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Colorado Cold Cases

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Colorado Murders

If you’re interested in researching information on the crime data and statistics regarding the number of murders in Colorado by year, you can easily find annual reports with crime statistics on the websites of multiple law enforcement agencies, both local and statewide. Additionally, the Federal Bureau of Investigation issues a Uniform Crime Report annually which shows the crimes, crime rates, and locations of crimes in every state, county, and city, including across the state of Colorado.

Looking further into the information and data shown in these reports, as well as on Project: Cold Case’s homicide statistics site, we can get a basic idea of how many murders both occur, and remain unsolved in Colorado. According to Project: Cold Case, there are around 2,931 unsolved murders in Colorado dating from 1980 to 2019. Looking further into this report, we can see that from 1965 to 2019, there were around 9,277 murders in Colorado. Since then, roughly 6,346 of those homicides were solved, sadly leaving around 2,931 unsolved murders in Colorado.

Some of the unsolved murders in northern Colorado include the 1999 murder of Renee Bina Munshi, the 1999 murder of Mary Lou Vickerman, the 1977 murder of Steven Kirk, and the 1979 double murder of Walter and Kimo Perry, among many others. Additionally, some examples of unsolved central Colorado murders include the 1991 murder of Ricky Allen, the 1987 murder of Sherry Boyd, the 1976 murder of Sharon Marie Copp, the 1991 murder of James Albert Hamm, the 1976 murder of Pamela Jean Bluemel, and the 2006 murder of Steve John Burton, among many others. In addition to this, some unsolved murders in Denver, Colorado, include the 1997 murder of Jeremiah Thomas, the 1989 murder of Mary Showman, the 1979 murder of Bonita Raye Morgan, and the 1974 murder of Diocela Espino-Simpson, among many others. Lastly, a few unsolved murders in Arapahoe County, Colorado, include the 1988 murder of John Cliborn, the 1995 murder of Jennifer Sue Larsen, the 1980 murder of Stephanie Ann Bauman, the 1990 murder of Gary Donald Johnson, and the 1970 murder of Marilee Burt, among countless others.

Unsolved Colorado Murders

As of this year, there are roughly 1,700 Colorado cold cases. Most, if not all, of the unsolved murders in Colorado can be found organized by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) cold case website. Other law enforcement agencies in Colorado, including both local and statewide, have their own databases or lists of unsolved homicides that they are currently investigating. Below are some of the cold cases shared on various Colorado law enforcement websites.

A few of the many northern Colorado unsolved murders that are listed on this website include the 1975 murder of Shiela Sawyer, the 1985 murder of Denise Davenport, the 1987 murder of Peggy Hettrick, and the 1996 murder of James Wesley Vooris, among countless others. Also among the list are the many unsolved murders Denver, Colorado, which include the 1997 murder of Jeremiah Thomas, the 1989 murder of Mary Showman, the 1979 murder of Bonita Raye Morgan, and the 1974 murder of Diocela Espino-Simpson, among others. Additionally, other unsolved murders Colorado included in the long list of cold cases are the many east Colorado unsolved murders. These include the 1997 murder of Byron Martin Bacus, the 1998 murder of Salvador Rivera Munoz, the 1993 murder of William Trimback, the 2003 murder of Kristen Titello, and the 2010 murder of Randall Wilson, among others.

Joseph Smedley
Joseph SmedleySuspicious Death, 2015
Asha Degree
Asha DegreeMissing, 2000

Consider this

More than 200,000 unsolved cases have gone cold since 1980, and murder clearance rates continue to drop. With equity for BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other underserved victims not prioritized in the true crime community—together we can do better.

Famous Colorado Murders

Most of the names on the massive list of murders in Colorado on the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s cold case website might not sound familiar, but you may recognize a few of the names on the list of Colorado murders, and notorious Colorado criminals have seemingly become household names as time passes. Some of the most infamous Colorado murders include the 1996 murder of JonBenét Ramsey, the 1984 murder of Mark Groezinger, the 2000 double murder of Nick Kunselman and Stephanie Hart-Grizzell, and the Watts family murders. Other famous mass murders in Colorado include the 1999 Columbine High School Massacre and the 2012 Aurora, Colorado, movie theater shooting, among other famous Colorado murders.

Homicide Rate in Colorado

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Report (UCR) from 2019, the violent crime rate in Colorado is roughly 381 per 100,000 inhabitants. To further explain, this means that in 2019 alone, roughly 381 people per 100,000 residents of Colorado were directly impacted by violent crime. According to this same report released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the 2019 homicide rate in Colorado was about 5 per 100,000 residents. This means that in 2019, roughly 5 individuals per 100,000 residents of Colorado were killed.

Denver currently has a population of over 749,000 residents, making it the biggest city in Colorado. In 2018, the violent crime rate in Denver, Colorado, was roughly 730.08 per 100,000 residents, and the Denver, Colorado, murders rate in 2018 was around 9.02 per 100,000 residents. Although there is no way to know how many murders in Colorado 2021 yet, we do know how many murders in Denver, Colorado, 2021 thus far. As of June 10, 2021, there have been 32 homicides reported in Denver, Colorado. Many of the 32 homicides that have occurred in Denver this year have not been solved, and law enforcement continues to investigate the unsolved cases every day.

Arapahoe County Murders

Arapahoe County, Colorado, currently has a population of over 666,000 residents, making it the third largest county by population in Colorado. According to the State of Colorado’s government website, there are very few Arapahoe County murders, showing that there have only been 13 homicides in Arapahoe County since the beginning of 2016, which is unusual for such a highly populated area. In some murder cases, detectives are able to collect enough Arapahoe County murders evidence to charge someone with the murder and bring them to Arapahoe County murders trial. Evidence that is most often included in Arapahoe County homicide trials is completely dependent on the crime itself, taking the circumstances into account. For example, evidence shown in a homicide trial can range from blood, saliva, semen, skin cells, or other DNA evidence, to cell phone pings, to gunpowder residue, and most often includes Arapahoe County murders crime scene photos, to show the jury the area surrounding the crime as well as show the potential brutality of the crime or any other items of evidence found near the scene.

Denver, Colorado Murders

Due to the large and growing size and population of Denver, Colorado, murders are seemingly more common there than in a lot of other cities in Colorado. Unfortunately, many of the recent and decades-old murders in Denver, Colorado, have not been solved, and law enforcement continues to investigate their homicides with every resource available to them. As can be expected, until these murders are solved, Denver murders discussion continues on social media platforms such as Facebook, Reddit, and Websleuths, where people speculate and share details regarding Denver murders pictures, Denver murders crime scene photos, and Denver, Colorado, murders autopsy photos, which are usually not released until a trial comes to conclusion, and in some cases, are never released to the general public.

Recently, DNA technology has led to hundreds, if not thousands, of decades-old cold cases being solved and has brought forth new ways to not only compare DNA, but also conserve it so none goes to waste. Colorado is absolutely not the exception when it comes to advanced DNA technology solving some of Colorado’s cold cases. A few examples of cases where Denver murders DNA was used to solve or bring new detailed information to light include the 1980 murder of Helene Pruszynski, the 1979 murder of Evelyn Kay Davis, the 1963 murder of Margaret “Peggy” Beck, and the 1970 murder of Betty Lee Jones, among countless others in the rest of Colorado.

Colorado Serial Killers

Colorado has dealt with a surprising number of Colorado killers throughout history, although it has arguably dealt with more mass murders or spree killings than serial killers. Many of the most famous Colorado serial killers can be found on any top ten or other form of serial killer list, including list of serial killers in Colorado and Colorado serial killer list. The most famous of Colorado serial killers is Scott Lee Kimball, who was a criminal turned FBI informant turned serial killer. Another Denver, Colorado, serial killer is the “Denver Prostitute Killer,” who is thought to have killed between 17 and 27 women from 1975 to 1995, and has not been identified to this day. The final serial killer with known connections to Colorado is Gary Ridgway, who is also known as “The Green River Killer,” whose youngest victim was recently identified as Colorado native Wendy Stephens.

Crimes in Colorado

Multiple law enforcement and investigating agencies, including local, state, and federal, release yearly reports, which can be found on their websites, that show the crimes in any area around the United States. In this case, those reports share information regarding the various crimes in Colorado. Additionally, the Federal Bureau of Investigation shares a Uniform Crime Report every year which shares, in detail, the crimes, crime rates, and locations of crimes in every state, county, and city, in addition to a report for crime in Colorado.

Sadly, it seems there may never be an end to the number of Colorado homicide and true crime stories in Colorado as crimes, specifically murders, seem to rise every year in the state of Colorado. It can be assumed that law enforcement, like in many other states, may not be able to dedicate as much time as they would like to solving cold cases when murders occur as often as they do. According to Project: Cold Case, from 1965 to 2019 there were around 9,277 murders in Colorado. Over the years, roughly 6,346 of those murders were solved, leaving at least 2,932 unsolved murders in the state of Colorado alone. Regardless, the many different law enforcement and investigating agencies in Colorado will never stop attempting to solve all of Colorado’s true crimes, using any and every resource they have available to them.

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Additional Colorado Cold Cases

JonBenét RamseyStephanie Hart-GrizzellNick KunselmanMargaret SweetSuzanne MorphewJocynda IrwinKatsina RoybalDawn DeHerreraLashaya Nae StineMatthew GianopoulosLonell FranklinDeShon LeeJuan Nevarez-TerrazasChristopher HarveyPamela BluemelStephanie Ann BaumanJohn ClibornJennifer Sue LarsenMary ShowmanTimothy Copley1912 Boulder County John DoeClinton SuttonBeverly McCool1987 Denver County John Doe 2Sherry BynumLaurie LucasKelsie SchellingJoseph HalpernLea PorterJames RoweJessica OrtizRocio SperryIan Willcoxon1999 Huerfano County Jane Doe1995 Denver Colorado Jane Doe1970 Adams County Jane Doe1995 Clear Creek County Jane Doe2013 Jefferson County Jane Doe2014 Clear Creek County Jane Doe1994 Denver County Jane Doe1994 Adams County Jane Doe1993 Summit County Jane Doe1985 Adams County Jane Doe1952 Gilpin County Jane Doe1971 El Paso County Jane Doe1972 Jefferson County Jane Doe1987 Fremont County Jane Doe2011 Larimer County Jane Doe2008 Walden Colorado John Doe2003 Garfield County John Doe2000 Adams County John Doe1997 Larimer County John Doe2000 Weld County John Doe1999 Denver County John Doe2004 Garfield County John Doe2015 Prowers County John Doe2006 Adams County John Doe2013 Pueblo Colorado John Doe2016 Adams County John Doe2013 Boulder County John Doe2001 Adams County John Doe1997 Denver Colorado John Doe2003 Garfield County John Doe1998 Glendale Colorado John Doe 2007 Rural Clear Creek County John Doe 2002 Weld County John Doe 2000 Jefferson County John Doe 2000 Pueblo Colorado John Doe 2002 Saguache County John Doe 2002 Denver County John Doe 1996 Denver Colorado John Doe 1983 Denver County John Doe1994 Larimer County John Doe1986 Chaffee County John Doe1981 Denver County John Doe1984 Adams County John Doe1980 Denver County John Doe1987 Jackson County John Doe1990 Denver County John Doe1981 Chaffee County John Doe1995 Fort Lupton Colorado John Doe1993 Weld County John Doe1991 El Paso County John Doe1982 Arapahoe County John Doe1993 Mesa County John Doe1986 El Paso County John Doe1988 Denver County John Doe 1970 Denver Colorado John Doe 1977 Jefferson County John Doe 1981 Fermont County John Doe 1989 Pueblo County John Doe 1980 Adams County John Doe 1979 Denver County John Doe 1966 Jefferson County John Doe 1987 Denver County John Doe 11993 Boulder County John Doe 11993 Boulder County John Doe 2Wendy WisnerPrestlie HallSophia HarrisFrancis HouleCarl JacksonPatrisha MalaraBruce McAllisterOscar McNearDouglas MeerWilliam BrennanBryan CampbellRocky CarpenterJennifer Castro-PerdomoEarl ClarkRex DouglasJD FergusonWilliam FergusonEugene FishJohn GatesSuzanne GookinsBenjamin GrayDavid BergerRobert BockmannCarlos BostickBrandon BowlesBrandi MalonsonEvelyn MiddletonJacob Paddock-WeeksSarah SkibaPaul SkibaRichard BeebeLinda BarkerGayla BarnesKatherine BarnumColleen BarrettVictoria BakhtiariWilliam WorleyUvaldo AnayaKatherine AllenFrederich CasselChristopher AbeytaVictor AbeytaTerri AckermanKorina Arroyo-MarquezKelsey BerrethRobert BowlingLorenzo ChiversPatricia CordovaStephanie DrnovsekRoger EllisonSylvia FrensRita Gutierrez-GarciaNorma HalfordRashell HammondMitchell HeinNathaniel HolmesRebecca KellisonShane TurnerKeith AndersonMichelle Uribe-RamosLigia Uribe-RamosTyler GorrellTheresa HubbardJon HaynesJepsy Amaga KallungiIsabella Balajonda AnnibalGloria BerrethGregory CarterJeffrey CornuFabian Del RosarioJennifer DouglasEdward BryantCasey BerryDaphne HopeChristopher KerdusChristopher VigilCharlene VoightBryan AmbroseBarbara BaumannAbby BlaggAustin BryantAletha CappsBarbara CooperBekime ElshaniAarone ThompsonJoel ThompsonDale WilliamsKimberly BellLori LaymanAmadeo VigilHarold YoungArthur BrandesFrederick CainGuadalupe CarlinTimothy CollardAilena GarciaPatricia GutierrezMichael HunterSandra KillianLeela MartinezMelmy MatosApril MattesonCrystal MedinaMichael MeteerRichard MeyerThomas MichaudDaniel MirandaRudolf ModerElla MooreRichard MorganLekiesha MorrisShanti MotryAnthony MoyaMaria OleaWilliam PainterJiaa PatilAarshiya PatilTom PhiferChristine PierceRobert Pillsen-RahierDiana PortilloSean RathertDolores RaygozaKeith ReinhardBaby Boy RindahlMartha RooksPaul SabusVictoria SanchezJessica ShoemakeGerald SollenbargerAaron Standing BearAngela StevensDaryl StockertRaymond StubblefieldTeresa TactaquinMichael WalczakRyan WaltersLarry WattsRafael ZapataEvan HopsonCynthia AtterburyRobert WrightBrian JaramilloNicholas DolceCarl ShullChristopher FrenchMichael SanchezTracy BastionCarlos Gonzalez MadridJames McintoshJoy StewartRobert NewborgKarelis KentishGeorgia RohnerJennifer LockwoodTerah ThornhillMaurice DametzMartin ConleyRonald SisnerosDaniel HollowayIan RichardsonAngelo CurrenLeland ZookKeith EbrechtDarlene WallaceYvonne MestasReyes Casanova-MolinaKenneth ChaconLee OchsJerri LesserPamela NealDorothy JenkinsAli KenaniRobert HillMichelle VanekJohn RiceEver Orozco-SalcidoPaul HodgdenIrvin Rangel-CejaLeslie Garcia-HerreraOmar PaezMarie BleeNanci NelsonNancy ShouppOdell VestNicole SilversJennifer MarcumElaine FauverFernando TrevizoDz Ying PuNonnie DotsonRonald KuetemeierTeresa SchmidtMark BonnerRandall ClarkRay CollinsJames DeanJohn LenihanMichael McClureRobert MyerThomas RihaMario SanchezThayne SmikaTimothy WittWilliam HurtadoAutumn Cerenil-LeeRusty HubbardJoseph GineviczCharlene CramerChristopher CollyerFelipe MaestasSamuel SchrupLucas GordonDeborah HerifordAndy LepleyAngelica SandovalAlicia LiskaSandra PattersonEdward AbeytaMartin HobsonEdith LehnerzSteven MartinezLeval StoreyColleen BurgessJulie CunninghamStephanie FladgardConrad GoberDebra HagemanTereasa KnuthPatricia LillyPenny McCleesElizabeth MillerDenise OliversonPeggy ReynoldsJulie StefanekLuis AcostaPamela BeraTimothy CaseShaun CordovaCharles DukeJeffrey FossumKimberly Greene-MedinaBenjamin KalinaWalter KimotoDavid KramerCharles MadridIrma Muneton-CuetoGeraldine Obregon-GinglesGary PinoAlejandro Quinones-ZapaicoRosario Ramirez-LujanAmbretta RawhouserIvan RenteriaRaniro RomoRobert ScottNicholle TorrezRobert VigilMario Barraza-MurilloJack GordonRonda HenrichsenDeborah HyattDaniel KellerSeth KienzleJaime Lopez-ArenasJesus Nava-GamboaKara NicholsJohn NorthrupEric PrachtJose SeguraFrancisco ChavezDerek ColburnJohn SimonsGuy SolanoCtormy TaylorLester BrightRobert GallegosShaida GhaemiDeja GleasonBlanca Govea IbarraSean GribbleJames HamptonRoman ItskovichJustin ModerCarl NewcombKristal ReisingerTeresa SchiltRichard RobertsMatthew GriggsMary BrubakerBrad BurwellPhillip ComfortJane MudderSoriya SantosJulia DearemtJosé Rascon-AvilaRonald WoodKim RemmelThomas CookDustin PooleJennifer DefeliceNathaniel AntoneAubrey SaccoEric Xooc PucAngelaquic BensonAshley JamesMauricio MejiaJohn CizekLori ThielMary NiemiKathy WilkersonBarbara WilsonGary RoseDiamond SandersMichael Owen