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Elk Meadows, Utah

Butch Cassidy

Beautiful Red Rock Country

In 1867, George Leroy Parker was born into a poor Mormon farming family in Beaver, Utah. He was to become the last of the great Western gang leaders. He changed his name to avoid disgracing his family to Butch Cassidy in admiration of Mike Cassidy, who had taught him the trade of rustling and horse theft.

He was generally well liked. Although a crack shot, he abstained from using a gun to kill humans. Cassidy is not thought to have ever killed anyone. He was always polite, even when robbing a bank. Even his wanted poster described him as "cheery and affable".

He was captured once by authorities for horse rustling, and was sentenced to two years in prison. The night before he was to go to prison, he asked to be released from jail on his promise he would return in the morning. Surprisingly, he was released. The next morning, he returned as he promised.

Red Rock Panicles

Shortly after leaving prison, he started what is thought to be the largest gang of outlaws in the Wild West, The Wild Bunch. This gang may have numbered as many as 100 outlaws at one time and included Harry "Kid" Longbaugh of Sundance aka "The Sundance Kid". Cassidy fell in love with and may have married a prostitute by the name of Etta Place.

When the Wild Bunch took to robbing trains, the Union Pacific took a decidedly business approach to the problem. They offered to buy out Cassidy with a pardon and a "good salary" to become an express guard. The deal fell through, and the Wild Bunch robbed another train.

With the Pinkerton company and Union Pacific gunfighters with high-powered rifles hot on their trail, Cassidy decided to move his operation to South America. By sailing out of New York with the Kid and Etta Place.

Powells Piont

Cassidy was always cunning as one Pinkerton agent reports on his activities in South America, "As soon as Cassidy entered an Indian village he would be playing with the children. When he was hard pressed by the authorities he would always find a hideout among the native population."

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were ultimately killed in South America during a raid by authorities fulfilling the Kid's prophecy, "I'll never be taken alive".

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