The Grafters Club

The Membership


Leonard DeLue



Detective Leonard DeLue

Referred to as Leon Dean by Philip Van Cise, DeLue was chief of county detectives during Lou's rise to power in the 1890s, and proprietor of his own private detective agency by the time of Van Cise's election in 1920. It's possible, even probable, that Sam and/or Lou worked with DeLue at some point, as peace officers or private dicks.

In 1894 he helped recruit deputies in Denver to assist the El Paso County sheriff in breaking a strike — on behalf of wealthy mine owners like Sam and Lou.

Later we caught DeLue breaking up a Denver polling place in 1897 (Bat Masterson was doing the same).

"Shortly after 7 o'clock Deputy Sheriff DeLue attempted to force two men on the judges of precinct 8, third ward, alleging that they were watchers. The judges claimed that the men had not proper credentials, and declined to admit them. DeLue and his two friends then attacked the place. DeLue kicked in the window, while the others tried to break into the door. Somebody called for the patrol wagon, and the officers arrived just in time to prevent a riot."

In 1916 he gave chase to a Blonger gang member who had killed another at a gang outing in the mountains. But was it to seek justice, or to keep the case in the family by catching him before another department or jurisdiction got their hands on him? Brought back to Denver, the killer eventually received a sentence of one day.

Colonel Van Cise tells us he first met with Lou at DeLue's insistence, at a time when Lou had money and votes to influence the Colonel's election campaign for district attorney, but Van Cise would have none of it. This personal affront made Lou's arrest a priority for Van Cise upon his election.