Butch Cassidy


Butch Cassidy, initially named Robert Leroy Parker, was a notorious robber in late 19th and early 20th century America.

He teamed up with various other criminals such as Harry Longabaugh (the Sundance Kid), Harvey Logan (Kid Curry), Ben Kilpatrick (the Tall Texan) and Harry Tracy, etc.

They formed a group called The Wild Bunch, and Cassidy became their leader. When the police were about to arrest them, the gang ran away to the South America.

They returned in 1906 and restarted their crime streak. In 1908, it was declared that Butch Cassidy along with his whole group was shot dead by the police.

Early Years

Cassidy was born on 13th April 1866 in Beaver, Utah. His family was very poor, and among his 13 siblings, he was the oldest. Parker wanted a better life and so decided to leave home at a young age.

He worked at various ranches and eventually developed a deep friendship with a rancher named Mike Cassidy who was notorious for stealing cattle/ horses.

Parker did not want to bring shame to his parents. So he changed his name to Butch Cassidy. It was also a tribute to his old mentor Cassidy.

As a Young Outlaw

Cassidy was witty, charming, and brave. As a result of this, many people gathered around him. He carried out his first major robbery in June 1889 at San Miguel Valley Bank in Telluride, Colorado.

Cassidy, along with his three partners, stole $20,000, after which he bought a ranch in Wyoming and continued stealing cattle. In 1894, the police finally arrested him and he was sentenced to jail for two years.

The Wild Bunch

Despite being an outlaw, Cassidy was well known for fulfilling his promises. According to a story, he begged the authorities to let him out for one day and promised to come back the next day. The police believed him and he came back in the morning.

Cassidy was released in 1896 and created the Wild Bunch group. They first robbed a bank in Montpelier, Idaho. After this, the group targeted various areas such as South Dakota, New Mexico, Nevada, and Wyoming, etc.

Each successful robbery brought them great fame, and they continued taking on challenging tasks. One of the largest robberies Cassidy and his gang committed was of $70,000.

In exchange for stopping his thefts and becoming an express guard, Cassidy was offered pardon. However, he refused and continued his criminal activities.

On the Run

The Union Pacific Railroad grew tired of the gang’s activities and hired the Pinkerton National Detective Agency. They started hunting the Wild Bunch and the group was forced to move to South America.

Death and Controversy

Official police stance states that Cassidy and the Wild Bunch were shot dead on 6th November 1908 in Southern Bolivia. However, the truth about their death remains a mystery. Some people say that Cassidy faked his death and returned to the USA as William T. Philips.

After that, he lived his life as a machinist and died in 1937 at Spokane, Washington. The cause of death was cancer. Whatever the reason might be, it cannot be denied that Cassidy was the most famous outlaw in American history.

butch Cassidy

The Outlaw Trail: A History of Butch Cassidy and His Wild Bunch Paperback – May 1, 1996