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 Louis Herbert Blonger

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Louis Herbert Blonger

Lou Blonger was a Wild West saloonkeeper, gambling-house owner, and mine speculator, but is best known as the kingpin of an extensive ring of confidence tricksters that operated for more than 25 years in Denver, Colorado. His "Million-Dollar Bunco Ring" was brought to justice in a famous trial in 1923.

Blonger's gang set up rooms resembling stock exchanges and betting parlors that were used by several teams to run "big cons." The goal of the con was to convince tourists to put up large sums of cash in order to secure delivery of stock profits or winning bets. The depiction of the "Wire Con" seen in the movie The Sting is a fairly accurate representation of a typical big con.

Blonger had longstanding ties to numerous Denver politicians and law enforcement officials, including the mayor and the chief of police. In 1922, however, District Attorney Philip S. Van Cise bypassed the Denver police and used his own force, funded by donations solicited in secret from local citizens, to arrest 33 con men, including Blonger, and bring the ring to justice.

Lou Blonger married twice. In 1882 or 1884 in San Francisco, he married Emma Loring. Blonger received an uncontested divorce in 1889 on the grounds of desertion and quickly married 30-year-old Cora "Nola" Lyons (née Morehouse). He had no children.

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  • Maintained by: M. Johnson
  • Originally Created by: JoAnne
  • Added: 8 Apr 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 18826358
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Louis Herbert Blonger (13 May 1849–20 Apr 1924), Find A Grave Memorial no. 18826358, citing Fairmount Cemetery, Denver, Denver County, Colorado, USA ; Maintained by M. Johnson (contributor 47792496) .