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Sitting (l to r): Harry A. Longabaugh, alias the Sundance Kid, Ben Kilpatrick, alias the Tall Texan, Robert Leroy Parker, alias Butch Cassidy; Standing (l to r): Will Carver, alias News Carver and Harvey Logan, alias Kid Curry; Fort Worth, Texas, 1900.
Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch was one of the loosely organized outlaw gangs operating out of the Hole-in-the-Wall in Wyoming during the Old West era in the United States. It was popularized by the 1969 movie, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and took its name from the original Wild Bunch. The gang was led by Butch Cassidy, and it included his closest friend Elzy Lay, the Sundance Kid, Tall Texan, News Carver, Camila Hanks, Laura Bullion, Flat-Nose Curry, Kid Curry and Bob Meeks. They would become the most successful train-robbing gang in history.
Some have long believed that notorious outlaw Butch Cassidy survived the 1908 shootout in Bolivia that supposedly killed him—and now a rare books collector says he has a manuscript offering proof. Bandit Invincible: The Story of Butch Cassidy, a 200-page manuscript from 1934, is a much longer version of an unpublished novella of the same name by William T. Phillips. A book collector and author say the manuscript contains information only Cassidy knew, and could actually be an autobiography—meaning Phillips, who died in 1937, was actually Cassidy.
Phillips claims to have known Cassidy since childhood, the AP reports. He writes of Cassidy’s meeting with a judge in 1895 and of his encounter with a rustler who told him about a secret hiding spot, including details in both anecdotes likely known only by Cassidy, the collector and author say. But a Cassidy historian says it’s more likely that Phillips simply knew Cassidy or his friends, and calls the idea of Phillips actually being Cassidy “total horse pucky.” The manuscript, he adds, “doesn’t bear a great deal of relationship to Butch Cassidy’s real life, or Butch Cassidy’s life as we know it.”
Tell us what you think really happened to Butch Cassidy.