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Butch Cassidy

AKA Robert LeRoy Parker

Born: 13-Apr-1866
Birthplace: Beaver, UT
Died: c. 1908
Location of death: San Vicente, Bolivia
Cause of death: Justifiable Homicide

Gender: Male
Religion: Mormon
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Criminal

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Train and bank robber

Like most things in his life, Butch Cassidy's name was stolen. He was born Robert LeRoy Parker, but learned cattle rustling and gunslinging from his mentor, shady ranch hand Mike Cassidy. To distance himself from his family, he adopted the last name Cassidy, and took the nickname 'Butch' from an honest job he held as a young adult, as a butcher's apprentice.

His first serious crime was probably an 1887 train robbery near Grand Junction, CO, followed by a long litany of bank, train, and payroll robberies with an ever-changing group of fellow outlaws. In the early 1890s Cassidy used his ill-gotten gains to purchase a ranch near the now-well-known "Hole in the Wall", a remote, secluded mountain area in Wyoming, accessible only via narrow, winding trails. His ranch never made a profit, but the "Hole in the Wall" served as a near-perfect hideout for Cassidy and numerous criminal characters.

An advocate of organized crime, Cassidy founded a group he called the Train Robbers' Syndicate, which held its first meeting of over 200 leading outlaws in 1896. The Syndicate, more casually called "The Wild Bunch", was eventually led by Cassidy, with his friend and fellow outlaw Harry Alonzo Longabaugh, better known as The Sundance Kid. By 1902 the group had disbanded in the face of relentless police pursuit, and Cassidy fled to England, and later South America, where he re-teamed with Longabaugh. It is generally accepted that Cassidy was killed in a blazing gun battle with local police in San Vicente, Bolivia, in 1908 or 1909.

Or he may have survived that battle. Cassidy's sister swore that he visited her in Circleville, UT, in 1925, some 16 years after his purported death. In his book In Search of Butch Cassidy, historian Larry Pointer presents somewhat compelling but inconclusive evidence suggesting that Cassidy assumed the name "William Phillips" and became a trapper, prospector, and eventually a businessman in Spokane, Washington. Phillips died of cancer in 1937, and left an unpublished manuscript for a biography of Cassidy, which described him as a life-long friend.

Cassidy was played by Paul Newman in the classic but largely fictionalized movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and by Tom Berenger in the forgettable prequel Butch and Sundance: The Early Days.

Father: Maximillian Parker (b. 5-Jun-1844, d. 28-Jul-1938)
Mother: Ann Campbell Gillies Parker (b. 12-Jul-1846, m. 12-Jul-1865)
Sister: Lula Parker Betenson (author)
Girlfriend: Ann Bassett (criminal, dated 1894-96, 97-)
Girlfriend: Josie Bassett (criminal, dated 1896-97)

    English Ancestry Paternal
    Scottish Ancestry Maternal



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