The First (and Worst) Serial Killer In Wyoming History
Just in time for Halloween, here's a creepy story about, arguably, the first and worst serial killer in Wyoming, a woman named Polly Bartlett.
Bartlett came to Wyoming with her father, brother, and niece in 1868. They settled in South Pass City, which at the time experienced a mining boom and was one of the fastest-growing cities in the state. After arriving in South Pass City, the family opened a boarding house named The Bartlett Inn.
Legend has it, Bartlett poisoned many of the guests with arsenic. Her first victim was a gold prospector named Louis Nichols. Then came a collection agent from Nebraska named Tim Flaherty. Over time, several guests at the Inn had mysteriously vanished.
Finally, when a man named Barney Fortunes turned up missing after staying at the Bartlett Inn, the Pinkerton Detective Agency was hired to conduct an investigation. Facing scrutiny, the Bartlett's quickly left town and a reward was offered for their capture.
Polly's father, Stephen Bartlett, was killed in a shootout. Polly was apprehended and sent to jail in Atlantic City, Wyoming. Before she could stand trial, she was shot and killed by a man, purported to be a friend of one of her victims.
While investigating the alleged disappearances, local authorities searched a corral on the property near the Bartlett Inn. According to some accounts, they discovered the bodies of 22 young men who had been, presumably, poisoned by Wyoming's first, and worst, serial killer.