A Centennial Today, and a New Book!

August 24, 2022, marks the 100th anniversary of Philip Van Cise’s roundup of Denver’s Million-Dollar bunco ring, which marked the end of Lou Blonger’s criminal empire. It’s a date we’ve been anticipating for so many years that it almost slipped by without noticing. Luckily, some important news jolted us into action. Colorado journalist Alan Prendergast, […]

Sadie Redmond

We’ve spilled a lot of ink over the years trying to determine the true identity of this woman known as Kitty Blonger. Was this prostitute, who informally took the Blonger name as a hooker in their employ during the early 1880s, also Sam’s second wife Sadie Wilson from the early 1890s? Both women appear to […]

Criminal Records Podcast

If you are intrigued by the idea of getting a pretty succinct overview of the Blonger story in audio form, please check out a new podcast episode in the Criminal Records series: Criminal Records Podcast: Lou Blonger (libsyn.com) “In a follow-up to our episode about one very slick criminal, we’re taking listeners through a tour […]

The Belonger Name

Slogging through the 150 or so pages of Joe’s military pension file, a curious exchange appears. In 1913, as Joe struggled to have the government grant him a pension increase, he was tasked with proving his identity to the pension authority. To do this he turned to the Belonger family bible, the same bible, I […]

Utoy Creek

Finally put two and two together! Joe was hospitalized on August 6, 1864. On that same date, the 25th Michigan Infantry was attached to Schofield’s Army of the Ohio. A much smaller Confederate force under Hood’s command was securely ensconced in the wooded hills around Utoy Creek, and they were the only thing standing between […]

The Bélangers

Here is a photographic exercise for you. Augustin, the gentleman pictured here, never worked for the Blonger brothers, never drank with them, was never swindled by them, never took a bribe from them or investigated them. In his entire life he probably never heard their names once and he almost certainly never met any of […]

Julia Belonger Located

The six Blonger brothers also had three sisters: Elizabeth, who apparently died unmarried, Mary, the youngest and mother of five, and Julia, born second after Simon. We know that Julia had seven children by a man named Revoir, and that they disappeared from the public record when they moved east in 1892. Now we know […]

Tony Neis, Detective

Harold Gordon was kind enough to share this find of his, a business card he discovered in a collection of Victorian-era Masonic calling cards. Tony Neis was the man who recruited Sam and Lou into the Rocky Mountain Detective Association when he established an Albuquerque office in 1882. Their membership in the group appears to […]

Lou’s First Wife, Emma Loring, Located at Last?

UPDATE – The following information is incorrect. A newspaper article appeared recently with a short interview with the actual Emma Loring, expressing her condolences on Lou’s passing in 1933. The Emma detailed below died in 1903. We’ve learned a great deal about the Blonger brothers’ various wives and mistresses—Sam’s mercurial relationship with prostitute Sadie Wilson, […]

Off To The Races

We may have a new candidate for the Grafters Club, and it’s been a long time. Friday, October 30, 1885 was a fine day for a horse race in Dodge City. A large crowd was in attendance, with money to burn, and the judges were top notch – a Mr. Blonger (who we will assume […]