History

Nevada’s First Serial Killer-Fascinating True Story

shutterstock_227430652Most likely, you never heard of him. He is not mentioned in most Las Vegas history books, but he allegedly murdered at least 23 people. His name was Queho.

He was a Native American and he did terrorize locals for years. To this day, historians are not completely sure who he was. However, they do know he was a killer. As with other notorious figures, the legends abound and it is hard, at this point, to separate fact from fiction.

There is debate as to his tribal affiliation. Was he Paiute, Mojave, Cocopah, or maybe Chemehuevi? One account says his father was Paiute and his mother Cocopah. However, It’s still a mystery.

Queho was born circa 1880 near Elderado Canyon at Nelson, Nevada, and was raised on a reservation near Las Vegas. He was born either with a club foot or had an injury at some point which made his deformity obvious.

By trade he did manual labor on ranches or at mining camps. He was known for a quick temper and moodiness. According to accounts he had a propensity for trouble and attracted the attention of the law from time to time.

As early as 1897 he was suspected of murder. He was not arrested or tried at this point, but was a suspect. It was in November of 1910 that he was again suspected of murder. This time it was due to a brawl that took place on the reservation. The victim was Harry Bismark. This encounter marked the beginning of Queho’s life as a serial killer. After the death of Bismark,  he decided to go on the run He stole the horses of two Indians and killed them in the process.

His legend would grow and grow over the years. His murders kept people in fear that they would be next. By the time Queho finished his murder spree he became Nevada’s first serial killer.

People’s fears were not completely put to rest until they were sure Queho had been put to rest, permanently. Apparently, Queho died of a rattlesnake bite. His mummified body was found by some prospectors on February 18, 1940. Even after his death, his memory was kept alive. His body was put on display at several locations and was part of one of the Helldorado parades.

The details of his life are too voluminous to put in one short article, but Queho was a fascinating, yet frightening figure. If you want to read more about Queho, this is a good article that includes a lot of detail. Read It Here.

If you are one, like me, who loves Vegas history. I highly recommend “Las Vegas Legends” by Greg Niemann. It is the best of the many books I’ve read. It is available Here

As in the case of the Queho story, I have found that Las Vegas history is somewhat hazy on some points probably due to a lack of authoratative documentation. But, I love reading and sharing the history of Las Vegas.

You will discover in this article, and in others if you research Queho, that some of the details vary because they cannot be proven, but all sources would agree that Queho was one evil person and a mass murderer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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