Comments about ‘Was Duchesne farmer the Sundance Kid?’

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Published: Tuesday, Feb. 17 2009 12:00 a.m. MST

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Jerry Nickle

There is nothing in pages 188-198 that conflict with my theory. Pages 188-1988 do conflict with recorded fact.

Jerry Nickle

With my book I will refer primarily to the Pinkerton Files, Charlie Siringo. Donna Ernst, Marriage license. Death certificates, Census records and News paper articles of the time. For Bolivia I will use Horan. I see no reason to doubt Dan Bucks account of the Rio Galagos robbery. I will refer to the Frank Ahler account as given in Bucks book. I will not accuse anyone of faking documents or forgery. I will just ignore what I believe necessary. The family records I use will be made available for others to review.

Disintrested Observer

The story may contain many inaccuracies, but that doesn't constitute a forgery. The Story was published in the April 17, 1912 edition of the Buenos Aires Standard as claimed by Mrs. Ernst.


Mr. Nickle,
I honestly came to this subject--your claims about your grandfather--wanting very much to believe you. I know Dr. McCullough and trust him without question. However, the frequent irrational (I believe) claims you have made on this message board make it hard for me to take your theory seriously:
"I will just ignore what I believe necessary."
This is not how history should be written, even history of the frankly amateurish sort that passes in the study of outlaws! One cannot ignore what one believes to be fake--that HAS to be dealt with!
Others' claims that history should be approached like physics--proved facts only--could be most easily directed at your stated approach to history. When a scientist finds evidence that refutes a theory, he/she must deal with that evidence, whether or not it proves to be accurate. To do otherwise is a recipe for bad science. Taking your supporters' approach to history, your approach to writing this book would prove to be egregiously bad history. Lets say the documents are fake (I'm no expert and honestly don't know), that needs to be investigated.


I truly do not mean to be rude by saying these things. I really do hope that DNA proves you are correct.
It's just that one cannot criticize an author for including an article from a ancient magazine in an appendix, and then claim he will ignore contrary accounts in his own book! It is obvious that the article is impossible to verify and is to be interpreted by the reader as to its accuracy. There is no way to claim this was included in bad faith, though Ernst could have gone to greater lengths to point out some of its more unbelievable claims--I have a hard time believing any details of the locomotive chase scene!
You need to make at least some effort to validate (note that I didn't say prove) your forgery claims. Proof of much of anything is probably impossible to come by in our case, but just because one says something is true doesn't make it so.
I hope I am not coming across too harshly because I really am sad about the contentious tone this whole thing has taken on.

Disintrested Observer

I hope you do not think I was referring to Dr. McCullough of the University of Utah. I am sure his credentials are impeccable, and that he is a good scientist. I was actually referring to David McCullough the Historian and author of several acclaimed books including "John Adams" and "1776"

Thank you for your insights.

Jerry Nickle

Zeke Writes
"Outright Dishonesty and trying to pass off fiction as fact is a bit of a different matter and can get an author in some trouble, especially with a university press. I dont see any evidence of anything rising to that level."

In Ernst book on page 130 it refers to a Pinkerton memo then using this memo as a source Ernst states, Sundance and Etta checked into the Pierce Medical Institute in Buffalo New York in January 1901. I have that Pinkerton memo and it states they were at the Buffalo hospital in the summer of 1901. Does this rise to your level?


I'm waiting to read how light was invented by a Utahan.

Jerry Nickle

Disintrested Observer | 1:54 p.m. March 16, 2009
The story may contain many inaccuracies, but that doesn't constitute a forgery. The Story was published in the April 17, 1912 edition of the Buenos Aires Standard as claimed by Mrs. Ernst.

Doesnt Danna Ernst have a responsibility to point out the many inaccuracies and question the validly of this story?
Is the original document off limits for me to review?

Horse Creek Cowboy

Allegedly and I use the word advisedly, at the end of a 1901 trail drive for the WS, an indivdual going by the name Harry Longabaugh, was signed into the jail to sleep it off. the last time I was in Magdalena coming back from a hasty trip to Whitewater Canyon near Alma, I neglected to stop and check, I have looked for the reference, but not exhaustively. I tend to write references on whatever pad I have with me at the time and later I can not find the reference.

The following references have Butch, Sundance and Ethel in Buenos Aries in 1901:
Marcelo Gavirati:
Buscados en la Patagonia.
La historia no contada de Butch Cassidy

Raul Cea

Jarred Jones in a 1941 interview



Kelly has it in '02 but gives zip references.

The 01 trail to the River Platte Bank seems to be based on Jorge Newbery.

The difficulty I have is that anouncing new theories before that are fully vetted, is that they take on lives of their own and are endlessly repeated like the canard that Tom Horn won a Congressional Metal of Honor or that William Phillps was really Butch.


Disinterested Observer:
"I hope you do not think I was referring to Dr. McCullough of the University of Utah."

No, nothing to do with that. Dr. McCullough is the anthropologist who is working on the DNA comparison. They just happen to have the same last name... my comment had nothing to do with your.

Mr. Nickle:
"Does this rise to your level?"
I am no authority on this or Pinkerton files so I'm not sure why you're asking me. Speculating wildly, it might be a citation error, it might be an honest mistake, a purposeful misrepresentation, or you may be confused about the files referenced or which file or files are referenced. There's no way for me to know so I'll stay out of it except to say that if there is historical fabrication going on here, I'm sure the University of Oklahoma Press would be interested in knowing about it (they have a very good reputation to maintain!).

Hoosier Historian

Would like Zeke's thoughts on the following two stories, about history.

John Dillenger born 1904, died 1940. He was born and raised in Martinsville, OH. He and a friend robbed a gas station, John went to jail, the friend did not. After jail, where John met and became friends with Clyde Barrow and Machine Gun Kelly, his life of crime commenced. Melvin Purvis, head of the FBI, moved him to Public Enemy # 1, he was the third criminal named as #1. He escaped jail in Ft. Wayne, IN,. by kidnapping the Sherriff. John died in a hail of bullets at the Little Bohemia Lodge, in North central Wisconsin, in 1940. He was shot by John E. Hoover, agent in charge, Northern Dist of Wisconsin.

H H (A different version will follow)

Hoosier Historian

John Dillinger was born 6-22-03 in Indianapolis, IN. He spent most of his youth in Morresville, IN. Here as a young man, with a friend, they tried to rob a small grocery store. Dillingers family had little money, he went to jail. His friend had money, he avoided jail.
In jail, John met some less than desirable men. This soon led to a life of crime. Soon, he had the attention of J Edgar Hoover, FBI, who named Dillinger the first, Public Enemy #1. Dillinger could think and he had nerve. He escaped from a jail in Crown Point, IN., using a shoe polish stained wooden pistol.
On the evening of 7-22-34, Melvin Purvis and other FBI men, ended Dillingers career, in an alley beside the Biograph Theater in Chicago.

A favorite story a friend tells: the radio was broadcasting news that Dillinger had just robbed a bank in Kansas. My friend said, knew it was not true, John was sitting in a car across the street,in Mooresville, talking to my sister.

Which do you like better Zeke?

One has a lot of factual information, the other hardly any.


Jerry Nickle

Are you saying Marcelo Gavirati is more credible than the Pinkerton files?

I would not be surprised if Harry Longabaugh was in jail at the end of the 1901 trail drive in Magdalena You realize of course what this means for Marcelo Gavirati.

Jerry Nickle

If Harry longabaugh was in jail at the end of 1901 this would be the only time he used his real name since the he became an escaped fugitive for the Nov 29, 1892 Malta train robbery. I doubt the person in the Magdalena jail was Sundance.

Jerry Nickle

I will be glad to fax or email you that Pinkerton memo. You dont have to be an expert to understand this.


"Which do you like better Zeke?"

I don't like either one. I have no context. Context is everything. I don't know who you are, who wrote the accounts, what their sources are, what more knowledgable people than myself have written about the accounts, I don't have access to the arguments between historians involved, etc., etc. Moreover, I don't know anything about Dillinger other than he was a criminal nor do I have any interest in him.

So, I have no clue which is more accurate and I'm not sure what presenting two accounts with no context is supposed to prove. (With Ernst there is context: various other books and documents. As evident on this board, various people have formed various opinions using this context).

In the interest of the wild speculation you're asking me for, I'd imagine there's a lot more validated historical documentation of Dillinger's life than there is for Sundance; especially given his era being closer to ours. But I'm not an expert on Dillinger and I don't want to be.


Mr. Nickle,
You could put it up on your website. I'd certainly enjoy seeing it. Can I email you through your website? I appreciate the offer.

Jerry Nickle

Who vetted Marcelo Gavirati or pages 188-198 or 130 in Ernst book? Who do you suggest vet my work Dan Buck? Vetting has not been done until now, with me doing the vetting.

Duchesne County Roots

My gut feeling says this guy was the Sundance Kid. I haven't done any research! I am a decendant of the Morrell family.

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