Jan 28, 2021

Quehoe The Renegade

black and white image of the quehoe

Quehoe or the “Mad Indian” was one of the first mass murderers in Nevada. He started his life off in Cottonwood Island near Nelson, Nevada. Quehoe lost his mother at a young age and later became an outcast for not being full blooded Native American and being physically disformed with a club foot. He took small time jobs working at the Eldorado Canyon mine. In 1909, Quehoe started his killing spree, first taking the life of N.H. Finney.  Again, in 1910, he murdered an man named Harry Bismark on the Las Vegas Reservation, then took 2 more lives during his escape. Quehoe was being recognized as a real threat; Nevada shop owner, Hy Von, was left with 2 broken arms and a fractured skull after catching Quehoe stealing. After this bloody confrontation, Quehoe fell into the name “Mad Indian,” racking up more and more bodies, stealing supplies to survive. He made his way down to Searchlight, where the sheriff was soon made aware of this threat and formed a posse to hunt Quehoe down. On their path to find the killer ,the posse followed trails made distinct by Quehoe's club foot. Along the way they discovered bodies of mine workers at Gold Bug Mine. Quehoe was never found by the posse and hid in the hills of the Black Canyon along the Colorado River. Then in 1919 he struck again, killing a lady while stealing supplies.  Continuing the search they came across more bodies, all murdered in brutal ways. Quehoe’s bounty was raised from $1000 to $3000, but to no avail. Quehoe is said to be responsible for 23-30 murders from 1909-1920. In 1940, the mummified body of Quehoe was found in the Black Canyon, 13 miles south of the Hoover Dam. A cloth bandage was evidence of a snake bite, which was speculated to have taken his life. After his discovery, his body parts were moved around to different museums until they ended up finding a permanent home in Cathedral Canyon in Nevada. Quehoe lived up to his nickname, The “Mad Indian.” He raised havoc for years in the same part of the canyon we kayak today. His remains were found less than a mile away from where we launch our kayak tours.




Photos by:

Nevada State Historical Society

UNLV libraries digital collection

Desert Magazine

google user Robert Finlay

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