Death for Dilda Cold-blooded killer Dennis Dilda meets justice.

dennis dilda family
Dennis Dilda and family.

In 1885, Dennis Dilda was running a farm in Yavapai County, Arizona Territory. A man named Jenkins was also living there; Dilda killed him for no apparent reason, then hid the body.

On December 20, lawmen came out to investigate the Jenkins disappearance—and Dilda struck again, ambushing and killing Deputy Sheriff John Murphy.  Dilda buried his body as well before going on the run. He was eventually captured and convicted in the murders. Dilda went to the gallows in Prescott on February 5, 1886.  An estimated 800 people watched the execution.

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Mark Boardman

Mark Boardman is the features editor for True West Magazine as well as the editor of The Tombstone Epitaph. He also serves as pastor for Poplar Grove United Methodist Church in Indiana.