Robert Leroy Parker (aka "Butch Cassidy"), Wild Bunch Gang

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Robert Leroy Parker (aka "Butch Cassidy"), Wild Bunch Gang's Geni Profile

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Robert Leroy "Butch Cassidy" Parker, Wild Bunch Gang

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Beaver, Beaver County, Utah, United States
Death: Died in Pueblo de San Vicente, (Present Municipio de Tupiza), (Present Departamento de Potosí), Bolivia
Cause of death: Gunned down by several Bolivian officials and 3 soldiers
Place of Burial: Cementerio General de San Vicente, Pueblo de San Vicente, (Present Municipio de Tupiza), (Present Departamento de Potosí), Bolivia
Immediate Family:

Son of Maxmillian Parker and Annie Campbell Parker
Brother of Daniel Sinclair Parker; Arthur Parker; Jean Ann Parker; William Moroni Parker; Susan Knell Parker and 7 others

Occupation: a notorious American train robber, bank robber and leader of the Hole in the Wall Gang.
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Robert Leroy Parker (aka "Butch Cassidy"), Wild Bunch Gang

Butch Cassidy was born Robert LeRoy Parker and was the leader of the Hole in the Wall Gang.

Parker's first offense was minor. About 1880, he journeyed to a clothier's shop in another town only to find the shop closed. He entered the shop and took a pair of jeans and some pie, leaving an IOU promising to pay on his next visit. However, the clothier pressed charges. Parker was acquitted at a jury trial.

He continued to work on ranches until 1884, when he moved to Telluride, Colorado, ostensibly to seek work but perhaps to deliver stolen horses to buyers. He led a cowboy's life in Wyoming and in Montana, before returning to Telluride in 1887. There he met Matthew Warner, the owner of a race horse. The men raced the horse at various events, dividing the winnings between them.

The same trio, together with an unknown fourth man, was responsible for the robbery on June 24, 1889, of the San Miguel Valley Bank in Telluride in which they stole approximately $21,000, after which they fled to the Robbers Roost, a remote hideout in southeastern Utah.

In 1890, Parker purchased a ranch near Dubois, Wyoming. This location is close to the notorious Hole-in-the-Wall, a natural geological formation which afforded outlaws much welcomed protection and cover, and so the suspicion has always existed that Parker's ranching, at which he was never economically successful, was in fact a façade which operated to conceal more clandestine activities, perhaps in conjunction with Hole-in-the-Wall outlaws.

In early 1894, Parker became involved romantically with female Old West outlaw and rancher Ann Bassett. Bassett's father, rancher Herb Bassett, did business with Parker, supplying him with fresh horses and beef. That same year, Parker was arrested at Lander, Wyoming, for stealing horses and possibly for running a protection racket among the local ranchers there. Imprisoned in the state prison in Laramie, Wyoming, he served 18 months of a two-year sentence and was released in January 1896, having promised Governor William Alford Richards that he would not again offend in that state in return for a partial remission of his sentence. Upon his release, he became involved briefly with Ann Bassett's older sister, Josie, then returned to his involvement with Ann.

The facts surrounding Parker's death are uncertain. On November 3, 1908, near San Vicente in southern Bolivia, a courier for the Aramayo Franke y Cia Silver Mine was conveying his company's payroll by mule when he was attacked and robbed by two American bandits. The bandits then proceeded to San Vicente where they lodged. Three nights later, on November 6, their lodging house was surrounded by a small group comprising the local mayor and some of his officials, and two soldiers. A gunfight then ensued. During a lull in the firing, a single shot was heard from inside the house, followed by a man screaming, and then another single shot. The locals kept the place surrounded until the next morning when, cautiously entering, they found two dead bodies, both with numerous wounds to the arms and legs, one with a bullet hole in the forehead and the other with a hole in the temple. Both bodies were removed to the local San Vicente cemetery where they were buried close to the grave of a German miner named Gustav Zimmer. Although attempts have been made to find their unmarked grave, notably by the American forensic anthropologist Clyde Snow and his researchers in 1991, no remains with DNA matching the living relatives of Parker and Longabaugh have yet been discovered.

However, there were claims, such as by Parker's sister Lula Parker Betenson, that he returned alive to the United States and lived in anonymity for years. In her biography Butch Cassidy, My Brother, Betenson cites several instances of people familiar with Parker who encountered him long after 1908, and she relates a detailed impromptu "family reunion" of Parker, their brother Mark, their father, and Lula, in 1925.

In 1974 or 1975, Red Fenwick, a diligent, reliable senior citizen columnist at The Denver Post, told writer Ivan Goldman, then a reporter at the Post, that he was acquainted with Parker's physician, a woman. Fenwick said she was a person of absolute integrity. She told Fenwick that she had continued to treat Parker for many years after he supposedly was killed in Bolivia. There is no mystery as to why Parker's father might deny he had been visited by his fugitive son after 1908.

There is anecdotal and circumstantial evidence that Longabaugh also returned to the United States and died in 1937.

In his Annals of the Former World, John McPhee repeats a story told to geologist David Love (1913-2002) in the 1930s by Love's family doctor, Francis Smith, M.D., when Love was a doctoral student. Smith stated that he had just seen Parker, that Parker told Smith that his face had been altered by a surgeon in Paris, and that he showed Smith a repaired bullet wound that Smith recognized as work he had previously done on Parker.

Western historian Charles Kelly closed the chapter "Is Butch Cassidy Dead?" in his 1938 book, Outlaw Trail, by observing that if Parker "is still alive, as these rumors claim, it seems exceedingly strange that he has not returned to Circleville, Utah, to visit his old father, Maximillian Parker, who died on July 28, 1938, at the age of 94 years." Kelly is thought to have interviewed Parker's father, but no known transcript of such an interview exists.

While Kelly said that all correspondence from both Parker and Longabaugh ceased after the San Vicente incident, some correspondence has been published that is dated 1930, 1937 and 1938 and said to have been written by Parker

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Robert Leroy Parker (aka "Butch Cassidy"), Wild Bunch Gang's Timeline

1866
April 13, 1866
Beaver, Beaver County, Utah, United States
1908
November 1908
Age 42
Pueblo de San Vicente, (Present Municipio de Tupiza), (Present Departamento de Potosí), Bolivia
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Pueblo de San Vicente, (Present Municipio de Tupiza), (Present Departamento de Potosí), Bolivia