Colorado outlaws were not as famous as others of the wild west, such as the James Brothers or Billy the Kid, but they made their way into the state’s history.
Some were con men, bank robbers, stagecoach bandits. Others were murderers and guns for hire. From the beginnings of Colorado’s history during the gold rush to statehood in 1876, the tales of these outlaws struck fear in the local residents.
Colorful characters such as Soapy Smith, was known as the con man with a silver tongue. He could sell ice cubes to the Eskimos.
The man known as the “Range Detective”, Tom Horn was an agent for Pinkerton and a U.S. Marshall, but was really a gun for hire.
Known as the “Gentleman Killer”, Jack Slade was a reputable stage agent on the side while plying his trade as a murderer.
Southern gambler Charley Harrison, captured the heart of one of Denver’s most notorious madams, Addie LaMont.
And speaking of the ladies, Elsa Jane Forest a.k.a. Mountain Charley, stalked and attempted to murdered the man who killed her husband.
Many people of the state fell victim to these renegades. Whether walking down the streets of Denver or riding the stagecoach from one town to another, Colorado citizens had to be on their guard.
However, when famous outlaws and gunfighters arrived in the state for relaxation or checking on their gold mines or gambling parlors, the local toughs would head for parts elsewhere.
These men, such as Doc Holliday, Bat Masterson, the James Brothers and others, had solid reputations already built all over the west. No one wanted to step on their toes.
The reign of these outlaws lasted about 50 years, from mid 1800’s to early 1900’s, when the state was at its infancy.
But just like any other territory in the old west, Colorado had its share of bad guys and girls.