Excerpts from my book, Forgotten Heroes and Villains of Sand Creek (June 11, 2010)
Of all those who worked for peace on the plains, there was one man who never gave up, despite having every reason to wage a total war against the whites. That man was Black Kettle, Chief of the Cheyenne. Probably in his sixties at the time of Sand Creek, he went to great effort trying to control the angry young men of the Cheyenne Dog soldiers and other warrior clans. Edward Wynkoop said he was “the ruling spirit of his tribe, but was also looked upon by all the nomadic tribes of the plains as a superior, one whose word was law, whose advice was to be heeded.”
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Her first week on the job, and Marshal Beth Mayo is hit with a sex assault case. It’s a nasty shock for the bucolic mountain town of Sugarloaf and for Mayo, who is still recovering from her husband’s death. Her initial skepticism grows into disbelief over the victim’s zany story, and she dismisses the case as a false report. Unfortunately, the same woman is soon discovered in the ruins of a ghost town, most definitely murdered.
Mayo unravels the complex case through a parade of colorful suspects and misfit family members, all the while following a common thread from 150 years earlier — Colorado history’s most notorious event, the Sand Creek Massacre.