Who really knows about Queho?
From researching this case, it’s clear that no one really knows anything about Queho.
Some people claim to know about him, but probably a lot of their stories are inaccurate or bigoted fantasies.
He’s either an early 20th century serial killer, a scapegoat turned Boogeyman, or something in between.
Basically, this story has been shrouded in racism and histeria, making the man Queho himself a mystery.
I’m going to try to tell the story as best I can, but keep in mind I’m probably completely butchering it.
Queho became a dark legend, so it’s very difficult to discern fact from fiction. But this is MysteriYES after all, so we don’t really care about discerning fact from fiction...
Little information is known about his early life as there really is no tribal record of him.
Born sometime in the late 1800s, perhaps 1880, most likely on a Native American reservation near Las Vegas, Nevada
He was of mixed birth, with his mother generally believed to be of the Cocopah tribe. She died shortly after he was born.
His father may have either been Mexican or perhaps born of a different tribe. Nothing is known of his father except that he was not married to Queho’s mother and he was not of the same race as her.
He was born with a clubfoot, or perhaps broke his leg or foot and was unable to adequately treat it, thus giving him a characteristic limp.
Because of his physical deformity and his mixed racial background, he was an outcast in his community.
Around this time, white people were starting to overwhelm the area, making arable land and game scarce for Native people and forcing them to beg for work from the white population.
Queho was known to have taken odd jobs in the El Dorado Canyon mines.
Allegedly, the first man he killed was his half-brother Avote, who had gone on a murder spree.
When Native people committed such crimes, other Natives were expected to produce the culprit or face retaliation from whites.
This was a case of “justifiable homicide.”
In 1910, perhaps due to the trauma of never having a place to belong, he became unjustifiably violent.
For whatever reason in November 1910, he shot and killed another Native American man named Bismark on the reservation.
There are unconfirmed reports that he killed a couple other Native Americans that day and then stole their horses to escape arrest for murder.
He fled to Las Vegas to stock up on supplies.
While there, he argued with a merchant and then beat him with a pick handle, breaking the man’s arms and fracturing his skull.
From there, he escaped into the El Dorado Mountains on foot.
Meanwhile, a posse from Las Vegas followed him into the mountain.
Shortly after, a local woodcutter was found dead and was allegedly killed by Queho.
Apparently, this was because a second posse found a distinctive footprint left at the scene of the crime, and Queho had a clubfoot.
They followed the tracks into the El Dorado Canyon to a place called the Gold Bug mine.
There they found the body of a deputy, whose badge had been stolen from his shirt.
The trail of Queho was followed a bit further, but he was never captured.
A sergeant from the Nevada State Police named Newgard took a few Native American trackers and two experienced hunters into the El Dorado Canyon to search for Queho.
While they would occasionally find that distinctive clubfoot track, they were never able to find Queho.
Over the next eight years, there were several mysterious murders in the area near the Colorado River where Queho had disappeared.
Naturally, he was blamed for these.
On the Arizona side, four adults and several children were found shot to death.
On the Nevada side, prospectors and shepherds would be found dead in isolated areas.
The victims’ shoes and food supplies were usually stolen.
Panic spread throughout the area and the name Queho became synonymous with “Boogeyman”.
If a prospector disappeared in the desert (a common enough occurance) or a miner spent too long at the bar or fell asleep on the job and didn’t come home on time, the name of Queho was mentioned.
Queho was also used as a threat to children who wouldn’t behave.
In January 1919, Maude Douglas was found murdered and her cabin ransacked in the El Dorado Canyon.
Police found Queho’s footprints leading away from the scene toward the Colorado river.
Two prospectors were found shot in the back nearby around that same time, and once more Queho’s footprints were found there.
A two month long manhunt ensued despite miserable winter weather.
They found the skeletons of two miners who had disappeared years before.
Queho was blamed for these murders, even though there was no evidence.
Throughout the search, the posse would occasionally find still-warm campfires and caves that might have been used as food caches.
These were assumed to have belonged to Queho, again with little proof.
Eventually, the weather made the whole thing too difficult and the posse gave up.
In March of 1919, the state of Nevada posted a $2000 reward for the capture of Queho, and Arizona chipped in an additional $500. After Clark County, Nevada and a few private individuals contributed, the total was over $3000.
However, by this point, the mysterious murders had stopped and Queho wasn’t ever heard from again.
In 1940, two prospectors discovered the mummified remains of a Native American man in a cave on the Nevada side of the Colorado river.
The corpse had been well-preserved because of the desert climate.
The body was in the fetal position, suggesting it had been a painful death.
There was evidence of a rattlesnake bite, which may have been the cause of death.
Along with the body, they found a
Winchester Model 94 .30-30 rifle,
a 12-gauge Hopkins & Allen double-barreled shotgun with a rope sling,
crude bows and arrows
the murdered deputy’s badge.
shotgun shells that matched those inside the body of Maude Douglas in 1919.
The body was identified as Queho’s, though there was some doubt. It was identified because it had double rows of teeth, which tribal members claimed Queho had.
After some weird but relatively uninteresting legal stuff, his body was put on display at the Las Vegas Elks Lodge, and even rode in the back of a convertible at the annual Helldorado Days parade.
Awhile later, Queho histeria died out.
In January 1962, the mummified corpse was found in a county dump. The Elks Lodge, having lost any further use for the body, had merely thrown it away.
It was then buried, finally.
Was Queho the Boogeyman?
It’s undeniable that he killed people, but lots of people in that time people did.
“Justifiable homicide” was an accepted doctrine back then.
The problem with Queho was that he was a Native American, and his supposed victims were white.
This made it incredibly easy for him to be construed as a horrific monster, and to be blamed for murders he didn’t commit.
He probably didn’t commit all the murders he’s blamed for. Probably wasn’t that much different from similar white dudes of the time, except he had the audacity to be a Native American.