Excerpts from my book, Forgotten Heroes and Villains of Sand Creek (June 11, 2010).
Joseph Cramer was an understated figure – not flamboyant like Wynkoop or Soule. Gossip items about him did not show up in the papers as they did for the other two. However, his stand against Chivington was equally bold and personally risky. Stationed at Fort Lyon under Major Wynkoop and then Major Anthony, he played a big role in Wynkoop’s efforts to forge peace with the tribes. His testimony after Sand Creek was extraordinarily detailed and reliable. Almost everything he said was corroborated by other witnesses. Like Soule, Cramer was ordered to accompany Chivington to Sand Creek but told his men not to shoot during the massacre. And like Soule, he wrote a scathing letter to Wynkoop afterward, providing horrific and shocking details of what had happened.
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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.