Category Archives: Breaking News

Mysteries at the Museum, Part II

It was great to see the show. Lou has been written about many, many times over the years in non-fiction books on confidence games, famous criminals, criminal psychology and the like. He’s even made an appearance in several works of fiction, always the slimy, obese mobster. But never on the screen, big or small. So, cool. In a nutshell, the… (more…)

Mysteries at the Museum, Part I

Lou has finally made his television debut, and here he is: (The actor looks familiar, but I can’t seem to find a credit for the part.) A few months ago Scott and I were contacted by the staff of Mysteries at the Museum, a Travel Channel program that examines the history behind various historical objects — in this case, a… (more…)

The Cabinet Saloon, Deming, NM

I’ve been sitting on this for a while. A few years ago, our colleagues down New Mexico way sent us a little gift. The husband and wife team of Bob Alexander and Jan Devereaux were engaged in their own research — in this case, regarding the husband and wife team of Frank Thurmond and Carlotta “Lottie Deno” Thompkins, gamblers of… (more…)

Ain’t Life Wonderful!

Dr. James

Sacramento  Daily Union, March 23, 1864

Stroud Theatre, Phoenix, 1883

Another piece of the puzzle — Blonger & Co. goes to Phoenix. We have reams of information on Sam and Lou in 1882, when Sam was marshal of New Albuquerque, and the brothers had numerous and varied exploits, dutifully chronicled by the town newsmen. The years that directly follow have been a bigger mystery. The brothers left Albuquerque sometime around… (more…)

Sam and the Austin Stage

Details of Sam’s exploits during the Civil War years are few and far between, which is a real shame. The California Trail! An infant Denver! Driving a stage over the Sierras! And that’s just about all we know.  Imagine the epic story that’s just out of reach! And then consider how much more Sam went on to experience. Puts every… (more…)

Soapy Gets All The Breaks

Except maybe that one time in Skagway. Ridley Scott’s Klondike starts Monday, January 20 on the Discovery Channel. The miniseries follows two young men into the heart of the Yukon gold rush. Ian Hart plays Soapy. If we’re lucky the writers will throw us a bone and have Soapy say a little something about Denver. Sam and Lou may not… (more…)

Ten Years After

Ten years after Ten years ago today I made a surprising discovery.  While making my first foray into the new world of online genealogy, I found that my great-great-grandfather’s long-lost brother, Lou Blonger, had reigned for 30 years as the criminal kingpin of Denver, Colorado.  I also determined that no one else in my extended family knew anything about our… (more…)

The Drunken Orgy

To commemorate the Great Raid on the Blonger gang, we present this cartoon from the Denver Times, March 27, 1923. Scott photgraphed it on a recent trip to Denver. The original clipping was found in the papers of Robert Maiden, part of the collection at the Denver Public Library. Maiden was working for the Federal Narcotics’ Bureau in Kansas City… (more…)