Burglars in Blue

Material Information

Burglars in Blue
Series Title:
Burglars in Blue
Maniatis, Dino G.
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Center for Colorado and the West
Publication Date:

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Source Institution:
Auraria Library
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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Burglars in Blue | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library[12/8/2015 12:27:42 PM] Home Burglars in BlueBurglars in BlueSubmitted by jainlayconley on 3-2-2011 11:02 AMAuthor: Art Winstanley Publishing: Bloomington, IL: Author House, 2009. 298 pages, preface, table of contents, photographs. 6 x 9. $12.79 hardback. Reviewer: Dino G. Maniatis There is no accuser like a guilty conscience. In Burglars in Blue Art Winstanley (Arthur R. Winstanley according to prison records) recounts his life from disenfranchised teen to Denver police officer and safecracker to inmate at the Colorado State Penitentiary. This autobiography provides a firsthand glimpse into Winstanleys psychological malaise and the decisions that led to his descent into the world of crime. At the beginning of the book, Winstanley offers the disclaimer that no names were changed and that the places and events are factual to the best of my ability to remember. Certainly, much of what he has written seems to be sincere and factual. What makes this book singular and unique among nonfiction crime tales is that Winstanley was involved in the largest police corruption scandal in Denvers historyand in his estimation the largest in the nation at the time of its occurrence. Of the forty-five Denver police officers who were convicted and sent to prison, Winstanley, inmate number 33123, became the first to serve time at the Colorado State Penitentiary in Caon City. As Burglars in Blue begins, it engages the reader through the lens of a drunk teenage boy out looking for a fight with a pregnant girlfriend and a lot to prove. From there, he lands his dream job as a police officer working the downtown Denver late night beat. Stanley writes that he became a police officer for his own entertainment and excitement and not necessarily to serve and protect. Many of the safes he cracked were done with his assigned police partner, whom he trusted implicitly. The beginning of the end came one night as he left the scene of the crime when a safe that he and his partner were unable to open fell out of the trunk. Winstanleys car was spotted by another police officer who pulled them over. The officer knew Winstanley and let him go but he was later implicated and sent to prison. The book is written solely from Winstanleys memory, and although there are many tantalizing stories about his time as a policeman and inmate, much of the books coverage is superficial. I verified a few facts, such as the prisoner number of his fellow inmate Don Zorens (he had two, as did Winstanley), a man he wanted to kill as a rookie recruit in Denver but who showed him kindness in prison. His style and choice of words are refreshingly candid. He does not include primary or secondary sources that would have added to the credibility and legitimacy of the book. My father, George Maniatis, and my uncle Pete Maniatis owned and operated Greenes (soon after renamed The Old Number Seven) restaurant in the Wazee market at 1450 11th Street in the central Platte valley. EXPLORE BY MEDIABook Reviews Photographs Video Biographies New Publications Resource Guides County Newspaper HistoriesEXPLORE BY TOPICLand & Natural Resources Government & Law Agriculture Mining Commerce & Industry Transportation People & Places Communication Healthcare & Medicine Education & Libraries Cultural Communities Recreation & Entertainment Tourism ReligionEXPLORE BY CULTUREHispanic Native AmericanWhile on the Dominguez-Escalante expedition in 1776, Bernardo de Miera y Pacheco drew the first map of Colorado.


Burglars in Blue | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library[12/8/2015 12:27:42 PM] Auraria Library 303-556-4587 1100 Lawrence Street Denver, Colorado 80204 In the News Partners & Donations About Us Contact Us Winstanley, whose beat included this part of Auraria, robbed Greenes once, and probably twice in 1960. One summer night that year someone broke through the front door and stole, among other items, a large quantity of beer and whiskey favored by Winstanley and other officers. The police were called and a report was filed. About a month later, on a Sunday evening (the only day the restaurant was closed), George stopped by to check the doors and windows and ensure that everything was secure. On his way out he saw a police officer, who turned out to be Art Winstanley, standing by the front door, looking in through the window. George recalled, I asked him if I could help him and he told me that he was conducting a routine patrol and was just checking the place out. I thought that this was because of the prior break-in. The next morning, I arrived and found the door broken in the same way it had been broken into before. Acting upon my intuition, I went directly to check on the safe. The core was missing. It is likely that this was the core that was found in the South Platte River several years ago. Stories such as this remain largely untold and are important pieces of anecdotal evidence germane to this scandal. Winstanley makes no attempt to include other witnesses or accomplices and does not delve into much detail regarding his unique escapades. As a result of these omissions, Burglars in Blue is relegated a confessionala feel-better tell-all rather than a bona fide historical account of past events. Burglars in Blue presents the alluring story of a cop turned safecracker. With a bit more research and effort, including newspaper articles, interviews, a mug shot, and more photos, Burglars in Blue could have been a better and more important work, given the scarcity of other published material. Indeed, a more well-documented sequel could certainly fill in numerous gaps in this scandalous chapter of Denvers history. Reviewer Info: Dino G. Maniatis, a Denver native, is pursuing an MA degree in history at the University of Colorado Denver. He is working on a history of the Greeks in Colorado and is a contributor to the Greek Historical Preservation Project. He is married, has a family, and is a commissioned officer in the United States Army. Add new comment