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On the Trail of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Butch Cassidy was christened Robert Leroy Parker by his Mormon pioneer parents. The Sundance Kid's real name was Harry Longabaugh. The two and their gang, known as the Wild Bunch, held up banks and robbed trains in the Rocky Mountains in the 1890s.

With the law following them, they fled to Argentina in 1901, along with Sundance's girlfriend, Etta Place. The three homesteaded a ranch in the Cholila Valley. By 1905, though, they were back to robbing banks.

Most historians believe that Butch and Sundance died in a shoot-out in San Vincente, a town in southern Bolivia, where they had fled after robbing the payroll of the Aramayo Mining Co. that was being carried on a mule. After a patrol discovered them holed up in a rented hut, gunfight ensued, ending when darkness fell. Later that night, townspeople reported hearing screams and two shots. In the morning, they found the outlaws dead, both shot in the head. Badly wounded during the gunfight, the outlaws had chosen to commit suicide rather than fall captive.

Chronology of Facts

  • Tupiza: after leaving Argentina, Cassidy and his gang stayed in Tupiza long enough to commit their first robbery in Bolivian territory.
  • Portugalete: a ghost mining town near San Vicente, as Cassidy must have seen it shortly before his death.
  • Tatasi: mining town in the region.
  • Telamayu: a mining town very close to the spot where Cassidy and Sundance Kid robbed the payroll money of the Aramayo Mining Co that was being carried on a mule.
  • San Vicente: the mining town where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were killed.

Note: Corrections to the original text have been made according to suggestions made by Daniel Buck co-author of the "Wild Bunch". See next link.

Additional Links

Butch & Sundance Bibliography
Looking for what the movie left out? This online bibliography points serious Wild West history buffs to books and articles on the dynamic outlaw duo.

The Wild Bunch History Page
Features updates on the latest Wild Bunch articles, books, and research. Important dates in the Wild Bunch history.

Butch Cassidy and The Wild Bunch
A lengthy biographical essay on the life and times of the infamous bandit who was born Robert Leroy Parker. Read about Cassidy's gang of outlaws and killers and the Wild West exploits attributed to them.

Butch Cassidy's Boyhood Home
The boyhood home of the folk-hero outlaw who terrorized the American West in the late 19th century is now a tourist attraction. Find out how, when and where to visit the Circleville, Utah-based historic site.




Butch Cassidy
"Che" Guevara
Klaus Barbie


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Last Updated 20 June, 2003 - 02:30 PM -0400

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