Comments about ‘Butch Cassidy imposter exposed’

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Published: Tuesday, Aug. 16 2011 10:59 p.m. MDT

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Gazetteer
WASHINGTON, DC

Cats,
Cassidy's father said he never came home; most of Cassidy siblings said he never came home; one of Lula's sisters said her book was "a pack of lies," and one of Lula's sons told one person the 1925 visit never happened and another person that it did. Cassidy's brother Dan said Cassidy died in SoAm because he's read that in a magazine. Go figure.

A Cassidy niece exlplained it to me: because he never came home there was simply a lack of knowledge about him. The brothers searched for him for years. No one knew what happened, except that he hadn't returned. He vanished.

Oh, and Lula's co-writer Dora Flack, told me that based on everything Lula said, she concluded Phillips was Cassidy. If that's the case, Lula really did have no idea.

Dan

toshi1066
OGDEN, UT

I wonder if the name Butch Cassidy was used by more than one person... that might account for all the diverging leads.

Dean 'n Gone
PROVO, UT

Cats, In addition to the statements from Butch's family, other than Lula, that he did not come home, the Parker and Betenson families both listed Butch's death date as 7 July 1809 in all of their temple and genealogical work up until after 1969, then suddenly it changed to 1937 after the movie came out and Lula told her "story."

Did Lula suddenly remember after the movie came out that "Oh, Bob actually came back, now I remember?"

Gazetteer
WASHINGTON, DC

Toshi1066,
Precisely. Two of his brothers reportedly impersonated him for laughs. Even while he was alive and still in the West he was being seen here, there, and everywhere. Reports of his death in North & South America and in Europe started in the late 1890s and didn't stop until the 1970s -- 60 or so different death tales. My personal favorite is has him getting stabbed in Paris by an Apache, French street slang for a local tough.

A modern analogy is D.W. Cooper. The FBI has received hundreds of different Cooper sightings, many sent in by women who are mad at their boy friend or husband.

Dan

NightTrader
Colonia, Yap, FSM

hmmm... and here I always thought that Paul Newman was Butch Cassidy.

Sly Parker
Horse Creek, Wy

You have to love these blogs, brings out the best of Mr. Buck. For the past five years Ive been reading Mr. Bucks remarks on these blogs, It doesnt matter if the subject is Larry Pointer and William T. Phillips or Paolo Greer and Machu Picchu the rhetoric is always the same. His contention that the Betenson family knew, reminds me of the fellow who found his fathers stash of Playboy magazines after his death, a third of the family either knew or believed they belonged to the old man, one third had no idea, and the other third disowned the son who found them. For those of us who were around in the 1950s, we know people didnt brag about having an outlaw in the family. I know of several instances where the parents never told their children, what the children knew came second hand from sources other than their parents. If Leroy did return, the Betenson family had a good reason to keep it a secret at least until after his death. Cats stick with what you believe, disregard what Dean n Gone and Gazetteer say.

The Artful Codger
Washington, DC

Sly, it's not that the Parkers disowned Butch, they said he never returned from South America. They never saw him again. Happens to be the truth.

Lula is the only sibling who said unequivocally that he came home, and you habe to admit the story is precious: he had blueberry pie -- or whatever kind of pie it was -- and told stories about playing Santa Claus for the kids and saving widows' mortgages (two, which is one more than Robin Hood).

Her family though, disagreed with her. The father, Max Parker said he never came home. Her brother-in-law said the same. A sister called Lula's book "a pack of lies."

Lula could never keep her stories straight. In one interview she said Sundance died in Bolivia and how sad Butch was to leave him there. In her book she resurrected Sundance, telling the story of Butch bumping into Sundance & Etta in a Mexico City bar. Just imagine that.
Dan

Sly Parker
Horse Creek, Wy

Dean n Gone
Lets see if I understand you correctly, everything William T. Phillps told his friends and family about his birth, youth, and early life, can be documented. Well Dead n Gone, lets see the some of your documentation prior to 1900.

Brahmabull
sandy, ut

People claiming to be somebody famous, or somebody that they wish they were is not new. It is just that it has no basis of fact. There have been numerous people claiming to be Jesse James, Billy the kid (11 different people), Butch Cassidy, and many more. How people actually believe these tall tales is beyond me.

mountainmama
Lander, WY

Jack /Sly. Pointer admits that Phillips was not Butch. I know you want to believe that Bert Charter ,your family, who is in Pointers book saying he met Butch as Phillips in 1933 , but one has to know when to give it up.

The Artful Codger
Washington, DC

=========================
"All of these people [who saw Phillips in Wyoming in the 1930s] were bamboozled by this faker from Spokane ...?" Pointer said. "These weren't hayseed, duped ignorant people. These were pillars of our community. And if they said something, you had to better take it seriously."
=========================
Associated Press, 15 August 2011

Hm, I've met a lot of "hayseeds" in my life, and I find them generally to be as intelligent and upstanding as others I've met who have advanced degrees and pillar our communities. In many cases even more so.

In any event, the people who said they met Phillips in the 1930s in Wyoming and later said he was Butch Cassidy fall into three categories: First, people who wouldn't have known Cassidy from Jimmy Hoffa. Second, people, who had met or even known Cassidy, but hadn't seen him in decades, and so were easily persuaded, or perhaps better put, self-persuaded. Third, people who knew it was all a prank, but went along for the ride.
Dan

Sly Parker
Horse Creek, Wy

Yes and I know where Butch was. Right in the good ole Usa. I believe with all my heart Butch was in the US and that he is NOT Phillips.
Pat Schroeder Saturday, August 28, 2010.
Well Pat, I also believe Cassidy returned you wont find any public or private statement attributed to me 50 years ago or today were I said I believed he was William T. Phillips. In fact on a previous blog, I pointed out that Boyd Charter never said he knew Phillips was Butch Cassidy, In Search of Butch Cassidy p240 Boyd believes he heard the man say his name was Phillips. In 1972, Boyd Charter visited my grandmother, the name Phillips was never mentioned. I first heard of William T. Phillips in 1976, when I ask my grandmother if she had ever heard of Phillips, she said no. John Gooldy, Tom Vernon and Fred Ducolon all said Cassidy returned, none of them said he was known as William T. Phillips. I enjoy giving Dan a hard time, on this one Im in agreement, Cassidys death/return will never be resolved to everyones satisfaction. More on Phillips/Wilcox later. Jack, Sly, Kid.

Dean 'n Gone
PROVO, UT

Kudos need to go out to Sly Parker (Jack Stroud) for finding the final connection between the small-time Wild Bunch hanger-on, W.T. Wilcox and William T. Phillips. Jack's discovery of the Wilcox prison record needs to be applauded.
I have bandied about around the connection for quite some time privately. The John Wilcox family in St. Clair Co. MI has been a prime suspect as a foster family for William T. Phillips, them living with Phillip's grandfather and uncle's. Also, WT Wilcox's affinity for sailing, carving a fully rigged model ship while in prison, which was later displayed in a Lander Saloon has been intriguing. But I have had no real proof between the WT Wilcox of Lander and the William Wilcox of the 1880 census in St. Clair Co., MI. Congratulations Jack for finding the link.
I still think that you have misinterpreted the evidence. Most of Phillips family and friends knew that he was illegitimate, and was sent to live with his Grandfather. The John Wilcox family who lived with Stephen Mudge was what we would term a foster family today.

All the Best, Bob

B Parker
Kanab, UT

Dan Buck sure seems to be a Parker expert. I'd like to see some doucmentation and proof on the statements he makes about the Parkers. I guess if you restate the same thing enough times it makes it true?

The truth is: Max Parker never gave interviews and talked publically about his son. Most of Butch's sibling never talked about him dying or coming home. Lula's niece wasn't present for the 1925 visit and had no first hand knowledge.

Where is your proof that he died in Bolivia? I saw the DNA proved it wasn't him, but then the story quickly changed to, Oh, we dug up the wrong graves!

Seem like all your effort go to attacking any opposing ideas wrong...

The Artful Codger
Washington, DC

Jack,
Congrats for your puzzling out the Wilcox connection. Good work. We agree on several topics, one of which is that research pays off.

B Parker,
Evidence and proof are distinct. Evidence can be anything from anecdotes to legal documents. Proof is generally considered that level or accumulation of evidence that establishes something conclusively, though subject to rebuttal. The words "evidence" and "proof" are often used interchangeably, sometimes carelessly. A marriage license evidence rises to the level of proof, unless established otherwise, whereas an anecdote is only evidence.

As for what the Parkers might have said, consult our, "Did Butch Cassidy Return? The Family Can't Decide," WOLA Journal, Spring 1998. Max Parker might not have spoken publicly about his son's fate, but he might have said something to relatives/friends, which they later repeated. Thats evidence. The idea that BC&SK died in Bolivia is supported by an accretion of evidence, an accretion better than the evidence supporting other scenarios, in my view. For years, one of the leading alternative scenarios in some circles was William T. Phillips, though to anyone who paid attention, his claim was ludicrous.

The outlaw history official bird is the wild goose.
Dan

Kid Charter
RIVERTON, WY

Bob,
The credit for solving Phillips/Wilcox mystery rightly belongs to the Larry Pointer and his group of dedicated researchers.
My research led Larry Pointer to conclude it might be worth while to take another look at William T. Phillips, we both proceeded separately in our own way at or own pace. By the end of July 2011, I was 99% sure Phillips was Wilcox. On August 1, 2011, Pointer reached the same conclusion. Pointer ordered the Mug Shot of William T. Wilcox from the Wyoming State Archives, the archives e-mailed the Wilcox photograph to Pointer, he then forwarded their e-mail to me, (Date: Tue, Aug 2, 2011 at 9:21 AM Subject: re Wm. T. Wilcox, WSP Inmate #134 & #324). The mug shot proved Phillips was Wilcox. Although disappointed, Pointer did not hesitate, he said it is what it is as soon as I get the rest of the material, Ill call the Deseret News. On August 11, 2011 the Deseret News conducted a 45 minute interview. on August 16, 2011 the Deseret News published Butch Cassidy imposter exposed. J. S. K

Kid Charter
RIVERTON, WY

Bob,
The credit for solving Phillips/Wilcox mystery rightly belongs to Larry Pointer and his group of dedicated researchers.
My research led Larry Pointer to conclude it might be worth while to take another look at William T. Phillips, we both proceeded separately in our own way at or own pace. By the end of July 2011, I was 99% sure Phillips was Wilcox. On August 1, 2011, Pointer reached the same conclusion. Pointer ordered the Mug Shot of William T. Wilcox from the Wyoming State Archives, the archives e-mailed the Wilcox photograph to Pointer, he then forwarded their e-mail to me, (Date: Tue, Aug 2, 2011 at 9:21 AM Subject: re Wm. T. Wilcox, WSP Inmate #134 & #324). The mug shot was the clincher Phillips was Wilcox. Although disappointed, Pointer did not hesitate, he said it is what it is as soon as I get the rest of the material, Ill call the Deseret News. On August 11, 2011 the Deseret News conducted a 45 minute interview. on August 16, 2011 the Deseret News published Butch Cassidy imposter exposed. J. S. K

B Parker
Kanab, UT

Dan,

I don't need to read your Parker article (although I have and don't agree with a lot of it) to have first hand knowledge of the Parkers. Your statements about the Parkers are not consistent with what I grew up hearing. We believed and respected Lula's claims as do many Parker family members. Your statement about a sister saying her book was a "pack of lies" cannot be true as all of Lula's siblings were deceased when her book was released in 1975. Lula was very close to her siblings and harsh words like these were not spoken. All of her sons were supportive of her claims and Mark confirmed he saw Butch in 1925.

How about concentrating on providing something new to prove he died in Bolivia and leave the Parker family alone.

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