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Butch Cassidy, Sundance Kid, and Etta Place

Bill Donaldson, Dave Naples and Kathy Ziegler as Butch, Sundance and Etta
Bill Donaldson, Dave Naples and Kathy Ziegler as Butch, Sundance and Etta

Butch Cassidy was the alias of George Leroy Parker, born to a Mormon family in rural Utah.  He took up a life of crime early as a cattle rustler and bank robber while sometimes earning a legitimate living as a cowboy.  He changed his name to George Cassidy after his criminal mentor, Mike Cassidy.  He was skilled in the cowboy arts of riding, roping and shooting.  He was the leader of "The Wild Bunch," a criminal gang that roamed the west in the 1890's.  The Wild Bunch had a favorite hideout in a canyon known as Brown's Hole west of Craig, Colorado.

Harry Longabaugh took the name Sundance Kid after spending time in jail in Sundance, Wyoming.  He had come west from Pennsylvania and eventually joined up with Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch.  He was said to have a quick temper and was highly skilled with a pistol.

There is much legend and little fact known about Etta Place.  Like Butch and Sundance, she used many aliases.  She was married to Sundance and was known to have fled to South America with her husband.  Etta participated in some of the bank robberies in South America.

Butch, Sundance, and Etta fled to South America when the law, led by Charley Siringo and Joe LaFors, started closing in on them in Colorado.  There they lived several years with moderate success as ranchers, but eventually regressed to their old criminal ways and began robbing banks and trains.  When they heard that LaFors had tracked them to South America, they sold their ranch and went on the run once more.  It is believed (but not proven) that Butch and Sundance were killed in a shootout with soldiers in San Vicente, Bolivia.  What became of Etta thereafter is unknown.

Those who knew Butch Cassidy insist the "gentleman bandit" who eluded the best lawmen for 20 years and was never known to kill anyone could never have been cornered by Bolivian soldiers and then chosen to shoot it out with them.