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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If you find your Perry up on the continental divide, in August 1900, might be the same Perry Im looking for, last seen headed for Colorado with $20 gold pieces. Unknown if Perry, first name or last.

Ghosttown Bob

Jerry: RE: your 2:08 p.m. April 12, 2009 comment about, among other things, the letter from Tiffany & Co. concerning the gold watch, purchased by Parker for Longabaugh and his wife. You have asked Buck to produce the letter. Maybe what you ought to do is your own research. Why don't you check Tiffany's website for the address and number to contact them. They have an archive service that will check their records and confirm the purchase. While your at it, ask for information on the watch that Longabaugh bought on June 25, 1902 too. There are ways to confirm others research, ask Anonymous, I sent her running all over the place looking for stuff.


"You have asked Buck to produce the letter. Maybe what you ought to do is your own research." Mr. GBob suggests the above.

Sure that might work. But what is the hang-up with Mr. Buck sharing a letter showing proof of a claim he makes? What in the world is the harm in that? Of course, if he doesn't have the document, it might be a little harder to produce. This kind gesture by Mr. Buck, would save Jerry a lot of time, especially, if what he is looking for, doesn't exist. Just a suggestion, like Gbob's.

Just Passing Thru

Perhaps Mr. Buck would prefer showing the letter he "reportedly" wrote to Lula Parker Betenson's co-author, asking if Mrs. Flack thought Mrs. Betenson was telling, shall we say, the truth.

Daniel Buck

Just Passing Through,

At a 2006 history confab in Rock Springs, WY, Bob Jayne -- who lurks in these latitudes -- announced polemically that he had in his hand a letter I had written to Dora Flack in which I had tried to get her to say Lula Parker Betenson had lied, etc.

I invited Jayne to read said letter to the audience members so the they could judge for themselves. Jayne refused. He fillibustered, tried to change the subject, sputtered. Fell silent.

In my letter, I had asked Flack if, as Betenson's co-author, she had an opinion about the controversy among Parker descendants over Butch Cassidy's fate. Flack replied that she didn't doubt Betenson's veracity: "Never would I have attempted the task if I hadn't believed Lulas story."

I used that quote in our 1998 WOLA Journal article, "Did Butch Cassidy Return? His Family Can't Decide," which you can find online.



I invited Jayne to read said letter to the audience members so the they could judge for themselves. Jayne refused. He fillibustered, tried to change the subject, sputtered. Fell silent.

Not being there, I can relate only what others (reportedly) said occurred. Knowing Mr. Jayne retired some time ago from dealing with this (I'm sure he will be honored at your kind words) I feel the other side needs presented.

When asked about the letter, you replied, That is what we do. It proved what? Why in the world even write such a thing? Apparently Jayne believed it spoke for itself and saw no need to waste others time by reading such a sad tactic. He fell silent after asking, why you had said the derogatory comment about Lulas mind. Comments you and Mrs. Buck immediately denied. (Later, your mind cleared and you admitted not only saying, but writing those sad, insulting words.) My guess, Jayne did not know how to deal with one, who did not speak the truth.

Mr. Buck has the right to think what he does is acceptable. Others and I believe otherwise.

Bob Jayne

Dear Mr. Buck:
Since you have chosen this method of giving me credit and humbling me with your praise, I will return the favor. First, my thanks to A C. As he mentioned I have tried to stay away from this. If memory serves, I think my last comment was Feb. 27, regarding the new book by Harvey Murdock. (I hope that is correct) And it is an excellent book. (Although I dont think Mr. Murdock buys your story)
Mr. Buck you seem to think I am the only one who has seen the letter. Yes, when I first met Mrs. Flack, she gave me copies of your letter and her reply. (Ever wonder why?) A Parker family member was also there. Those letters have been seen (and thought very poorly of) by many.
The truth of what happened in Rock Springs and your tactics are well known, as we both know.
So, please allow me to stay out of this. One little thing, as a past master at the art, I was surprised at your spelling of filibuster.

Bob Jayne

Daniel Buck


That is the methodology: Do research. Trawl archives. Read historic newspapers. Query people with a knowledge of the subject under inquiry.

Dora Flack kindly gave me her answers, and I published them in the article. Only an obscurant would object to that.



"Dora Flack kindly gave me her answers, and I published them in the article. Only an obscurant would object to that." Mr. Buck says------

Mr. Buck, you believe what ever you want, even some of what you write. If I am standing in the way of your progress, oh my goodness. By the way did you ever speak to Mrs. Flack face to face, so you could "see" how she felt about your "query"? She is a lady, Mr. Buck, she is also very polite. I am sure you have at least heard of these words? Right?

Along with your wonderful "words", I presume you are (at least in your mind) moving forward. When you get a moment, it might pay you to check what direction you are actually going. Just a friendly tip.

All my best to your future success Daniel.


Daniel Buck


Dora Flack and I spoke by telephone, after our exchange of letters. She was quite candid and forthcoming. She told me that in her opinion, the "returned" Butch Cassidy was William T. Phillips. "I honestly believe he died as William Phillips," she told me. She said that although she had "no proof," it was based on everything Lula Parker Betenson had said, and that in her view Betenson did not want the Phillips fact made public.

As we know, Betenson said Butch died in the same year and in the same part of the country as William T. Phillips, and occasionally used the alias Phillips, but was not William T. Phillips.

No wonder the controversy persists.


A Lady

If I may state my opinion, Mr. Buck, in your book, what you did may be explained as a "query". Sir, in mine, it is nothing more than an insult.

Mr. Buck, you can attempt to explain (excuse) it with all the eloquence you want. It is still insulting, when you ask an individual, if they feel their co-author is telling the truth. Would you have been more pleased if Mrs. Flack had answered, I only co-author books with those that don't tell the truth.

If you truly believe such a "query" is appropriate, you are indeed a sad, little man.

Almost still a Lady

Disintrested Observer

It has been a while since I have been on this board, and it looks again that the subject has turned to it's favorite topic, Dan Buck and his supposed "insult" of Lula Betensen - And everyone else taking offense to it. I still have not seen the exact quote that is so offensive. If Bob Jayne would "produce" the quote like the rest seem to be wanting Buck to do with the Tiffany watch thing, then maybe everyone can see just how insulting it was.

There seems to be two sides to this. Buck seems to think he made a valid inquiry to Flack about her opinion. Others seem to think that he was insulting Betensen.

Well, "lets see the goods" so we can decide for ourselves, or is this just about having your feelings hurt and then whining about it???

Ghosttown Bob

Concerning the Gold Watch and letter. Dan Buck has provided the following: The date of the letter from Tiffany's, the date of the watch purchase, who purchased it, their address, the serial number of the watch, and the price. What else do you want? short of posting a photocopy of said letter on the board (which can't be done), he has included just about everything in the letter. Even if he were able to post a photocopy of the said letter, someone could say that it had been "photo-shopped."

To really confirm that the letter is not a "fake" which Jerry has claimed, you need to write Tiffany & Co. and ask. As I mentioned before, they have an archive service which will gladly forward any and all information to you.

good luck


For being "disintrested" you do seem to have some misguided interest. It might help your presentation if you knew what your were talking about.

"Dan Buck and his "supposed" insult of Lula Betensen" --- Comes from Buck stating, "Mrs. Betenson's mind had possibly corroded with age." What part of that don't you understand?

"Buck seems to think he made a valid inquiry to Flack about her opinion. Others seem to think that he was insulting Betensen."

You again "seem" to miss the point. Insulting Mrs. Betenson has been addressed above. Buck writing Mrs. Flack, asking if she thought Lula was telling the truth, was an insult to Mrs. Flack. (Do you really think Mrs. Flack would be part of an effort that was knowingly not true?) Have you met Mrs. Flack? If you don't understand this, it might be a good idea for you to stay--"disinterested".

Daniel Buck


Below is the full quote, from the Q&A in the 2002 True West (online on our website). Memory does fade with age, but if its any comfort to you, I think Lula made up the return story.


Q: How come Butch's sister Lula Parker Betenson said he came home in 1925 if he didn't?

A: At the time Lula made her claim, many people believed that Butch had returned, so she may have seen no harm in simply inventing a visit to trump Hollywood and write a book with a better story of how Butch, "the sainted abbot of the world's largest gang of outlaws" (as she once described him), defeated death. A more charitable explanation is that age had corroded her memory -- that is, some relative had visited the family's home in Circleville, and decades later that person became Butch in her mind. (Memories are memories of a memory, as the neuroscientists like to say.) In any case, most of Butch's immediate kin, including his father and other siblings, said he never returned.

Daniel Buck

Disinterested Observer,

The quarrel with my 1998 letter to Dora Flack is not with the content, but that I inquired at all. There are those -- obscurants -- who believe that once a question is settled in their mind, further inquiry by others is out-of-bounds, or as they like to put it "insulting."

My letter to Flack summarized the mystery about whether he had died in South America or returned to the US, and noted while Lula's view was "quite clear," that we had "learned of other opinions from other members of the Parker family expressing doubts about Lula's version." Nothing controversial there. It's true.

The letter closed, "I wondered if you, as someone who was intimately involved with the writing of the book, had an opinion on the matter."

Flack replied with a spirited defense of the books veracity. We quoted from her letter in our article. See "Did Butch Cassidy Return? His Family Can't Decide."


Kid Lutefisk

I'm delighted to find my old pals pounding the snot out of Dan Buck and his Pennsylvania Housewife side-kick, Donna Ernst. Question:
(1) The headstone for Evinda Ann Long a/k/a Vinda Long Merkley in the Duchesne, Utah, Cemetery gives her birthdate as March 29, 1898. Evinda was Bill and Luzernia Long's second child, and I believe Luzernia's eighth child. Under the rule that the first baby can come any time, but the rest take 9 months, that would mean Bill and Luzernia were doing the horizontal mambo in Fremont, Wayne County, Utah on or about July 29, 1897.
(2) According to David Gillespie's October 12, 1897 letter to his mother, Harry Longabaugh was in the Baggs/Dixon/Savery/Slater area on June 28, 1897, the date of the Belle Fourche bank robbery, and did not leave the Little Snake area until August 1, 1897. After leaving the Little Snake area he was spotted in Red Lodge, Montana on September 18, 1897 and was arrested 20 miles north of Lavina, Montana, on September 22, 1897. Harry subsequently broke jail on October 31, 1897, at Deadwood, South Dakota.

Kid Lutefisk

(Continued) If you accept as fact that a mortal person can not be in two places at one time, isn't this dispositive of the issue of whether or not Bill Long is Harry Longabaugh? If not dispositive, would you please tell me why it is not?

Kid Lutefisk

Would you please tell me the date when you will publish the results of your DNA test results? Sufficient time has elapsed since the third exhumation/reinternment to have compared the DNA of every resident of Boston. Tempus fugit.


"Below is the full quote, from the Q&A in the 2002 True West (online on our website). Memory does fade with age, but if its any comfort to you, I think Lula made up the return story." Per Buck.

Are you stating Buck, that you never accused Mrs. Betenson of possible having a corroded mind? Not even in one of your ads. (see above) I recall someone showing awhile back, in one of your many "articles", where you had made this accusation in writing. (is it still there or has it been removed?) Save us all from this, just be man enough to admit what you did and go on. It is simple. Or does the truth catch in your throat? I understand you denied it in Rock Springs and you still won't back up what yos have said. I, like most others, are fed up with this and you.

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