplice, Tom, was under eighteen years of age at the time of the crimes,446 and because of his young age, he received a sentence of life imprisonment, rather than death, for his role in the crimes. Parks, a car salesman, was demonstrating a new car to Hunter, a ranch owner, when they picked up the two brothers. The brothers then shot the victims and stole the car. Bosko, age twenty-eight, worked as a ranch hand, had no prior arrests, and had served in the Army for three years. Upon his arrest, he gave a full confession, and at his arraignment he pleaded guilty. The convictions were affirmed on appeal.447 The Lieutenant Governor delayed the execution for five months so physicians could evaluate Bosko’s sanity. At the time of the execution, Bosko’s mother “is said to have suffered a collapse . . . and was not expected to live thru [sic] the night.”448

            50. DANIEL BORICH. August 18, 1922. Oak Creek (Routt County). W-W. Hanging. Borich was executed for the murders of his wife and Joseph Kezele, a man who had tried to protect Mrs. Borich when her husband started to stab her. Borich, a fifty-one-year-old coal miner, was a “Mohammedan,” born to Turkish parents in Serbia. Borich was executed in the prison boiler room on a hastily built hanging machine. Prior hangings in Cañon City had taken place in a separate “execution house.”449

            51. JOE MCGONIGAL (a.k.a. M’Gonnigal, McGonigle). April 26, 1924. Trinidad (Las Animas County). W-W. Hanging. McGonigal was convicted of murdering Wilbur N. Ferguson, a student at the Colorado School of Mines, and Ella Centers, the daughter of the owner of a rooming house where both Ferguson and McGonigal lived. McGonigal, forty-two, worked as a watchman at a mine, and at one time had been prominent in the affairs of the United Mine Workers. He shot Ferguson inside the house, and Centers fled in terror. McGonigal chased her and killed her with a shotgun as she pleaded for her life. Several nearby workmen witnessed the murder. McGonigal then returned to the house and, apparently to create a self-defense claim, shot himself in the foot, which later had to be amputated. The state alleged that the McGonigal committed the murders while drunk and that he was jealous of the personal relationship between Ferguson and Centers. McGonigal’s sole defense was insanity, although he only proffered jail prisoners, and no experts, to support that claim. In contrast, three psychiatrists testified that the defendant was sane.450 On appeal, the defense attorney failed to file an abstract of the record and brief. The court reprimanded the attorney and cited him for contempt, but permitted him to continue on the case.451 The conviction was later affirmed,452 and after the governor granted a one-month stay of execution to evaluate McGonigal’s sanity, he was hanged with the “old water type” gallows.453

                        52. RAY F. SHANK. September 18, 1926. Denver. W-W. Hanging. After being served with divorce papers, Shank, age fifty-two, shot and killed his wife, Marion, and their nineteenyear- old son, Paul, as he was sleeping. Shank then beat and tried to kill their twenty-one-year-old daughter, Ruth, but a neighbor saved her life when he disarmed Shank. Shank, a machinist, had a history of domestic abuse but no prior arrests. At trial, his insanity defense failed, and he was sentenced to death for the murder of his wife. The conviction was affirmed on appeal.454 On the eve of his execution, Shank was quoted as saying: “This is the happiest night for me since the tragedy . . . I know that all will soon be over.”455

            53. ANTONIO CASIAS. November 12, 1926. Del Norte (Rio Grande County). H-H. Hanging/Broken neck. Casias was convicted of stabbing to death Carmen Barela (a.k.a. Barilla) on the main street of Monte Vista. Barela, a widow, was the mother of four children, and her death quickly led to lynching threats.456 She and Casias, a laborer, had been friends and both were of Mexican ethnicity. Casias pled guilty and said that the motive was jealousy. He did not speak English, and some officials considered him “unbalanced” because for many years he “suffered from a loathsome [unnamed] disease. There is nothing pretty about the case of Antonio Casias.”457 “He went to his death with the singular distinction of being the only prisoner ever executed in Colorado over whom no one displayed the slightest concern.”458

            54–55. RAYMOND JASPER NOAKES and ARTHUR ALONZO OSBORN. March 30, 1928. Hot Sulphur Springs (Grand County). W-W. Hanging. The two cousins were convicted of the robbery and murder of Fred N. Selak, a sixty-five-year-old hermit. Noakes and Osborn hanged Selak from a tree on his property, motivated not only by robbery but by a feud between the parties over a road owned by Selak that Osborn and Noakes needed to use to remove lumber from a nearby property. Selak had forbidden Osborn and Noakes from using his road. Osborn had been previously arrested and fined for assaulting Selak. Osborn was a lumberjack and twenty-two years old at the time of the crime. Noakes was also a lumberjack and twenty at the time of the crime. The two cousins were very close, having been raised as brothers for the previous fifteen years. Upon their arrests three weeks after the murder, for purchasing items with coins owned by Selak, the men confessed and directed authorities to where the body was still hanging.459 At trial they pled not guilty by reason of insanity, and their convictions and death sentences were affirmed on appeal.460 Governor William H. Adams, though a strong foe of the death penalty, did not find grounds for commutation,461 even though Warden Francis E. Crawford and others traveled to Denver to plead the case.462

            56. EDWARD IVES. January 10, 1930. Denver. W-W. Hanging/Strangulation. A career criminal who had served five prior prison terms and was suspected in over one hundred Denver burglaries,463 Ives, forty-six at the time of his hanging, received a death sentence for the murder of Denver police officer Harry R. Ohle. Ives and an African-American friend, Henry Hill, had gone to a house in Denver that offered primarily black customers liquor and the services of prostitutes. While there, the police raided the house. The customers scattered, and Officer Ohle was shot as he searched under a bed. Mrs. Reese, the proprietor, was also shot and killed that night, but no one ever stood trial for that murder. Another officer was wounded.464 Although no one witnessed the murder of Officer Ohle, Ives possessed the gun used in the murder when he was arrested. Ives maintained his innocence, blaming the murder on Hill, and appealed his conviction to the Colorado Supreme Court under a law that prohibited the execution of anyone convicted solely on circumstantial evidence. The court, however, found the evidence sufficient to sustain the conviction and sentence.465 Alleging insanity, Ives was granted a short stay of execution so psychiatrists could examine him but this motion was unsuccessful. Shortly before the execution, Warden Crawford traveled to Denver to meet with the Governor William H. Adams to support the insanity claim and appeal for clemency.466 This, too, was unsuccessful. In his final statement, Ives continued to profess his innocence.467 The hanging was horribly botched. When the weight was dropped to jerk Ives upward, he accelerated skyward, but because Ives weighed only eighty pounds, the rope fell off the pulleys and Ives fell back to the ground. He was semi-conscious but yelled that “you can’t hang a man twice.”468 He was wrong. The second time the machinery worked, although it failed to break his neck.469

            57. HAROLD I. WEISS. May 28, 1930. Denver. W-W. Hanging/Strangulation. Weiss was convicted of the murder of his estranged wife. Both were Jewish Romanian by birth. Mrs. Weiss had sought alimony support from him for their three children, who, shortly before the murder, had been hospitalized for malnourishment. On the night of the murder, the couple went for a car ride to discuss payment, but a quarrel ensued and Mrs. Weiss jumped from the car. Weiss, age twenty-six and a proprietor of a cleaning establishment, then fired five shots at her with a gun he had purchased earlier that afternoon.470 Weiss picked her up and carried her into a neighboring home until the police and medical personnel arrived. “I hated her because she wouldn’t stop loving me,” said Weiss upon his arrest.471 His wife had filed for divorce three times before she was murdered, but the couple reconciled after the first two.472 The conviction was affirmed on appeal.473

            58–60. RALPH EMERSON FLEAGLE (July 10, 1930), HOWARD L. ROYSTON (July 18, 1930), and GEORGE J. ABSHIER (a.k.a. Bill Messick) (July 18, 1930). Lamar (Prowers County). W-W. Hanging/Broken neck, strangulation, strangulation. This trio killed four men in connection with a $220,000 robbery of the First National Bank in Lamar on May 23, 1928. The three men killed bank president A. Newton Parrish and his son, cashier John F. Parrish, at the scene. The three also took E.A. Kesinger, a teller at the bank, hostage and later murdered him in Kansas. In Kansas, the villains abducted Dr. W.W. Wineinger, a physician, and forced him to treat Royston, who had been wounded during the shoot-out in the bank. After Wineinger rendered care, the trio murdered him as well with a gunshot wound to the back of his head. Rewards totaling seven thousand dollars, including one thousand dollars from the Denver Post, were immediately offered, and stories about the murders dominated newspapers.474 On appeal, Fleagle claimed that the state promised him a sentence of life imprisonment in exchange for his confession and guilty plea for the murder of the bank president. The court agreed, but also stated that the district attorney did not explicitly ask the jury for death and that the district attorney did not have the power to usurp the jury by promising a sentence of life.475 Royston and Abshier also confessed, pled guilty, and had their convictions and sentences affirmed on appeal.476 Fleagle was hanged a week before the other two,477 and Abshier and Royston were permitted to decide that Abshier would be hanged before Royston.478 At the time of the hangings, a fourth member of the gang, Ralph’s brother Jake Fleagle, had not been apprehended, but a detective subsequently killed him in Branson, Missouri.479

            61. EMELIO HERRERA. August 20, 1930. Denver. H-H. Hanging/Broken neck. A railroad section hand, Herrera, age twenty-one, was convicted of murdering his wife, Maria, by firing four shots into her in the street outside their home.480 One of the bullets entered through her back. At first Herrera insisted that his wife had committed suicide, but quickly admitted that he had killed her.481 Later he gave what the state Supreme Court labeled—in affirming the conviction—as inconsistent and self-contradictory statements.482 Shortly before his death, Herrera told to a priest that he was a fullblooded Navajo Indian,483 although prison records, the Colorado Supreme Court, and the Denver Post classify him as having Mexican ethnicity and born in New Mexico.484 He accepted full responsibility for the murder before his execution.485

            62. WILLIAM MOYA. December 12, 1930. Denver. H-W. Hanging. Moya was convicted of murder by beating to death Joseph Zemp, his eighty-year-old landlord, in the course of a robbery. Moya, born in New Mexico and of Mexican ethnicity, argued self-defense. Zemp’s body was found stuffed in an outhouse. Eight years prior to this murder, Moya had been tried and acquitted for a New Mexico murder, but he received a prison term of six to eight years for perjury during that trial.486 The Colorado murder conviction was affirmed on appeal.487 He was thirty-three at the time of his execution.488

            63–65. CLAUDE RAY, JOHN WALKER, and ANDREW HALLIDAY. January 30, 1931. Eads (Kiowa County). W-W. Hangings/Strangulations. After robbing a bank in Manter, Kansas—a deed that earned them the nickname “Manter bandits”—the defendants fled to Colorado, where local authorities had been notified of their crime. While passing through Eads, Sheriff Coral A. Hickman stopped the trio, who then shot and killed the sheriff. The bandits continued their escape and later shot at three men, wounding two of them. The three then stole a car and fled back to Kansas before they were apprehended. All three defendants fully confessed to the murders as well as to between seven and ten bank robberies. The Colorado Supreme Court affirmed their convictions on appeal.489 Walker was forty-one, Ray, the triggerman, was twenty-three, and Halliday, who shouted to Ray, “[l]et him have it” at the time of the murder,490 was twenty-two when they were executed. The men were allowed to choose the order of the executions, which they determined by flipping coins.491 The one-thousand-pound weight on the gallows failed to break the men’s necks, and all three died by strangulation.492 The murders provoked strong sentiment for a return of capital punishment to Kansas, which had abolished it in 1907 and had not hosted an execution since 1870.493

            66. JAMES V. FOSTER. December 11, 1931. Greeley (Weld County). W-W. Hanging. Foster was convicted of the murder of his wife and three children by dousing them with gasoline and lighting them afire. Foster, age forty-five, was a salesman without prior criminal record. Foster’s attorney did not appeal because he did not believe that the court committed any error. Before the execution, Foster’s attorney and three prison officials expressed their belief that Foster was insane, as did the head of the Colorado Psychiatric Hospital who had examined Foster during the trial. Governor William H. Adams, however, who had never commuted a death sentence during his three terms in office, refused to intervene.494

                        67. E.J. FARMER. March 18, 1932. Craig (Moffat County). W-W. Hanging. A rancher, Farmer became involved in a dispute with two other ranchers, Earl Hopkins and Joe J. Jones, over the ownership of some hay located on Farmer’s ranch. The dispute ended when Farmer shot the two men. Farmer’s son-in-law witnessed the murders. Farmer first argued self-defense, but at trial he argued an insanity defense. On appeal, the Colorado Supreme Court affirmed the conviction.495 While on death row Farmer twice attempted suicide. Despite Colorado’s statute that greatly restricted attendance at executions, thirty people witnessed the hanging, including some relatives of Farmer’s victims.496

            68. JOE MAESTAS. May 27, 1932. San Luis (Costilla County). Other-W. Hanging. Maestas was convicted of the murder of Ben Addis, a cookie salesman, near Fort Garland. Addis and his sister were sleeping in their car, parked on the roadside, when Maestas and a companion, Agipito Fernandez, awakened them. Addis and his sister tried to escape, but Maestas shot Addis, who died the next day. Fernandez’s trial ended with a directed verdict of not guilty. Maestas, an exconvict who was inebriated the night of the crime, admitted to the shooting, initially claiming that it had been done in selfdefense. On appeal, he argued that although the state may have been able to prove second-degree murder, the proof of deliberate and premeditated design was insufficient to sustain a verdict of first-degree murder because of his inebriation.497 Maestas was twenty-five-years-old, and half-Navajo Indian and half-Mexican. At 240 pounds, he was the heaviest man ever hanged in Colorado.498

            69. NELIVELT MOSS (a.k.a. Nelivelt Elliott). March 10, 1933. Gunnison (Gunnison County). B-W. Hanging. Age twenty and drunk at the time of the crime, Moss killed an eighty-year-old white woman, Rena Schrienbeck, in retaliation for her racial slur and her accusation that he stole twenty dollars from her. Her body was found in a bed among the ashes of her home, which had burned to the ground. An autopsy revealed that she had been struck with a heavy object before the fire began.499 Moss, who confessed to the murder, had once received a ten-year sentence in Mississippi for an unknown crime but had escaped after serving only forty days. Some sixty legislators and state employees, curious about execution methods, witnessed the execution.500

                        70. WALTER “SHORTY” JONES (a.k.a. John Morgan). December 1, 1933. Grand Junction (Mesa County). W-W. Hanging/Strangulation. Jones became the forty-fifth man, and the last, to be hanged in the state prison in Cañon City.501 After he was sentenced to hang, the Colorado legislature changed its method of execution from hanging to asphyxiation.502 He was convicted of the murder of Hartford Johnson, a fellow tramp. His accomplice, Montad J. Nelson, received a life sentence for his role in the crime. Jones and Nelson plotted to rob two fellow tramps traveling on a train. Each armed himself with a heavy bolt and struck one of the men, and then, together, they threw the victims off the train. Jones’s victim, Hartford Johnson, died; the other victim lived and testified at trial. The Colorado Supreme Court affirmed the conviction on appeal.503 Jones’s execution was postponed one week so that he could enjoy Thanksgiving.504 As his last request, Jones asked for some beer, and Warden Roy Best obliged by giving him two bottles. “A blizzard howled a dirge around the gray prison walls as the twenty-three-year-old, two hundred-pound slayer was jerked from his feet in the hemp noose . . . .”505 Jones took fourteen minutes to strangle to death.506

            71. WILLIAM CODY KELLEY. June 22, 1934. Delta (Delta County). W-W. Asphyxiation. Kelly and an accomplice, Lloyd Frady, were convicted of the murder of rancher Russell Downing by beating him with a pipe, binding him with barbed wire, and then burning down his house. The defendants were tried separately. Both blamed the murder on the other, and both were sentenced to death. Kelley claimed that he was very drunk at the time of the murder and remembered very little, but he insisted on his innocence until the time of his death.507 His conviction was not appealed.508 The preparations for the execution were extensive. Fifteen Colorado physicians arrived at the prison to witness the execution, anxious to learn about the effects of the gas. “The gruesome custom of ‘cutting the heart out,’ which has been practiced for years following hangings, to make certain of death, will be abandoned with the new method of execution.”509 A few days before the execution, the gas chamber was tested on a pig, which squealed and struggled momentarily before proving that the chamber worked. The warden also tested it with a dog, a pigeon, and some canaries. After Kelley died, “Warden Best pronounced the execution the most successful and painless one ever conducted at the penitentiary.”510 Hundreds of requests were received from physicians from all over the country for copies of the autopsy report.511 In exchange for his testimony against Kelley, Frady received a recommendation for a conviction for second-degree murder, with no death sentence, from the district attorney, but the jury nonetheless sentenced him to death. After Kelley’s execution, Frady argued on appeal that the judge should have accepted this agreement. His conviction and death sentence, however, were affirmed, although the Colorado Supreme Court recommended to the executive branch that the sentence be commuted.512 In 1935, his sentence was commuted and he became wealthy in prison selling “curio goods,” such as leather work, beaded arts, and silver jewelry. With the earnings, he purchased a new home for his parents and a new car for himself, which was waiting for him at the prison gates when he was released in 1949.513

            72–73. LOUIS PACHECO and JOHN PACHECO. May 31, 1935. Greeley (Weld County). H-W. Asphyxiation. “Two fiendish killers invaded the ranch home of Clifford Smith, 32, . . . shot Smith and Robert Griffin, 16, a ranch hand, to death, wounded Mrs. [Violet] Smith and then fled after an unsuccessful attempt to cremate all three victims.”514 Griffin was shot first as he lay in bed, and later the Smiths were shot when they returned home from an outing. Two brothers—John Pacheco, twenty-two, and Louis Pacheco, a thirty-seven-yearold ex-convict recently released from prison—who at one time had worked for Smith, ultimately confessed to the crime. The brothers had two motives: robbery of fifty dollars that Smith was known to have and arguments over the rustling of a calf. At trial, Mrs. Smith identified the brothers and also described an “attack upon her person” after she had been shot, which may have been a sexual assault.515 The convictions were affirmed on appeal.516 As the brothers sat in two of the three chairs in Colorado’s gas chamber, they were “[s]tolid as a pair of Aztec idols.”517

            74. LEONARD (LEE) BELONGIA. June 21, 1935. Greeley (Weld County). W-W. Asphyxiation. Belongia was convicted of the murder of a rancher, Albert E. Oesterick. He killed the rancher and wounded the rancher’s wife as they lay sleeping in their beds, and beat the couple’s thirteen-year-old son over the head with a rifle. Belongia, aged twenty-four at the time, worked for the rancher as a sheepherder, receiving room and board in compensation. He murdered Oesterick because he felt he was underpaid and needed money so he could marry. He fully confessed upon his arrest. Shortly before the murder, Belongia had been released from a Minnesota prison, where he had served a sentence of eight years for auto theft.518 At trial, he admitted the crimes. A physician also testified, rendering the opinion that Belongia had the mentality of a ten-year-old.519 Belongia welcomed the death sentence and made no attempt to avoid it. His last request was for an opportunity to will his body to a medical school so scientists could examine his brain and determine what made him a murderer.520 The offer was accepted by the medical school at the University of Colorado in Denver, but then rejected because no one offered the ten dollars needed to ship the body to Denver.521 After his death, the Denver Post published a letter he dictated explaining his own thoughts on what had caused his criminality.522

            75. OTIS MCDANIELS. February 14, 1936. Telluride (San Miguel County). W-W. Asphyxiation. McDaniels, age thirty, and his brother Herbert, age twenty, robbed and bound a Montezuma County sheep rancher, leaving him to die of exposure and starvation in his isolated cabin. Once arrested, they were held in the jail of neighboring Glenwood Springs to maximize security. Two months later, on the ride back to Montezuma County for arraignment, they overpowered the sheriff, W.W. Dunlap, and a deputy who were transporting them. The brothers grabbed a gun, which Otis used to murder Sheriff Dunlap.523 Otis received a life sentence for the first murder and a death sentence for the second, while Herbert received life sentences for both. Otis admitted the murders, but said that they were unintended. He had served previous prison terms in Utah and New Mexico. The warden allowed four other convicts to witness the execution.524

            76-77. FRANK AGUILAR (August 13, 1937) and JOE ARRIDY (a.k.a. Arrdy) (January 6, 1939). Pueblo. (H-W and Other-W). Asphyxiation. Aguilar and Arridy were convicted of the August 16, 1936, murder of Dorothy Drain. The men were accused of breaking into the Drain home, sexually assaulting Dorothy, and then killing her and seriously wounding her younger sister with a hatchet. In 1925, Arridy, who was born in Pueblo shortly after his parents immigrated from Syria, had been adjudicated as mentally incompetent and sent to “[t]he State Home and Training School for Mental Defectives” in Grand Junction. At the institution, his IQ was measured at forty-six. He was released after a nine-month stay, but three years later returned to the institution. In 1936, he walked away from the Home and was not seen until his arrest in Wyoming sixteen days later—ten days after the murder. There he offered the first of many confessions to the crime, with each confession changing a bit to conform with newly discovered facts. Arridy’s arrest surprised officials in Pueblo, who had already arrested Aguilar, a Mexican national, for the murder and discovered the murder weapon in Aguilar’s home. The Wyoming authorities then secured a confession from Arridy in which he said that he had acted alone in the murder. A jury trial first was conducted to determine if he was sane, where three psychiatrists testified that Arridy had the mind of a five or six-year-old child. Law enforcement officials, however, claimed that he was sane, and that position prevailed, even without the support of any mental health experts. Arridy was then convicted of murder in a separate jury proceeding, in which the defense attorney again focused on proving that Arridy was insane rather than challenging the “evidence.” The conviction was affirmed on appeal, and further attempts to show that Arridy was mentally incompetent for execution failed, each time by four-to-three votes in the Colorado Supreme Court.525 Meanwhile, Aguilar was executed in 1937.526 During the execution, one of the official witnesses, Adlai S. “Ad” Hamilton, a Pueblo resident and conductor for the Missouri Pacific Railroad, had a heart attack and died.527 During his eighteen months on death row, Arridy became close friends with the warden, Roy Best. The warden, who spoke out against the pending execution, bought him toys, picture books, and for Christmas in 1938, a wind-up toy train that quickly became Arridy’s favorite toy.528 Arridy’s appellate attorney was Colorado’s future attorney general, (Mr.) Gail Ireland. Later, the case formed the basis for a seminal book-length case study written by Robert Perske. Among other things, the book explains how the desire to please through false confessions, coupled with ineffective assistance of counsel and an environment in which there was little concern for understanding the mentally retarded, may very well have cost an innocent person his life.529

                        78. PETE CATALINA. September 29, 1939. Salida (Chaffee County). W-H. Asphyxiation. A native of Italy,530 Catalina, forty-one, was executed for the murder of twenty-three-year-old John Trujillo. Catalina was the proprietor of a cigar store, in which he allowed gambling. Trujillo, a customer, purchased some poker chips, but a quarrel erupted because Trujillo owed Catalina fifty cents more than he paid and Trujillo openly accused other players of cheating. The quarrel ended when Catalina shot him.531 The conviction was affirmed on appeal.532 Prior to the execution, the warden used a pig to test the gas chamber’s lethality. He invited twenty inmates to watch the pig’s death—mostly young men convicted of armed robbery— believing that watching the spectacle death would deter them from future criminality. Catalina was executed in Colorado’s three-seat gas chamber with Angelo Agnes (q.v.), with warden Roy Best serving as the executioner. They were “[t]he quickest and most humane execution[s] we ever had,” said prison officials.533 Later, the prison revealed that leaking fumes drove spectators from the room.534

            79. ANGELO AGNES. September 29, 1939. Denver. B-B. Asphyxiation. Executed for killing Malinda Agnes, his wife. He was thirty-one at the time of his death. The couple was living with Malinda’s mother and brother, and Angelo left after a domestic quarrel. Two weeks later, they met at another location and he shot her.535 Agnes had a prior conviction for burglary.536

            80. HARRY LEOPOLD. December 8, 1939. Denver. W-W. Asphyxiation. Leopold was convicted of the murder of a Denver tavern owner, Emil Albrecht. Leopold, age thirty at the time of his execution, had been paroled from the State Penitentiary in Cañon City in September 1936, where he had served a sentence for aggravated assault. He and a prison friend, Robert Gwynne, robbed Albrecht’s tavern and shot Albrecht, killing him instantly. After the men fled in a taxi, police confronted them about three hours after the murder. In the ensuing shoot-out, police killed Gwynne and wounded Leopold. As a newspaper recounted: “Less than three hours after a pair of gunmen shot and killed a tavern keeper last night, one of them was a bullet-riddled corpse and the other was a badly wounded prisoner.”537 Leopold later confessed, stating that the murder was accidental. On a failed appeal, Leopold only contested the sentence, not the sentence.538 At Leopold’s request, warden Roy Best delayed the execution for thirty minutes so Leopold could listen to a favorite radio show.539 Leopold was put to death in “the quickest and cleanest gas execution ever held at the prison.”540

            81. JOE COATES. January 10, 1941. Denver. B-W. Asphyxiation. Employed in the commercial sex industry as a pimp, Coates was convicted of the murder of Denver police detective Frank Renovato. Coates had previous convictions for petty offenses, such as vagrancy and disorderly conduct, and also had seven arrests in the previous four years. The murder resulted from an argument between Coates, his old girlfriend whom he was pimping, the man she was living with, and their landlord. Coates threatened the woman’s paramour and landlord with a gun, and the landlord rushed to find a police officer. The landlord returned to the scene with Detective Renovato, whom he found on a nearby street. A shootout ensued, and Detective Renovato was killed in the crossfire.541 Coates—a “marijuana-crazed negro”542—was identified immediately after the murder by an eyewitness543 and was arrested six days after the murder.544 Upon arrest, he admitted firing the fatal shots but claimed they were in self-defense. The district attorney, however, announced that he would demand a death sentence.545 Within two months, “Joe Coates, 61, the shuffling, stoop-shouldered Negro known as ‘the bad man of Larimar Street,’ was condemned to die . . . .”546 The conviction and sentence were affirmed on appeal,547 although the Colorado Supreme Court delayed the execution at least four times.548 After visiting with Coates, Governor Ralph L. Carr denied clemency. A newspaper described the execution as “the easiest and quickest death of any of the fourteen men” who had succumbed in Colorado’s gas chamber.549

            82. JAMES STEPHENS (a.k.a. “Mancos Jim”). June 20, 1941. Cortez (Montezuma County). W-W. Asphyxiation. Stephens was convicted of murdering Lynn Dean, town marshal of Mancos, Colorado. Stephens worked as a railroad section hand. On the night of the murder, Stephens had been drinking heavily and was belligerent, and Officer Dean told him to go home. When Stephens instead went to another tavern, Dean arrested him but did not inspect him for hidden weapons, and Stephens then shot Dean. The conviction was affirmed on appeal.550 At the time of the execution, the warden claimed that Stephens, age seventy-six, was the oldest person ever executed in the history of the United States. In the death chamber, Stephens wiggled his left hand out of the strap that bound it to the chair, removed the mask covering his face, loosened his right hand and the waist strap holding him to the chair, sang a Navajo death chant, and waited calmly for the gas to hit his nostrils.551

                        83. MARTIN SUKLE. May 22, 1942. Colorado Springs (El Paso County). W-W. Asphyxiation. Suckle was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of his second wife’s “partner in illicit relations,” Jack Russell.552 Sukle was also arrested, but never tried, for killing this wife, Marie. A thirty-five-yearold janitor, Sukle first killed Russell and two days later killed Marie. Notably, Sunkle had served three years in prison in Montana for attempting to murder his first wife. Upon his arrest, Sukle, an employee of a psychiatric hospital, gave a full confession. On appeal, the conviction for Russell’s murder was reversed because during deliberations, the jury forwarded a question to the judge about whether the defendant, if sentenced to life, would be eligible for parole. The judge answered that he would be eligible, and the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that this question was not within the jury’s proper concern.553 Sukle was retried, reconvicted, and resentenced to death, and this conviction and sentence were affirmed on appeal.554 After visiting with him in prison, Governor Ralph L. Carr denied the request for clemency.555

            84. DONALD H. FEARN. October 23, 1942. Pueblo. W-W. Asphyxiation. Fearn received a death sentence for kidnapping, raping, torturing, and shooting a sixteen-year-old high school student, Alice Porter, the daughter of a former Pueblo detective. Thirty-six hours before the murder, Fearn’s wife gave birth to their second child. Fearn abducted the victim at gunpoint off a Pueblo street and took her to an abandoned ranch. He forced her to disrobe, bound her, and burned her two dozen times with a wire he had heated in the fireplace. He then raped her, beat her over the head with a hammer, and shot her to make sure she was dead. Her body was later found in a cistern. During the crimes, a heavy rainstorm passed over the area that caused Fearn’s car to sink in mud. As a result, Fearn had to walk several miles for assistance, which led to his arrest. Fearn, a twenty-six-year-old railroad brakeman, immediately confessed.556 He had no prior arrests, but, in his confession, told authorities that since childhood he had felt an uncontrollable urge to commit this type of crime. Fearn believed that he deserved to die. He did not appeal his conviction and was executed six months after the crimes. His last request, for a bottle of beer, was honored. The victim’s father and two of her uncles witnessed the execution.557

            85. JOHN SULLIVAN. September 20, 1943. Colorado Springs (El Paso County). W-W. Asphyxiation. Sullivan was convicted of sexually assaulting and murdering Carrie Winona Culbertson, whom he believed had mistreated his employer the previous summer.558 Sullivan went to Culbertson’s home to deliver some mail and using a letter opener he found there, stabbed her to death. Upon his arrest, Sullivan, a forty-twoyear- old handyman, was described as a “decidedly subnormal person” by the sheriff.559 His confession was the state’s main evidence against him at trial, where the experts were “practically unanimous” in their opinions that Sullivan had limited intelligence.560 On appeal, Sullivan’s attorneys challenged the death sentence, arguing that Colorado’s restriction against executing people under age eighteen did not allow execution of people with subnormal intelligence. This appeal failed, and Sullivan went to his death with little debate about the propriety of executing the mentally retarded.561

            86. GEORGE MASAYOSHI HONDA. October 8, 1943. Denver. A-A.562 Asphyxiation. The owner of a restaurant, Honda quarreled with his wife, Mary, over her failure to design menus for the day and because, as he told authorities, he felt that she never loved him. He then stabbed her to death in the lobby of the Denver hotel where they lived.563 Honda, thirtyseven, had no previous record of criminality. He was tried in an atmosphere of anti-Japanese sentiments in the middle of World War II. Efforts to delay the trial until after the war ended did not succeed. The conviction was affirmed on appeal.564 Honda used his last statement to express his hope that America would win the war.565

            87. HOWARD C. (“SONNY”) POTTS (a.k.a. Metzgar). June 22, 1945. Denver. W-W. Asphyxiation. Potts was convicted of murdering his wife, Mary. Potts beat her to death and then buried her in the basement of their home. Neighbors, knowing that relations between the couple were precarious and that Potts had a history of spousal abuse, became suspicious when they did not see Mary for several weeks. Potts explained that she had gone to visit relatives in California. Neighbors, however, called police when they saw Potts carrying a pick and shovel into his house. When the police confronted him nearly seven weeks after the murder, Potts confessed and directed them to where he had buried the body.566 Potts, thirty-nine at the time of the crime, had worked for Western Electric as a shipping clerk for the previous fourteen years and had no prior arrests. The conviction was affirmed on appeal.567 The execution was described as “routine.”568

            88. CHARLES FORD SILLIMAN. November 9, 1945. Littleton (Arapahoe County). W-W. Asphyxiation. Silliman was arrested for killing his wife, Esther, and four-year-old daughter, Patricia, by poisoning them with strychnine. He was convicted of the former murder but was not tried for the latter. Silliman, thirty-four, worked at a truck freight dock. In his confession given shortly after his arrest, Silliman said that he and his wife had entered into a murder-suicide pact because of indebtedness, but that he lost nerve when it was time to kill himself.569 His insanity defense at trial failed. Shortly before the execution, two psychiatrists concluded that he was insane, but neither the Colorado Supreme Court nor the governor intervened to stop the execution.570 His execution was delayed two hours while approximately 550 Fremont County merchants and farmers enjoyed a previously scheduled banquet at the prison.571

            89. FRANK MARTZ. November 23, 1945. Littleton (Arapahoe County). W-W. Asphyxiation. Martz was convicted of murdering a three-year-old girl, Kathleen Geist. Martz beat, strangled, and mutilated Geist, whose body was found crammed under a kitchen sink. Martz had lured the girl away from her mother at a tavern. A Denver police officer noticed Martz walking with the girl and remembered where they went, and this led to the discovery of the victim and to Martz’s arrest. When arrested, just two hours after the murder, Martz claimed he remembered abducting the girl, but because he was so drunk, he could not remember what he did with her. He stuck to this statement until the time he died. Martz, aged thirtythree at the time of the crime, was a staff sergeant stationed at Fort Logan, where he worked as a cook. He had no prior convictions,572 and this conviction was affirmed on appeal.573 A day before the scheduled execution, Martz was examined by a psychiatrist, at the order of a district court judge, to determine competence for execution.574 The judge, however, ultimately concluded that Martz was sane, and he was executed on schedule.575

            90. JOHN HENRY BROWN. May 23, 1947. Denver. B-B.576 Asphyxiation. Brown was convicted of murdering Evelyn Smith, his paramour. Brown, age fifty at the time of his death, had served six years of a ten-year sentence in Missouri for armed-robbery. He and Smith had gone to a social gathering, and Brown became jealous over attentions paid to her by another man and her refusal to leave the party and return to Brown’s room with him. Brown left the party, returning with a shotgun a short while later, again demanding that Smith leave with him. She refused, and Brown shot her.577 At trial, Brown pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, but this failed, and the

conviction was affirmed on appeal.578 The execution was described as routine.579

            91. HAROLD GILLETTE (a.k.a. Philip King). June 20, 1947. Ft. Collins (Larimer County). W-W. Asphyxiation. Gillette was executed for the murder of Glen Cook, a ranch foreman. Gillette stood outside Cook’s house and shot him in the back while he sat in his living room. Gillette then entered the house, tied Mrs. Cook to a bed, locked two youngsters in a room, stole a small amount of property, and absconded in the victim’s car. Gillette had worked as a ranch hand at the ranch and said that he killed Cook when Cook learned that Gillette, in an effort to hide his previous record of criminality, had been using an assumed name. At trial, Gillette pleaded guilty and was bitter that the jury still imposed a death sentence. Later, he was angry that the governor did not commute his sentence.580 No appeal was taken. Gillette was thirty-one at the time of his death. He had served previous prison terms in five states.581

            92. ROBERT S. (“BAT”) BATTALINO. January 7, 1949. Golden (Jefferson County). W-W. Asphyxiation. A restaurant cook, Battalino was fired by the owner, Michael H. Randolph, who accused him of stealing money from the cash register. Along with another restaurant employee, Archie Miller, Battalino kidnapped Randolph at gunpoint, drove him to a rural area, and stole $450 from him. Battalino then shot Randolph in the forehead. The body was discovered several weeks later. Upon their arrests, both Miller and Battalino confessed. At trial, Battalino argued an insanity defense, but this failed. His conviction was affirmed on appeal.582 At the time of his execution, Battalino, thirty-nine, spat at a priest, stated to the warden “I hate your guts,” and that he looked forward to joining his friends in hell.583 Miller was acquitted for his role in the crime.584          93. PAUL J. SCHNEIDER. December 16, 1949. W-W. Akron (Washington County). Asphyxiation. A triple-murderer, Schneider was executed for the robbery-murder of gas station owner Frank J. Ford. Schneider abducted Mr. Ford from his Denver gas station in September 1947, and his body was discovered one month later approximately one hundred miles northeast of the city. A concussion, caused by a blow from a tire iron, and a gunshot caused Mr. Ford’s death. One month after the murder, Schneider was apprehended in Kentucky when he tried to cash a check that Ford once possessed. Schneider soon offered a complete confession, not only to the murder of Ford but also to two other robbery-murders in Michigan gas stations committed after Ford was slain. This confession led authorities to Ford’s body. At trial, Schneider pled not guilty by reason of insanity, but three physicians testified to his sanity. The Colorado Supreme Court affirmed the conviction,585 and the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari.586 The trial judge visited Schneider in his death row cell just three hours before the execution. Schneider was twenty-five at the time of his death. Approximately fifty people crowded around the gas chamber to watch his final moments.587

            94. JOHN J. BERGER, JR. October 26, 1951. Denver. W-W. Asphyxiation. Berger was sentenced to death for murdering his wife, Pauline. For at least five years prior to the murder, Berger had beaten her, resulting in frequent arrests. He accused her of infidelity and a divorce was pending. Berger had an alcohol problem that caused him to be especially pugilistic. They had four children, the oldest of whom, Robert, was seven years old at the time of the crime. Berger was convicted of arson in June, 1947, and while traveling to prison for that conviction he said that upon his release, he planned to kill his wife. He was freed from his prison term, which included three months in a psychiatric ward, on January 26, 1948.588 Berger returned home and that night strangled his wife. He was thirty at the time of the crime. At trial, his son Robert served as the chief prosecution witness589 and vacationed with the trial judge immediately after the trial.590 The child’s competency to testify was challenged on appeal.591 This challenge failed, although three justices dissented because the evidence of guilt, while strong, was circumstantial and not sufficient to sustain a death sentence.592 Berger was executed after two psychiatrists concluded he was sane.593 “I do not wish to have any part in the execution of an insane man,” said Governor Thornton.594

            95. BESALIREZ MARTINEZ. September 7, 1956. H-H. Eagle (Eagle County). Asphyxiation. Martinez was convicted of murder after walking into a tavern and shooting its owner, Perfecto Cruz. Within a few hours, Martinez was arrested and had offered a full confession. Twenty-two months before the murder, Cruz had thrown Martinez out of the bar for causing a disturbance, and Martinez attacked Cruz with a knife, resulting in a six-month jail sentence for assault.595 He was tried by an all-male jury and convicted, and the conviction was affirmed on appeal.596 After meeting with Martinez’s wife and five of his eight children, Governor Edwin C. Johnson denied clemency. Forty-four years old at the time of his death, Martinez, a miner, was the first to be executed in a newly built gas chamber.597

            96. JOHN GILBERT GRAHAM. January 11, 1957. Denver. W-W. Asphyxiation. Graham was convicted of murdering his mother, Daisie E. King. Graham blew up a United Airlines DC-6 airplane on which she was a passenger by packing twenty-five sticks of dynamite in her suitcase. The blast also killed forty-three additional passengers and crewmembers. The bomb exploded eighteen minutes after the plane, en-route to Portland, Oregon, departed from Denver’s Stapleton Airport.598 The plane departed fifteen minutes late, but if it had departed on time, the explosion would have occurred as the plane ascended over the Rocky Mountains, making the identification of the cause of the crash much more difficult. Graham, age twenty-four at the time of execution, primarily worked in construction and drove trucks, had completed one year of college, and had prior convictions for bootlegging, carrying a concealed weapon, and check forgery. Some alleged his motive was to receive $37,500 from a trip insurance policy purchased at the direction of his mother, but the bulk of the evidence pointed to a troubled relationship with his mother, who lived with Graham, his wife, and their two children.599 Agents quickly determined that a bomb had brought down the plane, and two weeks after the crash, they interviewed Graham because of questions raised after they inspected the remnants of his mother’s luggage. At that time he gave a full confession. Graham withdrew his insanity plea after six psychiatrists found him to be sane. After his conviction, Graham attempted to prevent his case from being appealed, but the Colorado Supreme Court nonetheless reviewed and affirmed it.600 Before his death, Graham invited Zeke Scher, a Denver Post reporter who had covered his trial, to sit on his lap while the execution was taking place.601 This invitation was declined. During the execution, Graham gasped, screamed, and strained at the straps, prompting the warden to comment that “this was not a normal procedure,” but that it had happened before in other executions.602

            97. LEROY ADOLPH LEICK. January 22, 1960. Denver. WW. Asphyxiation. Leick was convicted of murdering his wife, Evelyn, by beating and strangling her to death. Evelyn’s sister was also beaten, and initial reports of the crime also indicated that the suspected culprits, thugs attempting a robbery, had beaten Leick as well.603 A day after the murder, however, a man came forward to say that two years earlier, Leick had tried to hire him to commit the murder. He had reported this to the police at the time, but no action was taken.604 Two others said that Leick had independently approached them for the same mission.605 Two days after the murder, both Leick and a man he had hired to stage the robbery, Gene Dukes, confessed to the plot, stating that the motive was to win life insurance money.606 At trial, Leick claimed an insanity defense. The Colorado Supreme Court reversed his first conviction,607 but the conviction resulting from the second trial was affirmed.608 Efforts to challenge his mental competency for execution also failed.609 Shortly before the execution, Leick unsuccessfully tried to absolve Dukes, who had been sentenced to life imprisonment, from responsibility for the murder.610 Leick, a thirty-six-year-old business executive for a Denver appliance firm, had a prior conviction for stealing an eight hundred-dollar diamond ring.611 His execution ended six years of legal battles, almost all of which concerned his mental status.612

            98. DAVID FRANCIS EARLY. August 11, 1961. Littleton (Arapahoe County). W-W. Asphyxiation. Early was convicted of the murder of Regina Knight and accused of (but not tried for) murdering her husband, Merrill, and the couple’s fifteenyear- old daughter, Karen. Merrill Knight was a prominent Denver attorney who had befriended him. The murders occurred four days after Early, who had also served prison terms in New Mexico and Colorado, was released from a federal penitentiary.613 According to one report, he had informed a psychologist at the penitentiary that he intended to commit a murder as soon as he could after his release.614 He broke into the Knight home, and finding no one at home, waited for the family to return. In the home he found a gun and a rifle. One by one over a six-hour period, as the family returned, he bound them in different rooms in the house. He then shot them all, except for their son, who managed to escape and was not harmed. Neighbors quickly apprehended him, and he immediately confessed.615 At trial he pled not guilty by reason of insanity and supported this assertion with the testimony of two psychologists and four psychiatrists, who concluded he was paranoid schizophrenic. Five psychiatrists testifying for the state, however, found him to be sane. The jury rejected the insanity defense, and the conviction was affirmed on appeal.616 As he entered the gas chamber, Early, thirty-two, apologized for his crimes.617

            99. HAROLD DAVID WOOLEY. March 9, 1962. Golden (Jefferson County). W-W. Asphyxiation. Wooley, thirty-nine at the time of his death, was executed for the murder of a wealthy Denver “socialite,” William Scott Wright. Mary Pearl Walker, Wooley’s common-law wife, who stood beside Wooley when he shot Wright and helped bury the body, was also convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.618 Wright was a friend of the duo’s, and had invited the couple for a brief vacation in his mountain cabin. There, Wright was killed by a single bullet wound to his head as he slept. For three months thereafter, the couple cashed checks made out to Wooley and pretended that their friend had gone on vacation. On September 15, Wright’s body was discovered and two days later both Wooley and Walker confessed that they had plotted the murder.619 Wooley, who worked for his father in an upholstery shop, had no prior convictions. His claim of insanity failed, and the conviction was affirmed on appeal.620 Walker claimed shortly before the execution that she had fired the fatal shot, but the authorities did not find her statement to be credible. Shortly before the execution, Wooley was permitted to visit with Walker, and he gave her most of his possessions, including a parakeet that he had been allowed to keep in jail.621 Two months before his death, Wooley denied his previous confessions and pleaded that he was innocent, and he continued to maintain his innocence throughout the remainder of his life.622

            100. WALTER J. HAMMIL (a.k.a. Hammill). May 25, 1962. Denver. W-W. Asphyxiation. Age thirty-one at the time of his death, the former circus animal trainer was convicted of murdering eleven-year-old Lester G. Brown, Jr., as part of a sex-related crime. Hammil was arrested the day after the crime and immediately confessed, explaining that he had invited the young boy to return to the circus one night, promising him a free ride on an elephant. Hammil choked him to prevent him from alerting adults when the boy refused his sexual advances. Hammil was arrested the next day. He confessed, led police to the body, and acknowledged that he would probably have to die for the crime.623 Hammil had a long record of prior convictions and delinquencies, dating back to when he was nine years old.624 Physicians “described Hammil as mentally retarded but legally sane.”625

            101. JOHN BIZUP, JR. August 14, 1964. Pueblo. W-W. Asphyxiation. Bizup was executed for the robbery-murder of a cab driver, Roy Don Bussey.626 Bizup, age thirty, had been hitchhiking through Colorado at the time of the crime. He had been in reform schools and jails since age twelve.627 Bizup confessed to the murder and claimed an insanity defense. One psychiatrist supported that claim, while three opposed it. The conviction was affirmed on appeal,628 and his petition for a writ of habeas corpus was denied.629 Shortly before his death, a psychiatrist concluded that Bizup was sane, and Governor John Love refused to commute the sentence.630 During the execution, cries of “killers” and “murderers” yelled by other prisoners and directed at the prison staff were heard in the death chamber.631

            102. LUIS JOSE MONGE. June 2, 1967. Denver. H-H. Asphyxiation. Monge was sentenced to death for the murder of his pregnant wife, Leonarda. Monge also killed three of the couple’s ten children: Alan, age six, Vincent, age four, and Teresa, eleven months. Monge was a native of Puerto Rico who grew up in New York. Immediately after the four murders, Monge called police and admitted his guilt. A salesman, Monge had no prior felony convictions, although in 1961 he abandoned his family for two months and served a short jail sentence in Louisiana for vagrancy.632 The alleged motive for the murders was “to prevent exposure of sex crimes committed by defendant with his own children.”633 Monge beat his wife to death with a steel bar as she slept, stabbed Teresa, choked Vincent, and bludgeoned Alan with the steel bar.634 After pleading not guilty by reason of insanity, psychiatrists evaluated Monge and found him to be sane. He then insisted on pleading guilty to firstdegree murder. A jury that was convened for the penalty phase of the trial recommended death, and the conviction and sentence were affirmed on appeal. In January 1966, Governor Love suspended all executions in Colorado pending a referendum on capital punishment by voters, but on November 8, 1966, the voters decided to retain the death penalty by a three-to-one margin. In March 1967, Monge attracted national attention when he asked a Denver court to allow him to be hanged at high noon on the front steps of the Denver City and County Building. This request was denied.635 The following month, Monge fired his attorneys and directed that no attempts should be made to save his life; nonetheless, his surviving children appealed for clemency. Doctors again evaluated Monge’s mental status and found him mentally competent for execution.636 A week before his death, Monge shared a final meal with his surviving seven children.637 On the eve of the execution, some seventy members of the Colorado Council to Abolish Capital Punishment gathered on the steps of the state capitol building in Denver to protest the execution. Monge was forty-eight at the time of his death.638 As he wished, one of his corneas was transplanted to a teenaged reformatory inmate upon his death.639 He was the last person executed in the United States before all capital statutes were effectively voided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1972.640 

 

ENDNOTES 

                338. After the inmate’s name, date of execution, and location of conviction, information on the race of defendant, followed by race of victim, is presented. Prisoners whose heritage is at least half African-American are coded as Black, and European immigrants to America are coded as White. One Syrian defendant and one defendant who was half Mexican and half Navajo Indian are classified as “other.” The race information is followed by the method of execution (hanging or asphyxiation), and, for hanging, the cause of death if known (broken neck or strangulation).

                339. WAYNE GARD, FRONTIER JUSTICE 206 (1949). See also JEROME C. SMILEY,         

HISTORY OF DENVER 339 (1901).

                340. SMILEY, supra note 339, at 339; Curtis, supra note 1, at 66, 70–71; Leonard, Avenging Mary Rose, supra note 11, at 16–18; Williams, supra note 13, at 294–95; Murder and Execution, supra note 2, at 3.

                341. SMILEY, supra note 339, at 342.

                342. Id.; Burg, supra note 14, at 514; Williams, supra note 13, at 295–96.

                343. SMILEY, supra note 339, at 342; Williams, supra note 13, at 296; Execution of Marcus Gredler, THE WESTERN MOUNTAINEER, June 28, 1860, at 8.

                344. SMILEY, supra note 339, at 343.

                345. GARD, supra note 339, at 206; ALICE POLK HILL, TALES OF THE COLORADO PIONEERS 57–61 (1884); William MacLeod Raine, The Gordon Case, in DENVER MURDERS 13 (Lee Casey ed., 1946); Leonard, Avenging Mary Rose, supra note 11, at 24–25; Williams, supra note 13, at 298–300.

                346. GARD, supra note 339, at 207; SMILEY, supra note 339, at 348; Williams, supra note 13, at 300–02; Murder of Thomas Freeman, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Dec. 6, 1860, at 2; The Waters Trial, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Dec. 19, 1860, at 2; Trial of Patrick Waters for the Murder of Thomas R. Freeman Before a Court of the People, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Dec. 20, 1860, at 2; The Execution of Waters, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Dec. 21, 1860, at 2.

                347. The Van Horn Case, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Dec. 2, 1863, at 2; William S. Van Horn, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Dec. 23, 1863, at 1.

                348. Stephen J. Leonard, Judge Lynch in Colorado, 1859–1919, 3 COLO. HERITAGE 3 (Autumn 2000); FRANK HALL, HISTORY OF THE STATE OF COLORADO, VOL. II, at 150–54 (1890).

                349. Robbing and Murder!, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Jan. 6, 1866, at 1; Justice Appeased, supra note 31, at 1; The Execution, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, May 25, 1866, at 4 [hereinafter The Execution].

                350. Prisoners Sentenced, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Apr. 28, 1866, at 4.

                351. HALL, supra note 348, at 154.

                352. The Penalty Paid: Miears, the Murderer of Bonacina, Hanged, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Jan. 25, 1873, at 4 [hereinafter The Penalty Paid].

                353. Execution of Franklin Foster and Henry Stone for the Murder of Isaac H. Augustus and Sluman, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, May 24, 1866, at 1.

                354. The Execution, supra note 349, at 4.

                355. ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Feb. 19, 1868, at 4; ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Feb. 20, 1868, at 4.

                356. ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Feb. 19, 1870, at 4.

                357. The Scaffold: Execution of George Smith, Two Thousand People Present, COLO. TRIB., Feb. 24, 1870, at 2.

                358. People v. Myers, 1 Colo. 508 (1872).

                359. HALL, supra note 348, at 147–50.

                360. N. HARRISON, A REVIEW OF THE TRIAL OF THEODORE MYERS, FOR THE MURDER OF GEORGE M. BONACINA (1873) (on file in Archives, Norlin Library, University of Colorado-Boulder).

                361. The Penalty Paid, supra note 352 at 4.

                362. KING, supra note 51, at 163 n.3; The Gallows, PUEBLO CHIEFTAN (Colo.), Feb. 3, 1877, at 1; The Execution, supra note 349, at 2.

                363. Nunez Hanged for the Murder of Luis Rascone, PUEBLO CHIEFTAN (Colo.), Mar. 15, 1879, at 4.

                364. Sentenced to Hang, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Apr. 30, 1880, at 5.

                365. Shot by His Friend, FAIRPLAY FLUME (Colo.), Jan. 29, 1880, at 4.

                366. Doomed: Sims, the Alma Murderer, to Hang To-Morrow, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, July 22, 1880, at 4; The Gallows: Cicero C. Simms, the Alma Murderer, Suffers the Penalty of His Dastardly Crime, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, July 24, 1880, at 1.

                367. Editorial, The Plea of the State, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, July 25, 1880, at 4.

                368. The Fatal Trap: How It Opened to Engulf Cicero Simms, FAIRPLAY FLUME (Colo.), July 29, 1880, at 1.

                369. Beginning the Trial of Canty, the Alleged Murderer of Tom Perkins, COLO. SPRINGS DAILY GAZETTE, Apr. 19, 1881, at 4; Continuation of the Trial of Canty•The Case Under Argument, COLO. SPRINGS DAILY GAZETTE, Apr. 20, 1881, at 4; The Jury Finds Canty Guilty of Premeditated Murder, COLO. SPRINGS DAILY GAZETTE, Apr. 21, 1881, at 4; Life for a Life, Law Vindicated and Life More Secure, W.H. Salisbury, Alias W.H. Canty, Expiates His Crime, COLO. SPRINGS DAILY GAZETTE, June 18, 1881, at 1.

                370. SHERRILL WARFORD, VERDICT: GUILTY AS CHARGED, LEADVILLE JUSTICE, 1879–1886, at 16–29 (1977).

                371. Id.

                372. Paid in Full, GUNNISON DAILY NEWS DEMOCRAT (Colo.), Dec. 17, 1881, at 1; Sent Heavenward, PUEBLO CHIEFTAN (Colo.), Dec. 18, 1881, at 1.

                373. DUANE VANDENBUSCHE, THE GUNNISON COUNTRY 181–82 (1980) (containing a picture of Coleman on the execution scaffold).

                374. Id. at 182.

                375. Murder!, DURANGO DAILY HERALD (Colo.), May 25, 1882, at 1; Home Stretch: Woods Does Not Weaken as He Approaches the Same, DURANGO DAILY HERALD (Colo.), June 20, 1882, at 4; Woods Willing, DURANGO DAILY HERALD (Colo.), June 22, 1882, at 4; Wild Woods, Fails to Shuffle Off the Sheriff’s Coil, He Died the Death Due His Dark Deed at Durango, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, June 24, 1882, at 1; SMITH, supra note 85, at 51 (containing picture of the hanging).

                376. Garcia Convicted, PUEBLO CHIEFTAN (Colo.), Nov. 27, 1884, at 4.

                377. Sentence Passed, PUEBLO CHIEFTAN (Colo.), Dec. 2, 1884, at 5; Gone Glimmering: the Soul of Miguel Garcia Takes Its Flight to a Higher Court for a Hearing, PUEBLO CHIEFTAN (Colo.), Dec. 21, 1884, at 4; Garcia’s Adios, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Dec. 21, 1884, at 8.

                378. Hibbard Hanged, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Apr. 25, 1885, at 1.

                379. Four Fiends: The Clements Murder at Saguache a Deed of Atrocity Unparalled in Colorado, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Oct. 2, 1885, at 8.

                380. That Fatal Drop, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Dec. 4, 1885, at 1.

                381. Patrea Jensen, Colorado’s 86 Legal Executions, in COLO. SHERIFF AND PEACE OFFICER 14, 14–15 (Oct.–Nov. 1966).

                382. Tightening Toils: Network of the Baldwin Murder•A Poor Chance for Gillespie, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Oct. 19, 1884, at 2.

                383. Minich v. People, 9 P. 4, 14 (Colo. 1885).

                384. DON L. GRISWOLD & JEAN HARVEY GRISWOLD, HISTORY OF LEADVILLE AND LAKE COUNTY, COLORADO, VOLUME 2, at 1776 (1996); WARFORD, supra note 370, at 38; Minich: His Terrible Crime and Awful Punishment, A Full History of the Murder, Arrest, and Trial, LEADVILLE HERALD DEMOCRAT, Feb. 6, 1886, at 1.

                385. WARFORD, supra note 370, at 38.

                386. See KING, supra note 51.

                387. Justice Satisfied at Last, SALIDA MAIL (Colo.), Aug. 24, 1888, at 2.

                388. Femenella Is Hanged, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Aug. 24, 1888, at 1; see also Hanged!, BUENA VISTA DEMOCRAT (Colo.), Aug. 23, 1888, at 3.

                389. KING, supra note 51, at 117.

                390. Judicially Hanged, supra note 70, at 1.

                391. KING, supra note 51, at 158 n.13; see also supra text accompanying note 17.

                392. See Judicially Hanged, supra note 70.

                393. Unknown Assassins, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, June 5, 1890, at 1; Three Mexicans Arrested, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, June 6, 1890, at 1; Hung For Murder, supra note 77, at 1.

                394. Joyce Hanged, PUEBLO CHIEFTAN (Colo.), Jan. 18, 1891, at 1.

                395. Id.

                396. Without a Tremor, supra note 79, at 1.

                397. Hanged in Prison, supra note 83, at 1; The End of His Rope: W.H. Davis, the Pueblo Murderer, Hung at Cañon City, PUEBLO CHIEFTAN (Colo.), Sept. 23, 1891, at 1.

                398. Met Death Bravely: Charles Smith, the Walsenburg Murderer, Hanged at the State Penitentiary Last Night, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Dec. 15, 1891, at 1.

                399. Lawton Is Executed, DENVER REPUBLICAN, May 7, 1892, at 1.

                400. Crying Like a Baby: A Man Who Shot Down a Fellow Creature Begs for Mercy, PUEBLO CHIEFTAN (Colo.), May 7, 1892, at 1.

                401. Jordan v. People, 36 P. 218, 220–21 (Colo. 1894).

                402. The Condemned, supra note 86, at 1.

                403. Id.

                404. Taylor v. People, 42 P. 652, 653–54 (Colo. 1895); Shot the Marshal, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Jan. 20, 1895, at 4; Marshal Emerson Dead, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Jan. 22, 1895, at 2; Abe Taylor Executed, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Dec. 14, 1895, at 1; The Suicide Machine: Abe Taylor Tried the Automatic Gallows, Death Sudden and Sure, PUEBLO CHIEFTAN (Colo.), Dec. 14, 1895, at 1.

                405. Ratcliff v. People, 43 P. 553, 554–55 (Colo. 1896); Ratcliff Must Hang, DENVER POST, Jan. 15, 1896, at 2; Would See Him Die, DENVER POST, Feb. 7, 1896, at 2.

                406. Radcliff Was Executed Last Night, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Feb. 8, 1896, at 1; His Life a Forfeit, DENVER POST, Feb. 8, 1896, at 2.

                407. Noble’s Record, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Dec. 2, 1895, at 8.

                408. Holt v. People, 45 P. 374 (Colo. 1896); Noble v. People, 45 P. 376 (Colo. 1896).

                409. Shot a Police Officer, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Nov. 21, 1895, at 1; Officer Solomon Dead, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Nov. 22, 1895, at 6; Confessed the Murder, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Nov. 30, 1895, at 6; Three Men Executed at Cañon City, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, June 27, 1896, at 1.

                410. Story of One of Most Horrible Crimes in History of Colorado, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Mar. 7, 1905, at 3.

                411. Azel Galbraith Is Hanged for His Crime, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Mar. 7, 1905, at 3.

                412. His Last Hope Gone, Azel D. Galbraith Must Hang Tonight, DENVER POST, Mar. 6, 1905, at 1.

                413. Azel Galbraith Is Hanged for His Crime, supra note 411, at 3.

                414. Robbers Kill Mother and Wound Her Son, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Jan. 1, 1904, § 2, at 1; Boys Confess to Wanton Murder of Aged Woman, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Jan. 2, 1904, at 1; Boy Murderers to Hang Today, DENVER POST, June 16, 1905, at 1; Arnold’s Brutal Nature Displayed in Last Hours, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, June 16, 1905, at 1; Mother’s Love Grows in Face of Inevitable, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, June 16, 1905, at 1; Quiet and Successful Execution Occurs Inside Walls of State Penitentiary, DENVER REPUBLICAN, June 17, 1905, at 1; Andrews and Arnold Pay the Penalty of Their Crime, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, June 17, 1905, at 1.

                415. Andrews v. People, 79 P. 1031, 1035 (Colo. 1905); Capital Punishment Law Is Upheld by Supreme Court, DENVER POST, Feb. 6, 1905, at 1.

                416. Shot from Behind: John H. Fox Is Killed by a Deputy Sheriff Who Escapes the Mob, DENVER POST, Apr. 9, 1905, at 1.

                417. See Joseph Johnson Will Be Hanged Tonight for the Murder of John H. Fox, DENVER POST, Sept. 13, 1905, at 6.

                418. M’Garvey Pays Death Penalty, DENVER REPUBLICAN, Jan. 13, 1907, at 1.

                419. M’Garvey Jerked to Eternity, DENVER POST, Jan. 13, 1907, at 1; M’Garvey

Pays Death Penalty, supra note 418, at 1.

                420. Alia Will Be Hanged Tonight, DENVER POST, July 15, 1908, at 1; Slayer of Priest, with Curses on His Tongue, Died of Strangulation, TRINIDAD DAILY NEWS (Colo.), July 16, 1908, at 1.

                421. PUEBLO CHIEFTAN (Colo.), May 14, 1908, at 1.

                422. Id.

                423. Officers Discover Motive Which Actuated Negro in Murder of Young White Girl, PUEBLO CHIEFTAN (Colo.), May 15, 1908, at 1; Negro Murderer Lynn Caught, PUEBLO CHIEFTAN (Colo.), May 18, 1908, at 1.

                424. Lynn Is Hanged As He Protests His Innocence, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Oct. 9, 1908, at 1.

                425. Women Catch Bandit; Man Shot in Cafe, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Feb. 12, 1911, at 1; Bandit’s Victim Dies; Slayer in His Cell Merely Smiles, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Feb. 13, 1911, at 2.

                426. Lewis Wechter to Pay Death Penalty in State Prison at 9 o’clock Tonight for Murder of W. Clifford Burrowes, DENVER POST, Aug. 30, 1912, at 1.

                427. Noose Urged for Wechter by Jury, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Mar. 23, 1911, at 1.

                428. Wechter v. People, 124 P. 183, 187 (Colo. 1912). Wechter argued that there was no direct proof of his intent to commit robbery, therefore making him ineligible for the death penalty.

                429. Wechter to Live Until Week’s End, General Opinion, DENVER POST, Aug.

26, 1912, at 3.

                430. Id.

                431. Wechter Hangs After Torture from Suspense, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Sept. 1, 1912, at 1.

                432. 1 Man Slain, Another Shot, Bandit Suspect Captured in Pistol Duel with Police, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Oct. 24, 1913, at 1; Bandit Pair Hold Denver in Grip of Fear, Bullets Fly As Victim Fights Back, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Oct. 25, 1891, at 1; Lone Bandit Loots Grocer, Flees in Rain of Lead; One New Suspect in Dragnet, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Oct. 26, 1913, at 1.

                433. Terror of Denver Caught, Confesses Nine Holdups, Woman Flees with Loot, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Oct. 27, 1913, at 1.

                434. Shot Chase Dead When He Snarled, supra note 133, at 1.

                435. I’d Kill Bandit, Cries Mrs. Chase, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Oct. 28, 1913, at 2.

                436. Hillen v. People, 149 P. 250, 253 (Colo. 1915). Hillen had objected to the exclusion of potential jurors who opposed the death penalty, to the admission of evidence that he had committed several other similar robberies, and to the prosecutor’s statement to the jury that if Hillen were sentenced to life imprisonment, he would be released from prison in only a few years.

                437. W. L. Morrissey, Hillen Goes To Death Asserting Innocence and Forgiving Enemies, June 25, 1915, at 1; Hillen Dies on Gallows Maintaining His Innocence To End, June 25, 1915, at 1.

                438. Quinn Dies on Gallows, Calm to End, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Jan. 29, 1916, at 1.

                439. Quinn v. People, 152 P. 148, 149 (Colo. 1915).

                440. Quinn Dies on Gallows, Calm to End, supra note 438, at 1; Tell Them I Died Game, Says Quinn, as He Goes to Death Upon Gallows, DENVER POST, Jan. 29, 1916, at 1; Quinn Goes to Trap for Herbertson’s Death, DENVER POST, Jan. 29, 1916, at 1.

                441. Policeman and Barkeeper Fatally Shot by Assassins, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Mar. 10, 1912, at 1; Arthur M’Lenan, Policeman M’Pherson [sic] and Saloon Owner Die of Wounds; Boy Bandit’s Confession Clears Double Murder Mystery, DENVER POST, Mar. 11, 1912, at 1. 442. Death Penalty for Oscar Cook, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Oct. 25, 1914, at 1.

                443. Cook v. People, 138 P. 756, 760 (Colo. 1914).

                444. Cook v. People, 153 P. 214, 217 (Colo. 1915).

                445. Cook, in Last Second of Life, Protests Innocence, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Feb. 27, 1916, at 1; Oscar Cook Pays Penalty of Murder Just Before Dawn Creeps Into Prison, DENVER POST, Feb. 26, 1916, at 1.

                446. Bosko v. People, 188 P. 743, 743 (Colo. 1920); see also Bosco (sic) Hanged at Cañon City, Aged Mother Is Near Death, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Dec. 11, 1920, at 1 [hereinafter Bosco (sic) Hanged at Cañon City].

                447. Bosko, 188 P. at 744.

                448. George Bosko Pays Penalty for Crime, PUEBLO CHIEFTAN (Colo.), Dec. 11, 1920, at 1; Bosco (sic) Hanged at Cañon City, supra note 446, at 1.

                449. Borich Hanged at Cañon City for Double Oak Creek Killing, DENVER POST, Aug. 19, 1922, at 1; Wife Slayer Hanged in State Prison; Was Routt County Miner, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Aug. 20, 1922, at 8.

                450. Slayer of Student to Plead Insanity, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Oct. 13, 1922, at 11; Slayer of Student and Girl Convicted; Penalty Is Death, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Oct. 14, 1922, at 14; Convicted Slayer Sentenced to Hang, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Nov. 19, 1922, at 14.

                451. M’Gonnigal Is Hanged at Dawn Saturday at Penitentiary for Double Murder, DENVER POST, Apr. 26, 1924, at 1 [hereinafter M’Gonnigal Is Hanged at Dawn Saturday].

                452. McGonigal v. People, 220 P. 1003, 1006 (Colo. 1923).

                453. Girl Slain by Jealous Admirer After He Kills Mines Student, DENVER POST, June 2, 1922, at 1; M’Gonnigal Is Hanged at Dawn Saturday, supra note 451, at 1; M’Gonnigal Dies on Gallows as Last Pardon Hope Fails, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Apr. 26, 1924, at 1.

                454. Shank v. People, 247 P. 559, 563 (Colo. 1926).

                455. Shank’s Body Sent Here After He Pays Supreme Penalty, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Sept. 19, 1926, at 1. 456. Lynching Near As Monte Vista Woman Is Slain, DENVER POST, June 20, 1926, at 1.

                457. Murderer of Woman Pays Death Penalty on Cañon City Gallows, DENVER POST, Nov. 12, 1926, at 1.

                458. Id.

                459. Youth Admits Hanging Grand Lake Hermit, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Aug. 17, 1926, at 1; Second Confession Is Made by Osborne [sic] in Selak Slaying, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Aug. 20, 1926, at 1.

                460. Osborn v. People, 262 P.2d 892, 906 (Colo. 1927).

                461. Executive Is Unnerved by Trying Ordeal, DENVER POST, Mar. 30, 1928, at 2.

                462. Noakes, Osborn Hanged, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Mar. 30, 1928, at 1; Face Noose Calmly, DENVER POST, Mar. 30, 1928, at 1.

                463. Eddie Ives Ends 40 Years of Crime in Three States on Gallows at Cañon City, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Jan. 11, 1930, at 3. Ives “had spent all but eight of his 46 years doing time in one prison or another, including the penitentiaries of Colorado, Utah and Oregon.” Melrose, supra note 148, at 8.

                464. This officer was Robert Evans. When admitted to the hospital, a nurse named Farice King was assigned to care for him. King recognized Evans as a person with whom she had had an affair a dozen years previously. She purchased a pistol, and, five days after he was admitted to the hospital, she shot and killed him as he slept and then attempted to take her own life. She was eventually sentenced to life imprisonment, but pardoned by Governor Ed Johnson in 1934. See Melrose, supra note 148, at 8.

                465. Ives v. People, 278 P. 792, 798 (Colo. 1929).

                466. Warden to Make Final Plea for Life of Ives, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Jan. 9, 1930, at 1; Last Hope of Eddie Ives Escaping Noose Vanishes, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Jan. 10, 1930, at 1.

                467. Wallis M. Reef, Eddie Ives Is Hanged at Cañon City Prison: Killer Goes to Gallows with Prayer on Lips, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Jan. 11, 1930, at 1.

                468. Melrose, supra note 148, at 8.

                469. Belongia Goes to Death Gladly in Gas Chamber, DENVER POST, June 22, 1935, at 1; Cook, supra note 148, at 6.

                470. Shoots Down Wife on Street, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Feb. 14, 1929, at 1; Denver Man Shoots His Wife in Spine After a Row in Auto, DENVER POST, Feb. 14, 1929, at 14.

                471. Wife’s Unyielding Love Spelled Death at Hand of Her Husband, DENVER POST, Feb. 15, 1929, at 3.

                472. Weiss Will Hang Wednesday Night, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, May 28, 1930, at 1; Harold Weiss Is Hanged for Slaying Wife, DENVER POST, May 29, 1930, at 1; Weiss Is Hanged with Prayer on His Lips, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, May 29, 1930, at 1.

                473. Weiss v. People, 285 P. 162 (Colo. 1930).

                474. See, e.g., Wade Mountfortt, Jr., Lamar Bandits Still at Large, DENVER POST, May 24, 1928, at 1.

                475. Fleagle v. People, 289 P. 1078, 1079 (Colo. 1930); see also Lamar Demands Death for Ralph Despite Promise, DENVER POST, Oct. 17, 1929, at 3; Court Rules Lamar Gang Must Die; Declares Fleagle Not Victim of Broken Promise Made by State, DENVER POST, June 9, 1930, at 1.

                476. Royston v. People, 289 P. 1077 (Colo. 1930); Abshier v. People, 289 P. 1081 (Colo. 1930).

                477. O’Brien, supra note 280, at 1.

                478. Fred S. Warren, Lamar Bandits Are Avenged! Abshier and Royston Hanged at Canyon City Pen., DENVER POST, July 19, 1930, at 1.

                479. Kansas Gets Flood of Letters Favoring Capital Punishment, DENVER POST, Feb. 1, 1931, at 16.

                480. Denver Woman Shot to Death in Her Bedroom, DENVER POST, June 30, 1929, at 4.

                481. Evidence Closes Around Mexican Murder Suspect, DENVER POST, July 1, 1929, at 6; Emelio Herrera, Wife Slayer, Says He ‘Wants to Die,DENVER POST, July 2, 1929, at 3.

                482. Herrera v. People, 287 P. 643, 643–44 (Colo. 1930).

                483. Wife Slayer to Hang Tonight, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Aug. 20, 1930, at 1.

                484. Herrera Is Hanged for Murder of Wife, DENVER POST, Aug. 21, 1930, at 1.

                485. Emelio Herrera, 21-Year-Old Wife Murderer, Is Hanged, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Aug. 21, 1930, at 1; Herrera Is Hanged for Murder of Wife, supra note 472, at 1.

                486. Recluse Slayer Goes on Trial, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Mar. 5, 1930, at 2; Slayer’s Wife Testifies to Save Him from the Noose, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Mar. 6, 1930, at 1; Denver Recluse Slayer to Die on Gallows for Crime, DENVER POST, Mar. 8, 1930, at 1.

                487. Moya v. People, 293 P. 335 (Colo. 1930).

                488. Moya Walks Firmly to Gallows, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Dec. 13, 1930, at 1.

                489. Walker v. People, 295 P. 787 (Colo. 1931).

                490. A 1991 movie entitled “Let Him Have It” (Vermillion Pictures 1991) got its name from the words spoken by Derek Bentley to an accomplice shortly before a police officer was murdered in England. After Bentley spoke, the sixteen-year-old accomplice fired the fatal shot. Whether Bentley meant “let the officer have your gun,” or “let the officer have a bullet” has been hotly debated. Bentley’s trial jury asked for mercy, but he was nonetheless executed in 1953. Bentley was nineteen when he was executed and had an I.Q. of sixty-six. In 1993, Bentley received a limited pardon from the British government. William E. Schmidt, Youth Hanged in Error in ‘53, Britain Says, N.Y. TIMES, Aug. 1, 1993, at 10.

                491. O’Brien, supra note 146, at 1; State Ready to Execute 3 Bank Bandits Tonight, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Jan. 30, 1931, at 1; Hanged Bandit Is Buried in Prison Plot, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Feb. 1, 1931, at 4.

                492. O’Brien, supra note 146, at 1.

                493. Kansas Gets Flood of Letters Favoring Capital Punishment, supra note 479, at 16.

                494. Preparations Are Made to Hang Greeley Torch Slayer Tonight, DENVER POST, Dec. 9, 1931, at 1; Adams Takes No Action in Foster Case, DENVER POST, Dec. 10, 1931, at 13; Adams Says Torch Slayer Must Hang, DENVER POST, Dec. 11, 1931, at 1; Greeley Torch Slayer Dies on Prison Gallows, DENVER POST, Dec. 12, 1931, at 1; Foster Is Executed for ‘Torch Killings,ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Dec. 12, 1931, at 1.

                495. Farmer v. People, 7 P.2d 947 (Colo. 1932).

                496. Farmer Breaks Down As Hour of Death Nears, DENVER POST, Mar. 18, 1932, at 1; Farmer Dies on Gallows at Cañon City Pen., DENVER POST, Mar. 19, 1932, at 1.

                497. Maestas v. People, 11 P.2d 227 (Colo. 1932); Appellant’s Opening Brief at 12–13, Maestas v. People, 11 P. 2d 227 (Colo. 1932) (No. 13019).

                498. Appellant’s Opening Brief at 12, Maestas v. People, 11 P. 2d 227 (Colo. 1932) (13019); Joe Maestas Dies on Prison Gallows, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, May 27, 1932, at 1; Fort Garland Killer Hangs at Cañon City, DENVER POST, May 28, 1932, at 6.

                499. Moss v. People, 18 P.2d 316, 317 (Colo. 1932); Pitkin Woman Believed Slain, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Mar. 12, 1932, at 2.

                500. Negro Slayer Hanged at Pen., ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Mar. 11, 1933, at 7; Slayer Dies on Gallows at Colorado Pen., DENVER POST, Mar. 11, 1933, at 11.

                501. The forty-five hangings took place over a span of forty-three years at the state penitentiary in Cañon City.

                502. Jones Is Brave as Hour of His Execution Approaches, DENVER POST, Dec. 2, 1933, at 2.

                503. Jones v. People, 26 P.2d 103 (Colo. 1933).

                504. Colorado Will Hang Hobo Slayer Friday, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Nov. 26, 1933, at 5.

                505. Wallis M. Reef, Last Victim of Gallows Strangled at Cañon City, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Dec. 2, 1933, at 1.

                506. Id.; Killer Strangles in Fourteen Minutes, supra note 144, at 1.

                507. Walden E. Sweet, Young Wife’s Plea for Mercy Fails to Save Kelley from Death Chamber, DENVER POST, June 19, 1934, at 1.

                508. His conviction was not appealed because, unlike Frady, he did not have the two hundred dollars needed to prepare a trial transcript. When informed of the case on a visit to Colorado, the two hundred dollars was nearly donated by Lorena A. Hickok, a close friend of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt’s who served as the chief investigator for Harry L. Hopkins, administrator of the Federal Relief Administration. A Colorado relief worker, however, warned Hickok that intervention by her might embarrass the President. Writing to Mrs. Roosevelt, Hickok explained her feelings: The thing has nearly driven me crazy. How can you have any faith or hope in us if we do things like that in this supposedly enlightened age? . . . I feel as though we were living in the Dark Ages, and I loathe myself for not having more courage and trying to stop it, no matter what the consequences were. You would have done it. Well – I guess I’d better not think about it any more . . . .” ONE THIRD OF A NATION: LORENA HICKOK REPORTS ON THE GREAT DEPRESSION 285– 86 (Richard Lowitt & Maurine Beasley eds., 1981). Mrs. Roosevelt tried to comfort her friend, replying, “You mustn’t agonize so over things . . . your giving the $200 would have been useless.” Id. at xiv; see also STEPHEN J. LEONARD, TRIALS AND TRIUMPHS: A COLORADO PORTRAIT OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION WITH FSA PHOTOGRAPHS 215 (1993).

                509. Charles T. O’Brien, Last-Minute Fight on to Save Kelley, DENVER POST, June 22, 1934, at 1.

                510. O’Brien, supra note 165, at 1.

                511. Autopsy Will Be Performed Upon Kelley, DENVER POST, June 24, 1934, at 5.

                512. Frady v. People, 40 P.2d 606, 613 (Colo. 1934).

                513. Con Who Won Wealth Behind Bars Freed, DENVER POST, Apr. 4, 1949, at 3.

                514. Burglars Murder Colorado Farmer and Schoolboy and Wound Woman; Fiends Shoot Three Then Pour Kerosene on Them and Light It, DENVER POST, Feb. 28, 1934, at 1.

                515. Defense Suddenly Rests Case in Trial of Pacheco Brothers, DENVER POST, Mar. 30, 1934, at 25.

                516. Pacheco et al. v. People, 43 P.2d 165 (Colo. 1935).

                517. Wallis M. Reef, Two Brothers Die for Brutal Murder, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, June 1, 1935, at 1.

                518. Rancher Slain and Wife Shot Near Greeley, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Dec. 17, 1934, at 1; Ex-Convict Murders Colorado Rancher and Wounds His Wife, DENVER POST, Dec. 17, 1934, at 14.

                519. Ex-Convict on Trial at Greeley for Killing Planned to Escape, DENVER POST, Mar. 6, 1935, at 11; Ex-Convict Gets Death Penalty for Killing Colorado Rancher, DENVER POST, Mar. 7, 1935, at 19.

                520. Murderer Offers Brain to Science, DENVER POST, June 20, 1935, at 1; College Rejects Murderer’s Brain, DENVER POST, June 21, 1935, at 1.

                521. Belongia Goes to Death Gladly in Gas Chamber, supra note 469, at 1.

                522. Slayer Leaves Letter of Advice to Parents, Explaining Causes of His Life of Crime, DENVER POST, June 22, 1935, at 1.

                523. Morris Cleavenger, Sheriff Slayers Caught, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Aug. 7, 1935, at 1; Posses Encircle Slayers of Sheriff in Colorado, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, July 16, 1935, at 1.

                524. Jack Carberry, M’Daniels Shows Remorse and Fear on Execution Day, DENVER POST, Feb. 14, 1936, at 1; Otis McDaniels Walks Smiling to Gas Chamber to Die as Double Slayer, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Feb. 15, 1936, at 1.

                525. Arridy v. People, 82 P.2d 757 (Colo. 1938); People ex rel. Best v. Eldred, 86 P.2d 248 (Colo. 1938).

                526. Several months after the execution, Aguilar’s three-year-old daughter died when the family’s Pueblo home burned. Later, Aguilar’s other two children were placed in an orphanage when authorities claimed that they have been abandoned by Aguilar’s widow. Eventually the children were returned to Aguilar’s mother. However, the children were constantly ridiculed by other children. In December 1938, with funds provided by the county welfare department, Mrs. Aguilar (age seventy-seven) and her two grandchildren left the state and went to live with relatives in Mexico. Aguilars to Start Life Anew in Mexico, PUEBLO CHIEFTAN (Colo.), Dec. 4, 1938, at 1.

                527. Puebloan Witness Dies at Execution, supra note 176, at 1.

                528. On the day of his execution, Arridy gave the train to a fellow death row inmate, Angelo Agnes (case no. 79). A picture of this presentation is available in the Cañon City Public Library, available at http://ccpl.lib.co.us (last accessed Apr. 17, 2003).-

                529. See PERSKE, supra note 177. In 1993, Colorado banned the death penalty for the mentally retarded. Act of Apr. 29, 1993, ch. 155, 1993 Colo. Sess. Laws 543 (codified at Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 16-9-401 to -403, 16-11-103. In 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court did the same, finding that such executions violated the Eighth Amendment’s protections against cruel and unusual punishment. See generally Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002).

                530. One newspaper lists him as a native of Greece. Two Murderers Will Die Together In Gas Chamber, DENVER POST, Sept. 29, 1939, at 1. However, his prison records state that he was born in Italy. See Colorado Department of Personnel and Administration, State Penitentiary Records at the Colorado State Archives, at http://www.archives.state.co.us/pen/history.htm (last accessed Apr. 15, 2003)

                531. Salida Man Held in Fatal Shooting, DENVER POST, Mar. 16, 1938, at 10.

                532. Catalina v. People, 93 P.2d 897 (Colo. 1939).

                533. Two Murderers Will Die Together In Gas Chamber, DENVER POST, Sept. 29, 1939, at 1; Agnes and Catalina Executed Together, supra note 168, at 1.

                534. Death Chamber at Pen Tested, supra note 149, at 1.

                535. Negro Woman Dies from Wounds, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Nov. 21, 1937, at 5; Negro Surrenders As Wife-Slayer, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Nov. 23, 1937, at 16.

                536. Agnes v. People, 93 P.2d 891 (Colo. 1939); Two Murderers Will Die Together In Gas Chamber, supra note 533, at 1; Agnes and Catalina Executed Together, supra note 168, at 1.

                537. Trapped Bandits Shoot It Out with Officers, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Dec. 5, 1938, at 1.

                538. Leopold v. People, 95 P.2d 811 (Colo. 1939).

                539. W.T. Little, Humor Not to Be Denied Even at Grim Execution Hill, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Nov. 18, 1951, at 34.

                540. Smiling Leopold Goes to His Death in Gas Chamber, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Dec. 9, 1939, at 1.

                541. City Detective Shot to Death as He Tries to Save Woman, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Oct. 14, 1938, at 1.

                542. Door-to-Door Hunt Seeks Police Killer, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Oct. 15, 1938, at 1.

                543. Id.

                544. Renovato’s Slayer Is Captured, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Oct. 19, 1938, at 1.         

                545. Death Penalty Demanded for Coates, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Oct. 20, 1938, at 1.

                546. Coates Must Die As Slayer of Detective, DENVER POST, Dec. 4, 1938, at 1.

                547. Coates v. People, 106 P. 2d 354 (Colo. 1940).

                548. Denver Killer Goes to Death, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Jan. 11, 1941, at 1.

                549. Coates Begs for Prayer in Death Chair, supra note 171 , at 1.

                550. Stephens v. People, 111 P.2d 1057 (Colo. 1941).

                551. Mancos Jim Is Ready for Death Friday, DENVER POST, June 19, 1941, at 1; Colorado Killer Jerks from Chair, Dies Calmly ‘Like Indian Victim,’ ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, June 21, 1941, at 1.

                552. ‘I Warned Him,’ Says Janitor; Gives Self Up, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Oct. 10, 1939, at 1.

                553. Sukle v. People, 111 P.2d 233 (Colo. 1941).

                554. Sukle v. People, 125 P.2d 151 (Colo. 1942).

                555. Sukle Almost Runs to Gas Chamber, DENVER POST, May 23, 1942, at 2; Murderer Sukle Pays His Penalty, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, May 23, 1942, at 2.

                556. Murderer of Pueblo Girl by Torture Confessed, DENVER POST, Apr. 27, 1942, at 1.

                557. Sex Slayer Dies in Gas Chamber, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Oct. 24, 1942, at 5; Pueblo’s Torture Murderer Dies in Gas Chamber, DENVER POST, Oct. 24, 1942, at 5.

                558. Woman Found Raped, Slain, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Jan. 12, 1942, at 1.

                559. Handyman Is Held in Slaying, supra note 179, at 5; Sex Murder Confessed by Handy Man, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Jan. 13, 1942, at 9.

                560. Sullivan v. People, 139 P.2d 876, 877 (Colo. 1943).

                561. Slayer Dies in Colorado Gas Chamber, DENVER POST, Sept. 20, 1943, at 2; Manitou Springs Killer Executed, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Sept. 21, 1943, at 31.

                562. “A-A” signifies Asian defendant and victim. Honda was an American citizen, born in Honolulu. He and his family lived in Japan from the time he was three months old until he was sixteen. His wife was of Japanese decent; born and raised in Colorado.

                563. Japanese Cuts Wife to Death in Hotel Lobby, DENVER POST, May 4, 1942, at 8.

                564. Honda v. People, 141 P.2d 178 (Colo. 1943).

                565. Denver Jap (sic) Goes to Death Chamber Wishing Allies Well, DENVER POST, Oct. 9, 1943, at 4; Honda Dies Calmly in Lethal Cell, Hopes Allied Armies Will Win War, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Oct. 9, 1943, at 5.

                566. Denver Woman Found Dead in Cellar Grave, DENVER POST, May 21, 1943, at 1; Fred Pettid, Find Body of Denver Wife in Cellar Grave, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, May 21, 1943, at 1; Potts Tells Police He Stamped (sic) Wife to Death in Mad Frenzy, DENVER POST, May 22, 1943, at 1.

                567. Potts v. People, 158 P.2d 739 (Colo. 1945).

                568. Potts Pays with Life for Killing Wife, DENVER POST, June 23, 1945, at 1; see also Potts Prepares to Die Friday Evening, DENVER POST, June 22, 1945, at 1.

                569. Girl, 4, Mom Die in Agony, Dad Quizzed, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Jan. 23, 1944, at 5; Father Admits Poisoning Two, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Jan. 24, 1944, at 1.

                570. Supreme Court Refuses to Stay Silliman Execution Slated Tonight, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Nov. 9, 1945, at 5; Silliman Calmly Waits Death Call, DENVER POST, Nov. 9, 1945, at 1.

                571. Prisoner Silliman Dies in Gas Chamber, DENVER POST, Nov. 10, 1945, at 1; Silliman Meets Death by Gas for Poisoning Wife, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Nov. 10, 1945, at 5.

                572. Four-Year-Old Girl Found Murdered, Soldier Arrested, DENVER POST, Dec. 7, 1943, at 1; Soldier Faces Murder Trial in Girl’s Death, DENVER POST, Dec. 8, 1943, at 1; Sergeant Confesses Beating Girl Found Dead in Englewood, DENVER POST, Dec. 9, 1943, at 1.

                573. Martz v. People, 162 P.2d 408 (Colo. 1945).

                574. Martz May Be Given Stay of Execution, DENVER POST, Nov. 23, 1945, at 1.

                575. Martz Loses His Appeal and Goes to Gas Death, DENVER POST, Nov. 24, 1945, at 1.

                576. Brown was described as having “mixed Negro and Indian blood.” Death Near for Slayer, DENVER POST, May 22, 1947, at 32.

                577. Rejected Suitor’s Gunshot Wound Fatal to Woman, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, May 13, 1945, at 31; Denver Woman Dies in Shooting Affray, DENVER POST, May 13, 1945, at 3.

                578. Brown v. People, 178 P.2d 948 (Colo. 1947).

                579. Hugh Jennings, Murderer Executed at Prison, DENVER POST, May 24, 1947, at 16; Denver Slayer of Woman Calmly Accepts Gas Death, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, May 24, 1947, at 5.

                580. Condemned Slayer Visits with Mother, DENVER POST, June 20, 1947, at 30.

                581. Ranch Hand Sought in Foreman’s Death, DENVER POST, Dec. 28, 1946, at 14; FBI Joins Search for Man Wanted in Slaying, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Dec. 29, 1946, at 14; Gillette Dies in Gas Chamber, DENVER POST, June 21, 1947, at 16.

                582. Battalino v. People, 199 P.2d 897 (Colo. 1948).

                583. Bernard Beckwith, ‘I’ll Join My Friends in Hell:’ Battalino, DENVER POST, Jan. 7, 1949, at 1; see also Battalino Surly on Eve of Execution; Warden Adds Deputy to Guard, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Jan. 7 1949, at 10; Friendless Battalino Faces Gas, DENVER POST, Jan. 7, 1949, at 36.

                584. Pasquale Marranzino, Battalino Dies Smiling, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Jan. 8, 1949, at 1.

                585. Schneider v. People, 199 P.2d 873, 880 (Colo. 1948).

                586. Schneider v. Colorado, 338 U.S. 862 (1949).

                587. Robert M. Cour, Triple Killer Schneider Executed, DENVER POST, Dec. 17, 1949, at 1; Sam Lusky, Schneider Dies in Gas Chamber, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Dec. 17, 1949, at 1.

                588. Attorney Lost 3-Year Fight to Save Berger, DENVER POST, Oct. 27, 1951, at 2.

                589. Berger Guilty in Wife’s Murder, DENVER POST, July 1, 1948, at 1.

                590. Berger Boy, Judge to Go on Vacation, DENVER POST, July 1, 1948, at 19; Bobby Berger Gets $20 to Spend ‘As You Like,’ DENVER POST, July 2, 1948, at 2.

                591. Berger v. People, 224 P.2d 228, 232 (Colo. 1950).

                592. Id. at 247 (Holland, Hilliard and Moore JJ., dissenting).

                593. Fred Baker, Berger Executed, Silent, Sullen to Last, DENVER POST, Oct. 27, 1951, at 1; Fred Baker, ‘I Am Signing Nothing’—Killer Defiant to End, DENVER POST, Oct. 27, 1951, at 2.

                594. Thor Severson, Berger Sane; Dies Tonight; DENVER POST, Oct. 26, 1951, at 1.

                595. Tavern Man Slain in Eagle Feud, DENVER POST, Nov. 29, 1954, at 40.

                596. Martinez v. People, 299 P. 2d 510 (Colo. 1956).

                597. Fred Baker, Father of Eight Executed in State Gas Chamber, DENVER POST, Sept. 9. 1956, at 1; These Are Events Leading to Execution of Martinez, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Sept. 8, 1956, at 27; Three on Death Row Ignored by Martinez, DENVER POST, Sept. 9, 1956, at 3; Tom Gavin, Martinez Dies in Gas Chamber, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Sept. 8, 1956, at 5.

                598. Al Nakkula, 44 Killed in Airliner Explosion, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Nov. 2, 1955, at 5; 44 Die in Plane Crash, DENVER POST, Nov. 2, 1955, at 1.

                599. For a more thorough description of Graham’s life history and mental status, see JOHN M. MACDONALD, THE MURDERER AND HIS VICTIM 201–16 (1961); and James A.V. Galvin & John M. MacDonald, Psychiatric Study of a Mass Murderer, 115 AM. J. PSYCHIATRY 1057 (1959).

                600. Graham v. People, 302 P.2d 737 (Colo. 1956).

                601. MACDONALD, supra note 599, at 348.

                602. Zeke Scher, Graham Dies for Plane Bomb Murder, DENVER POST, June 12, 1957, at 1.

                603. Denver Woman Kidnapped and Murdered!, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Dec. 2, 1953, at 1.

                604. Police Were Told of Plot, Mrs. Leick Wasn’t, Why Not?, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Dec. 6, 1953, at 5.

                605. Ken Wayman & Jack Gaskie, Was Slain Denver Woman Victim of Fiendish Plot?, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Dec. 3, 1953, at 1.

                606. Ken Pearce, Wife Killer Confesses!, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Dec. 4, 1953, at 1; Sam Lusky, Gay Cafe Dinner Prelude to Death, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Dec. 5, 1953, at 1.

                607. Leick v. People, 281 P.2d 806, 813 (Colo. 1955).

                608. Leick v. People, 322 P.2d 674, 688 (Colo. 1958), cert. denied, 357 U.S. 922 (1958).

                609. Leick v. People, 345 P.2d 1054, 1057 (Colo. 1959).

                610. Al Nakkula, Leick Absolves Dukes As Slay Accomplice, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Jan. 22, 1960, at 5.

                611. Bill Brenneman, Theft of $800 Diamond Ring Blots Leick’s Record, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Dec. 3, 1953, at 5.

                612. Al Nakkula, Leick Is Executed!, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Jan 23, 1960, at 1; Zeke Scher, Wife-Slayer Leick Dies Calmly in State Gas Chamber, DENVER POST, Jan. 23, 1960, at 1.

                613. Self-Confessed Killer’s Record Started at 15, DENVER POST, Apr. 26, 1958, at 3.

                614. MACDONALD, supra note 599, at 249.

                615. Ex-Convict Confesses Slaying Attorney, Wife and Daughter, DENVER POST, Apr. 26, 1958, at 1.

                616. Early v. People, 352 P.2d 112, 120 (Colo. 1960); cert. denied, 364 U.S. 847 (1960).

                617. Fred Baker, David F. Early Executed in Gas Chamber, DENVER POST, Aug. 12, 1961, at 24; William Hazlett, Murderer of Three in Littleton Home Gassed to Death, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Aug. 12, 1961, at 5.

                618. Mrs. Walker Faces Death Chair, DENVER POST, Sept. 18, 1959, at 3; Stood Beside Wooley at Killing, Helped Burial, Woman Admits, DENVER POST, Sept. 18, 1959, at 3.

                619. Ex-Con Confesses Killing Heir, DENVER POST, Sept. 17, 1959, at 1; $15,000 Cache ‘Missing” in Heir Slay Case, DENVER POST, Sept. 18, 1959, at 1.

                620. Wooley v. People, 367 P.2d 903, 909 (Colo. 1962).

                621. Dick Woodbury, Wooley Executed in Prison, DENVER POST, Mar. 10, 1962, at 1.

                622. William Hazlett, Wooley Is Executed at Cañon City Prison, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Mar. 10, 1962, at 1.

                623. Bereaved Parents Muted with Grief, DENVER POST, Aug. 29, 1958, at 48; Denver Boy, 11, Disappears; Police Quiz Circus Worker, DENVER POST, Aug. 28, 1958, at 1; ‘I’ll Have to Die,’ Slayer Says, DENVER POST, Aug. 30, 1958, at 1; Roustabout Admits Killing, DENVER POST, Aug. 29, 1958, at 1.

                624. Hammill (sic) Has Long Record, DENVER POST, Aug. 30, 1958, at 3.

                625. Dick Woodbury, Hammill (sic) Due to Die Tonight, DENVER POST, May 25, 1962, at 2. See also Hammil v. People, 361 P.2d 117 (Colo. 1961); Dick Woodbury, Hammill (sic) Pays Full Penalty, DENVER POST, May 26, 1962, at 2.

                626. Cab Man Killed by Bullet, DENVER POST, Mar. 26, 1960, at 24.

                627. Killer Clings to Hope Until the Last, DENVER POST, Aug. 15, 1964, at 3.

                628. Bizup v. People, 371 P.2d 786, 790 (Colo. 1962).

                629. Bizup v. Tinsley, 393 P.2d 556 (Colo. 1964).

                630. Doomed Slayer Wills Eyes, but Clings to Clemency Hope, DENVER POST, Aug. 13, 1964, at 2; Killer’s Fate Still Uncertain as End Looms, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Aug. 14, 1964, at 5; Rendall Ayers, Gov. Love Denies Clemency to Bizup, DENVER POST, Aug. 14, 1964, at 3.

                631. John Kokish, Bizup Dies in Gas Chamber, DENVER POST, Aug. 15, 1964, at 3; W.T. Little, Bizup Executed for Pueblo Slaying, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Aug. 15, 1964, at 5; see also Killer Clings to Hope Until the Last, supra note 627, at 3.

                632. Slayer’s Disappearance Recalled; Described as Good Father, DENVER POST, June 30, 1963, at 3A.

                633. Monge v. People, 406 P.2d 674, 676 (Colo. 1965).

                634. Bill Myers & Walt Lindenmann, Father of Ten Kills His Wife, 3 of Children, DENVER POST, June 29, 1963, at 1; Bill Myers & Walt Lindenmann, Police Guard Slayer of Expectant Wife, Three Children, DENVER POST, June 30, 1963, at 3A.

                635. R. Roger Harkins, Some Thoughts on Watching a Man Suffocated, BOULDER DAILY CAMERA, (Colo.), June 4, 1967, at 1.

                636. Cary Stiff, Killer Monge Slated to Die Friday, Wills Eyes to Boy, DENVER POST, June 1, 1967, at 3; Martin Moran, Monge Ruled Sane: Execution Slated Friday ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, June 1, 1967, at 11.

                637. Loy Holman, Monge Visits with Son On Eve of His Execution, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, June 2, 1967, at 5.

                638. Cary Stiff, Monge Goes To His Death With Smile, DENVER POST , June 3, 1967, at 24; Loy Holman, Monge Dies in Prison Gas Chamber, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, June 3, 1967, at 5. .

                639. Silent Vigil Protests ‘Shame’ of Execution, DENVER POST, June 3, 1967, at 2; William Logan, Monge Eye Transplant Is Called Success, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, June 4, 1967, at 5.

                640. Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 238 (1972); Gary Gerhardt, Last Man Executed also Wanted to Die, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS,, Jan. 17, 1977, at 6; see also supra note 6 and accompanying text.

 

 
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