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Denver’s Capitol Hill Thug Kills 3 Women

Home | Feature Stories | Denver’s Capitol Hill Thug Kills 3 Women

I’m proud of this Feature Story because there is very little written about Denver’s “Capitol Hill Thug” who stalked the streets of Denver bashing women over the head from 1900-1901. He only appeared in two books that I could find and a lot of the information there was inaccurate. I really had to dig through the newspaper archives to uncover and piece together this 5,000 word story. I hope you enjoy reading it. Please leave a comment at the bottom if you have question or comment about the story.

“The affair has now become so serious that the public can no longer hesitate in the duty which it owes itself to get rid of the murderous terror, who, if less spectacular, is little less fatal than Jack the Ripper, whose fiendish crimes in the Whitechapel district of London startled and horrified the people of the civilized world.” – The Denver Post, Feb. 24, 1901.

“Silent, stealthy, mysterious, the Thing goes out into the night and back again to its lair, like a beast of the jungle that prowls and preys by night, and, gorged and hidden, bears naught and cares naught for the hue and cry by day. The terror of the invisible, the tragic, baffling secrecy of a scourge, are about the Thing, and it is the diabolical master and the deadly hunter of the hill….It is a mystery of mysteries.” – The Boston Globe, Feb. 24, 1901

In the winter of 1900, the Denver police had a big problem and the newspapers had big headlines. Since August, a “deranged fiend” was running around the Capitol Hill area bashing women’s heads with a club or iron pipe. By Christmas, Five women were attacked and one died.

Newspapers christened the woman hating attacker with several monikers from the most popular- “The Capitol Hill Thug,” and the “The Capitol Hill Slugger,” as well as “The Sandbagger,” to the least popular but more ominous, “The Thing.” More than one writer would remind his readers of the “Jack the Ripper” slayings not too long ago in faraway London.

But these women were not prostitutes; they were good, upstanding citizens going on about the daily business of living. They were never robbed, nor violated. Instead, a dark shadow had crept up behind them as they walked in the late evening hours and waylaid them out with one or two blows.

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Feb24-1901-Boston-Globe-Headline

Boston Globe Headline, Feb. 24, 1901