BUTCH CASSIDY Biography - Crimes, Laws and people


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Robert LeRoy Parker (alias Butch Cassidy)                                                     
Born 13 April 1866                                                                           
Beaver, Utah                                                                                 
Died c. 6 November 1908                                                                       
outside San Vicente, Bolivia                                                                 
Charge(s) Train and bank robbery                                                             
Status Shot by Bolivian police                                                               
Occupation Criminal                                                                           
Parents Maximillian Parker and Ann Campbell Gillies                                           
Butch Cassidy (13 April 1866 - c. 6 November 1908), born Robert LeRoy Parker,                 
was a notorious train and bank robber.                                                       
Parker was born in Beaver, Utah in Beaver County, to Maximillian Parker and Ann               
Campbell Gillies, English and Scottish Mormon immigrants, respectively, who came             
to the Utah Territory in the late 1850s.[1] His parents had been residents of                 
Victoria Road, Preston, Lancashire. He was the first of 13 children born to the               
Parkers. He grew up on his parents' ranch near Circleville, Utah, 215 miles (346             
km) south of Salt Lake City, Utah.                                                           
Parker left home during his early teens, and while working at a dairy farm, he               
fell in with Mike Cassidy, a horse thief and cattle rustler. He subsequently                 
worked at several ranches in addition to a brief stint as a butcher in Rock                   
Springs, Wyoming, when he acquired the nickname "Butch", to which he soon                     
appended the surname Cassidy in honor of his old friend and mentor.                           
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, apparently suicides, 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               
There is anecdotal and circumstantial evidence that Longabaugh also returned to               
the United States and died in 1937.                                                           
In 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. (McPhee, p. 358)                                               
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.                                 
All correspondence from both Parker and Longabaugh ceased after the San Vicente