Wyoming’s Most Infamous Outlaws Were Killed 109 Years Ago
109 years ago, on November 6, 1908, infamous Wyoming outlaws Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid were allegedly gunned down in the country of Bolivia.
Robert Leroy Parker was given the nicknamed Butch while working as a butcher in Rock Springs, Wyoming. He later adoped Cassidy as his alias and embarked on a daring series of robberies that would make him one of the most notorious criminals in the west.
In 1890, Cassidy used money from a bank robbery in Colorado to purchase a ranch near Dubious, Wyoming. In 1894, he was arrested for stealing horses in Lander and served time at the Wyoming State Prison in Laramie.
Following his release in 1896, Cassidy and a group of friends formed the "Wild Bunch". After robbing a bank in Idaho, they recruited Harry Longabaugh, who had been given the nickname "Sundance Kid" when he was caught stealing in the town of Sundance, Wyoming.
The group was responsible for several robberies over the next few years, including a train robbery outside of Wilcox, Wyoming, in 1899. The caper made national news and a manhunt was formed to track the fugitives. The group often hid out at the Hole-in-the-Wall, a secluded pass in the Bighorn Mountains near Kaycee, Wyoming.
By 1901, Cassidy and Longabaugh headed to South America, where they successfully avoided capture for nearly a decade. On November 3, 1908, they robbed a courier from a local mining company and fled to a bording house in nearby San Vicente, Bolivia.
Three days later, the house was surrounded by a Bolivian calvary unit and a gun fight broke out. Several hours after the standoff began, Cassidy and Longabough were found dead inside the house.
Over a century later, their deaths remain shrouded in mystery. Some historians believe they survived the shootout and returned to the United States. According to one popular theory, Longabough settled in Duchesne, Utah, and adopted the alias William Henry Long. Others insist that Cassidy underwent plastic surgery and was later seen visiting his grandmother in the town of Baggs, Wyoming.