Cold Blooded: Colorado’s Worst (or Best?) Serial Killers

Cold Blooded: Colorado’s Worst (or Best?) Serial Killers

"Oftentimes, the women were assaulted, strangled, and then dumped along I-70."

CultureOctober 06, 2022

As Fall comes around the corner, it’s about that time for the nation’s populous to binge horror movies and read about incredibly sick and fucked up individuals. Here are some of Colorado's worst (or best?) serial killers, depending on how you want to look at it.

The Denver Strangler 1894-1903
The Denver Strangler was a real sick puppy. In 1894, he killed three different prostitutes over the course of ten weeks, and if you’re wondering how, we’d implore you to use your context clues. A few different suspects were arrested, but no one was ever convicted.
In addition to the three prostitute murders of 1894, it’s suspected that the Denver Strangler was responsible for at least two other murders over the ensuing nine years.
In 1898, clairvoyant and medium Julia Voght told authorities that spirits had given her a description of the strangler while she was in a trance, and let’s just call that for what it is—total fucking bullshit. Regardless, she was found dead on the floor of her apartment with a towel wrapped tightly around her neck. While it's unclear if the strangler actually believed that Voght was a 19th century Raven Simone, they sure as hell weren’t going to take any chances.

Denver Prostitute Killer 1975-1995
The Denver Prostitute Killer was (or is, depending on what you believe) a serial killer responsible for the murder of at least 17 women and girls in Denver between 1975 and 1995.
The killer targeted young women, with many victims being hitchhikers or engaged in prostitution. Oftentimes, the women were assaulted, strangled, and then dumped along I-70. Many victims were posed in humiliating positions.
Up until 2008, the murders had been believed to be committed by different people, at which point the crimes were grouped together. Many believe the Denver Prostitute Killer to be Billy Edwin Reid, who, in 2005, was convicted of two murders that took place in 1989. However, incriminating evidence for Reid being the Denver Prostitute Killer has yet to be found. Other believe the Denver Prostitute Killer to be Vincent Groves, who, on second thought, deserves his own section.

Vincent Groves 1979-1988
Vincent Groves started his criminal career in 1977, when he convinced a 17-year-old to engage in prostitution and became her pimp. A year later, the girl’s naked body was found in the woods in Jefferson County. Groves was interrogated by police, but wasn’t charged due to a lack of evidence. Groves went on to get married before committing other murders. After killing a 17-year-old while out camping, Groves was implored to confess by his wife. He was sentenced to 12 years, at which point he divorced his wife, finished college, and went through several rehab programs for sex offenders… only to get out and get right back to murdering young women.
After dodging justice several different times, Groves was eventually linked to a few more murders through DNA evidence, at which point he got a life sentence. He died in prison due to a combination of Hepatitis C and liver failure, but not before he refused to confess to other murders. In 2012, Groves was connected to at least four more murders through DNA analysis. Whether Groves was the Denver Prostitute Killer or just a killer targeting prostitutes in Denver may never be known.

Ted Bundy 1974-1978
Ted Bundy’s total kill count is heavily disputed, with the man having 20 confirmed murders, 30 confessed murders, and more than 36 murders suspected.
Though Bundy’s murders began in the pacific northwest, he eventually moved to Utah and, eventually, Colorado. During this time, Bundy murdered a vail ski instructor near Rifle, and a 25-year-old bicycle rider near Grand Junction.
He was eventually arrested and brought to Aspen for a preliminary hearing, but during a recess, he jumped out of a second-story window and fled into the woods. He was caught, only to escape again, at which point he drove to Florida and killed some sorority girls in their sleep, for which he was (eventually) consequently executed.

Alferd Packer, The Colorado Cannibal
It’s not a typo, this guy’s parents named him “Alferd.” We’re not saying that his poor name choice would later come into play when the man would end up eating five of his buddies during an expedition in the San Juan mountains, but we’re not fully discounting it, either.
In the winter of 1873-1874, Packer, like any other young man growing up in the 1800s, wanted in on America’s gold rush, so he joined an expedition of (probably delicious looking) men as they trekked up near a modern-day Lake City.
Only Packer returned, chock-full of stories, and presumably, his friends. One story told of how one of his starved friends attacked him with a hatchet, with Packer killing the man in self defense before eating him along with the other men.
Upon his return to civilization, Packer drank heavily and gave conflicting reports as to what had happened in the mountains, until he eventually gave a confession that involved his group killing and eating each other one at a time until only he remained.