John Stoefel had come to Colorado to get gold—any way he could. On April 7, 1859, just outside Denver, Stoefel shot and killed his brother-in-law, who had gold dust when John didn’t. The killer was immediately taken into custody and tried by a people’s court (probably illegally). They found him guilty of murder and strung him up from a nearby tree. An estimated 1000 people watched, which was about the entire population of the town. It was the first execution in Denver.
True West June 2023