Butch Cassidy (Robert Leroy Parker)

Butch Cassidy

Butch Cassidy

Born Robert Leroy Parker in Beaver, Utah the eldest of Max and Anne Parker’s thirteen children. The Parker family established a ranch near Circleville, Utah in 1879, but a local Mormon bishop found against them in a land dispute, leaving the family financially pressed. Parker began dabbling in rustling under the tuition of a shady ranch hand, Mike Cassidy. In 1883 Parker was arrested for stealing a saddle but was never convicted. In 1884 he fled Utah under a charge of horse theft, adopting the alias Butch Cassidy. By 1887 he had fallen in with the McCarty Gang who were responsible for robbing the San Miguel Valley Bank in Telluride, Colorado in 1889. In 1894, he was arrested for stealing horses and imprisoned in the Wyoming State Prison in Laramie where he served 18 months of a two-year sentence. He was released in January 1896, after promising the state Governor that he would never commit a crime in Wyoming again. After his release he formed the outlaw gang known as the Wild Bunch which included such men as Harvey Logan, News Carver, and Harry Longabough, the Sundance Kid. The Wild Bunch robbed trains, banks, and payrolls, building an enduring reputation in less than five years. By 1900, concerted efforts of the railway, the Pinkertons, and other law enforcement agencies had caused the death or capture of several gang members. As was their standard reponse to persuit, the gang split up. In 1901 Cassidy and Longabough threw off persuers by traveling to New York City with Longbough’s paramour, former prostitute, Etta Place. There they booked passage on a steamship to Argentina where the trio purchased a ranch. The outlaws reportedly tried ranching and mining before returning to robbery. In February 1905, two English-speaking bandits, purportedly Cassidy and Longabough, held up the Banco de Tarapacá y Argentino, by May the trio had sold their ranch and fled the encroaching Pinkertons. The rest of Cassidy’s life is mere speculation. In November 1908 near San Vicente, Bolivia, the payroll for the Aramayo Franke y Cia Silver Mine was stolen by two English speaking robbers. The pair was cornered and shot to death in their rooming house. The two dead thieves were then buried in unmarked graves in the local cemetery. Claims that the dead men were Cassidy and Longabough have never been proved despite modern forensic examination of the remains. Cassidy’s sister, Lula Betenson, claimed that he returned to the United States and lived in anonymity for years. In her book, ‘Butch Cassidy, My Brother,’ she cites several encounters with Cassidy by numerous family friends long after 1908. Another book, ‘In Search of Butch Cassidy’ by Larry Pointer, named William Phillips, who died in 1937, as the post 1908 Cassidy. Though many scholars accept that Cassidy died in South America, enough doubt still exists so that the debate remains ongoing.


  • April, 13, 1866
  • Beaver, Utah


  • November, 07, 1908
  • San Vicente, Bolivia

Cause of Death

  • Gunshot


  • San Vicente cemetery

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