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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2.)There was more than five named suspects:

--Harvey Logan, clearly a participant, and a "Roberts", or Jones if you like
--George Flatnose Currie, clearly a participant.
--The elusive Mr. Roberts, or Jones, or Scramble, depending on your preference.
--Robert E. Lee, clearly guilty only of possessing stolen money.
--Lonnie Logan, clearly guilty only of possessing stolen money.

The fact is, after the May 5, 1900 interview with Lee, nobody was looking for a sixth man, and Hadsell was only interested in Frank Roberts/Jones/Scramble as Harvey Ray. Hadsell's correspondence with the Pinkertons following the interview makes this last point crystal clear.

The further fact is there never was a want or warrant issued for either Butch or Harry for either Tipton or Wilcox. Ever. Never.

On Frank Jones/Roberts/Harry: The People's Voice article detailing Galloway and Leahy's involvement is fraught with problems:

1.) Neither man could have gone to Fort Pierre to see Alonzo. Frank Roberts was locked up in the Lawrence County Jail in Deadwood, not Pierre.

2.) Payment of a reward would have nothing whatever to do with their ability to see "Roberts". He wasn't being held incomunacado.

Continued ....


3.) The payment of a reward had nothing whatever to do with the two being able to see and talk to "Roberts" lawyers.

4.) "Harry Alonzo" couldn't have joined the Powder Springs Gang last winter (1896/97) Harry and Bert Charter were wintering the Reader Cattle at Reader Cabin Draw, and if they rustled them, Al Reader never said so.

5.) Bob Lee said he met Frank Scramble between Jan-June, 1897 at Cripple Creek, Colorado. Scramble can't be Harry because Harry was working for Al Reader during that time.

6.) If Galloway and Leahy went to Pierre (Deadwood?)
met with Roberts, alabied him to Temple and partner, why in the world would Roberts break jail? That makes no sense.

So, HCC, those are some more reasons why I just can't get past my notion --however misguided and silly --that Harry wasn't at Deadwood, that he didn't break jail, and that he wasn't Frank Scramble, Frank Roberts, or Frank Jones.

Help me out. Somebody throw me a life preserver, please.

Kid Montana


if the photo of Sundance and Etta was stolen by the pinkerton out of the longabaugh family mail, was it the bliss or the deyoung photo?



I'm not sure that any evidence of Longabaugh returning to the U. S. in 1901 that is generated from or associated with Wagner will ever be dispositive. The reason for my belief is that Kilpatrick was identified as Longabaugh for a while. Thus, with Kilpatrick in the U. S., anyone who wishes to do so might argue that it was Kilpatrick whom people saw and identified as Longabaugh.

That said, don't you find it strange that the two men who had such different descriptions were confused? I do.

Do you think it possible that Steryl Roberts and his brother had their identities appropriated by "Frank Roberts" and "Tom Roberts"? If so, is it possible that this is the source of the confusion and can accounts for some --but not all-- of the confusion?

Just a thought. I'd appreciate your views.


If the Bliss photo comes from the Library of Congress (Pinkerton Files) I would say it is authentic. Being authentic we know it was taken in Buffalo. The only time Harry went to Buffalo was when he went to the hospital there in the summer of 1901. This means BS&E did not tour New York in Jan or Feb 1901 as all the authors to date have written.


The “Cody Enterprise” issue of July 11, 1901 gives only one name as one of the Wagner Robbers. That name was Longabaugh. But it has a description of all three robbers. Two were of medium height (Longabaugh and Curry) and the third robber was tall ( Kilpatrick)

In the Anaconda Standard issue of July 14, 1901 it gives two names, Longabaugh and Kid Curry. It also has a description of the robbers, which match Longabaugh, Curry and Kilpatrick.

The Longabaugh/Kilpatrick confusion happened latter in St Louis when Kilpatrick was arrested. He had a paper with the name Longabaugh written on it. The newspapers assumed he was Longabaugh. But at the time of the robbery there was no confusion. The robbers were Longabaugh, Curry and Kilpatrick. Hanks was holding the horses.



I think you make an excellent argument, and I hope it gets discussed on this blog. I'd like to make two points, although I don't have any idea how important they might be.

1,) I don't know that the Bliss version of the Photograph is in the Pinkerton files in LOC. I followed the web address given on this blog and found it in LOC scans. If the Bliss photo is in the LOC Pinkerton files, I flat missed it on my visits there. It might be there, I just didn't see it there.

2.) I'd appreciate you developing the date of summer 1901 for the Longabaugh alias Ethel Place visit to Buffalo. So far as I am aware, the summer 1901 date comes from Frank Dimaio's notebook entry found at Container 89, Folio 13, written post April 3, 1902, the date of the Philly Pinkerton mailcover on Samanna Longabaugh, which is where Dimaio's summer 1901 date comes from. I thought HCC did an exceptionally good job of explaining that entry. Perhaps you, HCC, and others will discuss this further. I hope so.

Horse Creek Cowboy

Re Longabaugh at Wagner.

Both Charles Smith and William O'Neil, the express messenger and fireman respectively on the Flyer, positively identified one of the robbers as Longabaugh. Now the rest of the story:

Following the arrest of one of the robbers in St. Louis with possession of the stolen notes, on November 13m 1901, both travelled to St. Louis and positively identified the robber as Longabaugh whom they had identified as one of the participants in the robbery of the Flyer. The difficulty is that later the person they identified as Longabaugh turned out, upon identification by the Sheriff of Concho County to be (drum roll please) Ben Kilpatrick. The confusion is that no one in Wagner knew what Longabaugh or for that matter Kilpatrick looked like. For explanation see Salt Lake Herald, November 14, 1901. Kilpatrick later confessed.


Thanks, Butch, for the information on statute of limitations information. Puts a few thing in perspective.

Colin Taylor

Driftwood- Your assertion that HL was involved in the Wagner train robbery surprises me. You quote two papers published eleven days after the robbery. The only reason that HL was suspected of involvement was that he had perpetrated a train robbery at virtually the same location nearly nine years before. Newspapers then were about the same as they are today. No one is interested in old news so---they tend to make stuff up. There is little indication that four men were involved in the robbery. This came from a woman passenger who thought she saw someone holding the horses on the south side of the train and from Walt Coburn in his book where he states he remounted four horsebackers later the evening of July 3rd. Three men were eventually caught with the money. Harvey Logan in Knoxville, Ben Kilpatrick in St. Louis and O.C. Hanks was shot to death in Flo Williams saloon in San Antonio, TX. CT


GUE: You're more than welcome. The further we move away fom current literature by "experts" and the closer we move toward the actual documents I believe the closer we move toward facts, and ultimately, truth.

Suppose that rather than treating The Wild Bunch as an historical inquiry, we treated it as a criminal case that had been brought to trial. Further suppose that you and I and others on this blog were selected to serve on the jury. What then, would we jury members demand of the Prosecution and Defense? I expect that we would demand credible evidence which is to say facts leading to proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Competent counsul on both sides of the issue would argue facts and evidence. As honest jurors we would carefully weigh the evidence and arguments, be impartial, give both sides a fair hearing, and then deliberate to reach a verdict.

Under no circumstances would we accept rumor, theory, hypothesis, unsubstantiated allegations, or opinion as "evidence". We would accept qualified "expert opinion", but in that context "expert" does not mean a published author.

Foremost authorities need not apply!

Horse Creek Cowboy

Subject: Loose ends.
1. Pinkertons had no way of knowing or suspecting that Longabaugh or Ethel were in Buffalo except through the letters to Harry's family. Nor would they know to check with photo studio, except by learning of the photo in the opening of the mail. If they were to purchase a copy from Bliss they certainly did not need paste board frame. Ergo, they stole it, but the frame is not something that would be publicly bandied about.
2. Except for the one note indicating the '01 date, nothing else indicates that the duo were in Buffalo in '01. My memory (without double checking notes) is that the three arrived in Chubut late in the year. Some doubt may exist as to the date they arrived. Edward VII did not decide the boundary between Chile and Argentina in the Cholila Valley until November of '02. Local lore from the 1930's had "Boots" and Sr. y Sra. Place arriving in '01.



I think you nailed the post April 3, 1902 Dimaio Notebook page perfectly. Suppose, for the sake of discussion, we begin with the proposidtion that Longabaugh and Ethel were not in Buffalo for the Bliss Photo in 1901. Given that, I'd like to float the following for review and discussion:

1.) Gooldy says that Gillespie received the Bliss/DeYoung photo a few months after Gillespie received a letter from Harry from Wolcott. If so, I put receipt of the photo somewhere around March, 1901 --give or take.

2.) So far as we know from the Pinkerton Documents Harry and Ethel were in New York approximately Feb 1 -Feb 20, 1901, went to SA, and did not return until April 3, 1902. If so, the only opportunity to be in Buffalo in time to get Gillespie a photo by March, 1901, was before arrival in NY,or December, 1900 or January, 1901. We have Longabaugh in Fort Worth, November, 1900.

3.) If the photo was taken in Buffalo, December, 1900 or January, 1901, the most reasonable conclusion is that the negative was moved to DeYoung's in NY by approximately Feb. 1, 1901.

Continued ....


As you blogged previously, it isn't credible that Longabaugh and Ethel would transport the negative to SA and then bring it back to DeYoungs in April, 1902. Therefore, I deduce that if Longabaugh and Ethel transported the negative from Buffalo to NYC, they did so by their arrival on or about February 1, 1901. If so, the negative could have been discovered by the Pinkertons as they followed up on the April 3, 1902 mail cover on Samanna, in plenty of time for Robert Pinkerton's July 29, 1902 memo to say, incorrectly, that the photo had been taken at DeYoungs.

I'd appreciate a critique from you on this line of thought.

Final item. Reading Ms. Meadows book, and working from a friend's translation of Gavirati, I come up with an arrival date in Chubut approximately April/May 1901. I realize you blogged from memory. When you get the chance, would you look at your notes and let me know if the arrival was, in your opinion, April/May or late 1901?

Thanks. I always look forward to your blogs, and super find on the Bliss photo. We're all in your debt.


Butch: Yes, I think that's a strong approach, particularly given all the detailed information floating around. Frankly, I'm having trouble keeping up from time to time. But very informative!

HCC:Have you ever come across something published by Frank DiMaio in book form, a la Charlie Siringo?

Question: I once contacted Pat Schroeder, President and CEO of the Association of American Publishers (AAP)regarding her theories about Butch. I believe she may have once been a blogger here. She was kind enough to respond and offered only one enigmatic comment, claiming that Butch was in Alaska and made his way back down to the states through Vancouver in the early part of the century. At one point, she claimed to have pertinent information regarding Butch's life after SA. I think there was a veiled reference to a murder in there as well. Her email is currently out of commission. Does anyone know about her theories? Has she published any of them?



Pat Schroeder's Butch in Alaska story was, I think, told by Larry Pointer in his book "In Search of Butch Cassidy". Pointer's basic premise was that Butch Cassidy was, after his return from SA, one William Thadeus Phillips. Pointer used as his primary source a handwritten script by Phillips intended as a movie script under the working title of "The Bandit Invincible". In addition to that, Pointer and his wife conducted extensive interviews with survivors of the era in Wyoming and elsewhere in the west. Pointer also did quite a lot of research using the WPA writer's project materials as a guide. In addition to all that, Pointer did quite a lot of basic research in prison records, and reviewed and summarized with surprising accuracy some of the primary Pinkerton Documents available to him.

Initially Mr Pointer partnered with Jim Dullenty, a very respected writer and researcher, who began his career as an investigative reporter for a NW newspaper. As the research progressed, Dullenty formed the opinion that Phillips was not Cassidy, and the two men went their separate ways, with Pointer going forward on his own.

Continued ....


At the present time I believe it is fair to say that the weight of opinion amoung Wild Bunchers is that Phillips was not Cassidy, but either knew him or knew close associates of Cassidy. A good deal of Pointer's work may have found its way into Lula Parker Betenson's "Butch Cassidy, My Brother", and he is referenced in a good many indexes of Wild Bunch literature.

While I am in Dullenty's camp and do not believe Phillips was Cassidy, I find Mr. Pointer an excellent source of information on a quick reference basis. I can reccomend him as a very good basic book in your library. It should also be noted that Pointer was instrumental in bringing Boyd Charter's 1925 encounter with Cassidy to the public, and he interviewed several of the Charter family members, all of whom spoke well of him. In a good many circles, if you bring up Bill Phillips, get set for a spirited if not heated debate. Here is a great example. Ready, fellow bloggers?

Compare the circa 1887 photo of William J. C. "Outlaw Bill" Moore photo to the 1937 Bill Philipps photo. Look at the left eye.



Thanks, Butch. I think I remember reading somewhere that Pointer may have changed his opinion about Phillips, maybe it was a comment from Dan Buck. I'm not trying to stir things up, but any thoughts on that?

Horse Creek Cowboy

Dates in Cholila:

Chatwin, citing the Police Commissioner has the trio in Cholila in June of '01. Seemingly, there may be confusion in years. He seemingly has this after registering for the land. That was in April 02, but registration gives numbers of animals, etc. so they were already there.

DiMaio. Meadows cites a handwritten memorandum written 40 years after the fact. Observation: Years tend to get confused that long after the fact, witness the next paragraph which cites 104 year old Pedro Pena as a source.

To add to confusion relating to place of death of the duo, Gavirati cites Chatwin as suggesting that the two were killed at Rio Pico: "Segn Bruce Chatwin, sugiriendo que los bandoleros muertos en Ro Pico eran Butch Cassidy y Sundance Kid, el soldado Pedro Pena, sobreviviente del tiroteo, habra afirmado en una entrevista realizada en 1970 en Rawson (a la edad de 104 aos), que sobre los cuerpos de los bandoleros se hallaron dos relojes de oro y la foto de 'una mujer hermossima'." Gavirati suggests, however, that no other sources confirm the photo of the beautiful woman.


HCC: Thanks for the information on DiMaio. That handwritten article may be a little tough to track down. Too bad he hadn't gotten it down earlier. In fact, I'm surprised there isn't more written about DiMaio, or even LeFors for that matter.

Butch: Is this "Outlaw Bill" (circa 1887) photo online? I'd like to compare it to Phillips.

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