The Wild Bunch (1896-1901) – Butch Cassidy’s bandit gang operated in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Utah, and Nevada for nearly five years successfully robbing banks, trains, and stages throughout the area. The group which was usually made up of about ten people varied throughout the years in its members, as outlaws and girlfriends came and went. But the Wild Bunch, sometimes referred to as Butch Cassidy’s Gang or the Hole in the Wall Gang, was always led by Cassidy, whose real name was Robert Leroy Parker and Harry Longabaugh, better known as the “Sundance Kid.”
The gang utilized several hideouts including the Hole in the Wall in the southern Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming, Brown’s Hole in a desolate valley near the Wyoming, Colorado and Utah; and the Robber’s Roost located in the desert of southeastern Utah.
The gang also included Etta Place, Longabaugh’s girlfriend; Bill Carver; Ben “The Tall Texan” Kilpatrick; Kid Curry, Willard “the Mormon Kid” Christianson; George Curry; Laura Bullion, Elzy Lay, Tom “Peep” O’Day, Jesse Linsley, Annie Rogers, Lillie Davis, and others who came and went over the years.
As communication improved throughout the country, the robberies became more difficult and that finally split up after their last train robbery in the summer of 1901. Avidly pursued by the Pinkertons, Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid, and Etta Place fled to Argentina in 1902. Some say the outlaw pair were killed in Bolivia, but others say they finally made their way back to the United States where they lived anonymously until their deaths.
By Kathy Weiser-Alexander, August, 2017.