Sunday, February 16, 2020

Red Bird's War: What Really Happened in 1827, Part 2

By Monette Bebow-Reinhard

Editor's Note: Last week, Western Magazine Digest (WMD) featured part 1 where the stage was set for further problems between the Whites and Red Bird's tribe, leading to his demise. Today, we feature part 2. Thank you for reading WMD! -Al Colombo

Captain Lindsay gave no reason why the two boats parted company.
About four in the afternoon on the 30th, [the Perry] was attacked by the Winnebagoes at or near the Bad Axe, and maintained a desperate conflict with them until sunset. The particulars are known; two of the crew were killed and four wounded and the Indians acknowledge a loss of eight killed and one wounded.
After writing about the ineffective attack on the second keel boat, Lindsay added the following:
I have been induced to publish this statement by a report, which appears to have been widely circulated, that the crews of the boats were the aggressors. I can solemnly aver that, from our departure to Prairie du Chien down to our arrival at the Leaf’s village this was not the case. In ascending, the two boats never parted company, and I was an eye witness to all that passed. It has been said that some of their women were taken forcibly from the Indians.
Observer did not say that women were taken forcibly. Observor only referred to “Venus” as a subtle reference to lovemaking. So the idea that the women were abducted came from Lindsay himself.
I commanded the Ashley myself, and would neither have done such an action, nor permit it to be done by others. Were a party of thirty free Americans to suffer such an outrage to be perpetrated by any of their number, they would better merit the name of savages than the Indians.

Lindsay did not know his American history. Richard White in The Middle Ground wrote that in the late 1760s two soldiers were killed by the St. Joseph Potawatomis to revenge two Indian women who were raped. Glenda Riley in Women and Indians on the Frontier wrote about Winnebagoes who killed two of Whistler’s soldiers at Fort Howard in 1819, for possibly the same reason. And the Paiute War in Nevada in 1860 was started by drunken miners raping Bannock women.
It is true, that it might possibly have been committed by the crew of the Perry, after she parted with us, descending – but it could scarcely have been, for when she arrived at the camp the Indians were dancing round the scalps of their victims at Prairie du Chien.

This last line must have been what led to the fabled dancing with Gagnier attack scalps.

Joseph Snelling, passenger on the keelboat that wasn’t attacked, wrote: “One or two Frenchmen, or half-breeds, observed hostile appearances on shore and advised the rest to keep in the middle of the stream but their counsel was disregarded. Most of the crew were Americans, who, as usual with our countrymen, combined a profound ignorance of Indian character with a thorough contempt for Indian prowess. The boat was within thirty yards of the shore when suddenly the trees and rocks rang with the blood-chilling, ear-piercing tones of the war-whoop, and a volley of rifle balls rained across the deck.” Snelling referred to this as an aggressive attack and nothing more.

Nothing else happened in Red Bird’s War. Red Bird was not at the keel boat attack.

Dodge wrote from Galena to John Connelly, sub-agent for the Fox Indians, on July 5th: “Unequivocal acts of hostility having been committed by the Winnebagoes, it is highly important to take such measures as may be necessary, as well for the general defence of the country, as to prevent the other tribes from joining the disaffected party. On my way here I had an interview with the Fox chiefs at Dubuque mines, and explained to them the situation of the Prairie and my desire that a party of their young men should proceed there and aid the inhabitants in its defense. On arriving with them at the prairie, you will employ them as circumstances may require in defensive measures, until other assistance reaches there. This proceeding will not only add to our effective strength, but it will overawe the Winnebagoes and secure the Foxes from all danger of joining them.”

Marsh heard that Red Bird and his people were gathering around the portage, and that Red Bird sent word to Winnebagoes at Rock River that they must carry on the war, now that it was started, and better to die bravely with weapons in our hands, for we will die anyway. This is highly doubtful; Red Bird was never said to be a part of the keel boat attack. They had been heading for council at Butte des Morts and stopped, probably hearing the army was after them.

The Winnebagoes didn’t want to give Red Bird up at council. He’d done nothing more than retaliate for wrongs committed on their people. But he agreed to surrender to save the lives of their people and, according to a Ho-Chunk historian, to preserve the honor of their women.

Red Bird and Wekaum, who was also involved in the Gagnier deaths, surrendered on September 3rd in the Portage area. McKenney wrote of watching their approach:
All eyes were fixed on Red Bird and well they might be – for of all the Indians I ever saw, he is, without exception, the most perfect in form, face and gesture. Red paint marked half his face, the other half was green and white. He was dressed in his finest regalia – bleached buckskin jacket and leggings that were heavily fringed and decorated with blue beads. On each shoulder, like epaulets, was the skin of a red bird.

Red Bird said to Major Whistler: “I do not wish to be put in irons. Let me be free. I have given away my life – it is gone.” With a graceful motion, he stooped, scooped up a handful of sand, tossed it in the air, and watched it fall to the ground. “I would not take it back. It is gone.”
(Photo is of Red Bird dedicated to his surrender, and stands at a state park outside Appleton, Wisconsin.)

Red Bird was imprisoned, never stood trial, and died eight months later, still in prison, of disease.

John Reynolds wrote this in his autobiography 28 years later.
The Cause of this small speck of war was a great outrage committed by the whites on the Indians; which was of such brutality that it is painful to record.

Two keel-boats of a contractor to furnish provisions for the troops at the falls of St. Anthony stopped at a large camp of the Winnebago Indians on the river not far above Prairie du Chien. The boatmen made the Indians drunk - and no doubt were so themselves - when they captured some six or seven squaws, who were also drunk. These squaws were forced on the boats for corrupt and brutal purposes. But not satisfied with this outrage on female virtue, the boatmen took the squaws with them in the boats to Fort Snelling, and returned with them. When the Indians became sober, and knew the injury done them in this delicate point, they mustered all their forces, amounting to several hundreds, and attacked the boats in which the squaws were confined.

The boats were forced to approach near the shore in a narrow pass of the river, and thus the infuriated savages assailed one boat, and permitted the other to pass down in the night.
Reynolds noted that the Indians retrieved their women from the boats, which means they had been held captive from around the 21st, or the date of the drunken party, to the 30th.

To save the women, and his people, from further war, Red Bird gave up his life. To an Indian, being imprisoned was worse than death. He deserves to have those lies about the war erased.

Editor's Note: Thank you for reading Red Bird's War, part 1 and 2. To read part 1, Click Here.

Additional Readings & Documentaries:

Red Bird Documentary by Grandchild:
About the Author Monette Bebow-Reinhard is an established book author, specializing in historical accounts, issues, and events. She began writing movie scripts in 1975 and from 1992 to 1995, she co-wrote scripts for the Bonanza series. She has won several minor awards and Monette has several novels on the market. Her latest is entitled "Civil War & Bloody Peace: Following Orders, a historical works involving the American Civil War, now available through Amazon (click here). To connect with Monette Bebow-Reinhard, send an email.

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Civil War & Bloody Peace: Following Orders

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Sunday, February 9, 2020

Red Bird's War: What Really Happened in 1827, Part 1

By Monette Bebow-Reinhard

When research began, it involved the Winnebago War of 1827, a Wisconsin Historical Collection volume had an innocuous footnote about a Missouri Republican article in St. Louis that indicated a drunken frolic started the war. Yet, this source had never found its way into any historian’s account. So this author traveled to St. Louis and found that article. It changed the entire perspective of what happened—but not, of course, back then; only how it can be viewed today.

In 1822, while treaties were being made for the lead mining region with the local tribes around Galena and other places in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and southern Wisconsin, the Winnebago Indians (now Ho-Chunk) believed that the land was worth more than the offer. Red Bird was a minor chief of a village located southeast of La Crosse, Wisconsin at the mouth of the Black River, north of Prairie du Chien. His tribe was always friendly with the people in and around Prairie du Chien on the Mississippi River. Lucy Murphy in A Gathering of Rivers noted that their removal from mining land was not inevitable because Indians proved, like Red Bird, that they could accommodate the whites. Ultimately, Red Bird paid the price for this war.

At a sugar camp in southern Wisconsin the spring of 1826, a French family named Methode was murdered. There was a path leading to a Winnebago camp. On July 9th, about 80 Winnebagoes arrived at Fort Crawford at Prairie du Chien to turn over six for the murders. Yet Old Decora said he never told anyone that these men were guilty.

Two Winnebagoes, held for the crime for over a year, pleaded innocent to the charges. Rumors began to spread that the army allowed Chippewa Indians to beat and torture them to death. The Winnebagoes threatened to sack Fort Crawford in Prairie du Chien to demand the truth or release of these prisoners. One reason given for their transfer to Fort Snelling was that the climate around Fort Crawford was a poor one that led to sickness; but isn’t it odd that, during heightened tensions after the Methode killings, they’d close the only garrison around?

In early 1827, Winneshiek, chief of the Pecatonica Winnebagoes, asked subagent John Connolly for help to remove miners digging on their land. These miners refused to leave, saying they had special permission to be there. Lt. Martin Thomas, superintendent of the U.S. Lead Mines, encouraged the forced annexation of their lands with violence. He supposedly told the miners to “remain there until blood is spilled, and something will be done.”

One old story is that Red Bird and other Winnebagoes wanted a war against miners. But with this newspaper account, we see that this war had three events; it started with a drunken party between soldiers from Fort Snelling. From the St. Louis Republican:
…that the crew of the keel boat which was attacked by the Indians had, on their passage up the river, been on shore at this Indian settlement, where they participated with the Indians in a drunken frolic, which, as is usual with both parties, terminated in a quarrel, in which, it is believed, the whites were the aggressors; that the boat’s crew, as if apprehensive of the resentment of their red companions in the revel, which had been wantonly resigned to the mischievous management both of Venus and Bacchus…
The editorial was signed “Observer,” so we’ll never know for sure who wrote it. But it was likely future Illinois Governor John Reynolds; he wrote this exact story in his 1855 memoirs. This drunken party and “Venus” with Indian women likely took place before June 22nd, because the two boats arrived at Fort Snelling in Minnesota on the 23rd.

The next incident happened on the 27th; in other versions, Red Bird was ordered to exact vengeance from the white intruders for the imprisonment and abuse of those prisoners. Instead, if women were abused and even taken from that drunken party, we can understand another motive; Red Bird went to Prairie du Chien to ask if anyone had seen these women. To this point Red Bird had never harmed anyone in the area.

But he was thought to be in distress when he and two others, Wan-i-ga (Wekau) and Chick-hong-sic, went to Lockwood’s trading house that late June. According to James Lockwood, they recognized the tension in the Indians and got them to leave. From Lockwood’s house, Red Bird and the other two went to Rijeste Gagnier’s farm (Gagnier was a respectable farmer in the area and someone whom Red Bird considered a friend). With the arrival of the Indians Lipcap put down the hoe and joined Gagnier in the house (Lipcap was a renter on Gagnier's estate). If the drunken party happened, everyone in Prairie du Chien must have known about it. And they knew what Red Bird wanted.

Here’s how Indian Affairs Superintendent Thomas McKenney reported this second event:
Gagnier had, meantime, seen something peculiar in the looks and movements of these Indians, as is supposed, which led him to reach up, and take from brackets just over his head, his rifle, which, as Mrs. Gagnier turned to get the fish and milk, she saw lying across Gagnier’s lap. At the moment she heard the click caused by the cocking of the Red-Bird’s rifle, which was instantly followed by its discharge. She looked and saw that her husband was shot. At the same moment, the third Indian shot old Lipcap, when Mrs. Gagnier seeing We-kau, who had lingered about the door, about to rush in, she met him, made fight, and wrested from him his rifle…
John Marsh, a sub-Indian agent, heard from Mrs. Gagnier that Gagnier’s head had been nearly cut off. The baby had been scalped, her neck cut nearly to the bone, but survived.

They supposedly fled with the scalps to their band, encamped at, or near, the mouth of the river Bad Axe. The local citizens, on hearing what had happened, took refuge in old Fort Crawford while Marsh raised a posse and searched for them. It was then noted that since the war had begun, they might as well keep it up.

The third incident was the keel boat attack, which happened while the keel boatmen were hauling provisions from Fort Snelling to Fort Crawford.

The St. Louis Republican reported the keelboat attack on July 12th:
We are also informed that the miners in the neighborhood of Fever River were a good deal alarmed. The Indians had been harassing them, and a boat, either ascending or descending the river, was attacked and completely riddled. Two men on board were killed and two severely wounded.
Indian agent Taliaferro at Fort Snelling wrote what Joseph Snelling told him: “They fought nearly three hours in the first (keel) boat, in which two men were killed and four wounded. In the Keel in which he was, there was but one wounded. He farther supposes that the loss on the part of the Winnebagoes must have been considerable not less than fifteen or twenty killed and wounded as the attack commenced in the middle of the night the men on board the boats – directed their fire by the blaze from the guns of the Indians – and where thereby better enabled to do certain execution …”

Observer wrote about it this way:
…that on their return to the Indian settlement, they were approached by some of those Indians in canoes without arms, when the crew, suspicious of their motive, fired upon them from the boat; this fire was returned by the Indians from the shore, who immediately advanced in canoes to this attack, the fatal consequences of which are so well known to us.
The Indians were canoing out to them, not to fight, but simply to find their women. The soldiers attacked first. Observer continued:

The murder at Prairie du Chien, which took place subsequently [Gagnier murders], was, no doubt, wanton and cold-blooded, but in strict compliance with the well-known law of those as well as all other tribes of Indians – to make up for the balance of lives which the fate of war had withheld from them in the previous engagement with the whites.

He ended by noting how well the whites can exaggerate any problems with the natives. The soldiers responded in the Missouri (St. Louis) Republican on August 23rd, in response to Observer’s report of a drunken party:
On the 29th, the Perry and the Ashley passed the Leaf’s village [Sioux] in company, without any molestation. The same night the two boats parted company, and the Perry gained about six hours in advance.

This is the end of part one of Red Bird's War: What Really Happened in 1827. Be sure to tune in next Sunday when we'll feature part two.

Additional Readings & Documentaries:

Red Bird Documentary by Grandchild:
About the Author Monette Bebow-Reinhard is an established book author, specializing in historical accounts, issues, and events. She began writing movie scripts in 1975 and from 1992 to 1995, she co-wrote scripts for the Bonanza series. She has won several minor awards and Monette has several novels on the market. Her latest is entitled "Civil War & Bloody Peace: Following Orders, a historical works involving the American Civil War, now available through Amazon (click here). To connect with Monette Bebow-Reinhard, send an email.

Order your copy of Monette Bebow-Reinhard's book:
Civil War & Bloody Peace: Following Orders

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Friday, February 7, 2020

Top 10 Kirk Douglas Western Movies You Need To See

By Carrie Aulenhbacher
and Allan B. Colombo

With the recent passing of film icon, Kirk Douglas, we wanted to take a quick look at ten western films that he starred in over the years. With more than 90 films to his credit and a career spanning five decades, it is hard to single out even a top three of his most iconic films. Many point to Spartacus or Champion and even Lust For Life, however one must not forget his great contribution to cowboy and western films.

Such greats as are listed below are suggested at a fun website so be sure to let us know if we have mentioned your favorite film below. Comment as to some of the other great Kirk Douglas films we may have missed as well. Part of his legacy not only spans these films but includes ten novels and memoirs and a fantastic bit of philanthropy which covered more than 40 countries around the world.

When you get a chance, be sure to check out some of the great films below and even take a look at some of Kirk's blog posts, such as this interesting take on his own favorite films from his career. keeps them cataloged for posterity and this one mentions some of what we are going to highlight!

1. Gunfight At The OK Corral: Gunfight at the O.K. Corral is a 1957 American Technicolor Western film starring Burt Lancaster as Wyatt Earp and Kirk Douglas as Doc Holliday, loosely based on the actual event which took place on October 26, 1881. The picture was directed by John Sturges from a screenplay written by novelist Leon Uris. Continue Reading

2. Lonely Are The Brave: Lonely Are the Brave is a 1962 American dramatic Western film adaptation of the Edward Abbey novel The Brave Cowboy. The film was directed by David Miller from a screenplay by Dalton Trumbo. It stars Kirk Douglas as cowboy Jack Burns, Gena Rowlands as his best friend's wife and Walter Matthau as a sheriff who sympathizes with Burns but must do his job and chase him down. It also featured an early score by composer Jerry Goldsmith. Douglas felt that this was his favorite film. Continue Reading

3. The War Wagon: The War Wagon is a 1967 American Western film directed by Burt Kennedy and starring John Wayne and Kirk Douglas. Released by Universal Pictures, it was produced by Marvin Schwartz and adapted by Clair Huffaker from his own novel. The supporting cast includes Howard Keel, Robert Walker Jr., Keenan Wynn, Joanna Barnes and Bruce Dern. The picture received generally positive reviews. Filming took place in Sierra de Órganos National Park in the town of Sombrerete, Mexico. Continue Reading

4. Last Train From Gun Hill: Last Train from Gun Hill is a 1959 Western in VistaVision and Technicolor by action director John Sturges. It stars Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn, Carolyn Jones, and Earl Holliman. Douglas and Holliman had previously appeared together in Sturges' Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957), which used much of the same crew. Continue Reading

5. The Big Sky: The Big Sky is a 1952 American Western film produced and directed by Howard Hawks, based on the novel of the same name. The cast includes Kirk Douglas, Dewey Martin, Elizabeth Threatt and Arthur Hunnicutt, who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Though not considered among Hawks's major achievements by most critics, the film was chosen by Jonathan Rosenbaum for his alternative list of the Top 100 American Films. Continue Reading

6. The Man From Snowy River: The Man from Snowy River is a 1982 Australian Western and drama film based on the Banjo Paterson poem "The Man from Snowy River". Released by 20th Century Fox, the film had a cast including Kirk Douglas in a dual role as the brothers Harrison (a character who appeared frequently in Paterson's poems) and Spur, Jack Thompson as Clancy, Tom Burlinson as Jim Craig, Sigrid Thornton as Harrison's daughter Jessica, Terence Donovan as Jim's father Henry Craig, and Chris Haywood as Curly. Both Burlinson and Thornton later reprised their roles in the 1988 sequel, The Man from Snowy River II, which was released by Walt Disney Pictures. Continue Reading

7. Man Without A Star: Man Without a Star is a 1955 American Technicolor Western film directed by King Vidor starring Kirk Douglas, Jeanne Crain, Claire Trevor and William Campbell. It was based on the novel of the same name, published in 1952, by Dee Linford. A remake was made for television in 1968 entitled A Man Called Gannon. Continue Reading

8. The Indian Fighter: The Indian Fighter is a 1955 American CinemaScope and Technicolor Western film directed by Andre de Toth and based upon an original story by Robert L. Richards. The film was the first of star Kirk Douglas's Bryna Productions that was released through United Artists. The film co-stars Elsa Martinelli, Walter Matthau, Kirk Douglas's ex-wife Diana Douglas and Walter Abel. Continue Reading

9. Along The Great Divide: Along the Great Divide is a 1951 American Western film directed by Raoul Walsh and starring Kirk Douglas, Virginia Mayo, John Agar and Walter Brennan. It was Kirk Douglas's first Western, a genre that served him well during his long career. Continue Reading

10. The Last Sunset: The Last Sunset is a 1961 American Western film directed by Robert Aldrich and starring Rock Hudson, Kirk Douglas, and Dorothy Malone. The film was released by Universal Studios and shot in Eastman color in Mexico. The screenplay by Dalton Trumbo was adapted from Howard Rigsby's 1957 novel Sundown at Crazy Horse. The supporting cast features Joseph Cotten, Carol Lynley, Neville Brand and Jack Elam. Continue Reading

About the Author
I absolutely love all sorts of old TV – if you’re looking for a fan of Mad Men, Supernatural, Sons Of Anarchy, Brotherhood, or classics like Dr. Quinn and the Dukes, I’m your gal! I love watching all sorts of genres as I find that you can learn from good writers, no matter what they’re writing!

Learn more about Carrie: Click Here!

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Sunday, February 2, 2020

The Controversy Surrounding the Deaths of Bill Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

By Allan B. Colombo

Tales of the Old West in Western Magazine Digest (WMD) are more than just works of fiction contrived by the our authors. In most cases, they're based on historical fact. The problem is, sometimes the facts are not always so clear to those who interpret and write the official story of human history.

There are many possible reasons for this, but the most common is “conflicting accounts” among news writers and historians of the day. No better example is there than that of the alleged deaths of Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid in Bolivia on November 7th, 1908.

In part 1 of “The Life and Death of Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid,” published in WMD on November 10th, 2019, we looked at the criminal antics of Cassidy and the Kid beginning in the early days when Robert Leroy Parker (Butch) began rustling horses and robbing banks.

In part 2, published on November 17th, 2019, we discussed the criminal organization he assembled that later came to be known as the Wild Bunch, which was named after another group headed up by Bill Doolin and William Marion “Bill” Dalton.

We also learned about some of the bank and train robberies as well as the unfortunate events that led to the general demise of Cassidy's criminal organization. In time, the two ended up in Argentina and then later Bolivia where they allegedly died in a gun battle with the Bolivian Army. Before proceeding, it's probably a good idea to read part 1 and part 2.

Butch Cassidy and the Outlaw Trail - documentary - (part 1)

Why Butch and Sundance Left the United States

The short answer, in four short words: “Things were getting hot!”

If you recall, it was after Parker's Wild Bunch robbed a passenger train near Wilcox, Wyoming—when the Curry brothers killed Sheriff Joe Hazen—that the Pinkerton Detective Agency was contracted by the Union Pacific Railroad to bring the gang in, dead or alive. This led Parker to approach Utah Governor Huber concerning negotiations for amnesty.
Unfortunately, before a deal between the railroad, Huber, and Parker was reached, the Wild Bunch made the mistake of robbing another Union Pacific train. After this, the full-court press was on, and from there things began to go south, so to speak.

Eventually, Cassidy, along with the Kid and Etta Place, Sundance's wife, headed for Argentina. After conducting several high-profile robberies in South America, they headed to San Vicente after robbing a train that contained the payroll of the Aramayo Franke y Cia Silver Mine which was located in the Bolivian Andes, or so the official account goes.

It was here that someone recognized the pack animal belonging to the silver mine. In addition, the name signed on the local boardinghouse guest register was “Cassidy.” The Bolivian authorities were contacted straight away, and, by the next day, a fierce gun battle ended with the deaths of the two strangers, assumed to be Cassidy and the Kid.

Although the story made for a great movie in 1969, where Paul Newman and Robert Redford starred in Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, there could be a problem with how this $6 million film ended as well as the accepted historic account. We can't blame historians for getting it wrong--if it's wrong. Instead, perhaps, we should look to an overzealous detective agency, anxious to collect their reward, as well as Cassidy and the Kid who were anxious to bury their criminal past once and for all. If the official account is wrong, then this is where “the rest of the story” begins.

Butch Cassidy and the Outlaw Trail - documentary - (part 2)

Were Their Deaths Faked or Authentic?

In the final moments of the 1969 blockbuster movie, Newman and Redford took an offensive position in an attempt to escape, but the odds were against them. In reality, the two men that died at the hands of the Bolivian Army were later found dead inside their rented room allegedly under somewhat odd circumstances—at least according to those who were there.
“One of the men had a bullet wound in the forehead and the other had a bullet wound in the temple. The police report surmised from their positions of the bodies that one bandit had shot his mortally wounded partner to put him out of his misery, before killing himself with his final bullet soon after” (Wikipedia,

After the deaths of the two men in San Vicente, the local police conducted an investigation after which it was concluded that both men were responsible for the payroll train robbery that had taken place a few days before. But so far as the men being Cassidy and the Kid, it was not proven at the time and there are many historians who claim that there's several key pieces of evidence that points to another ending for the two gentleman crooks.

For instance, the Bolivian government also conducted an investigation of their own. Like the police department, they were able to connect the two deceased gringos to the train robbery, but they were unable to positively verify that the deceased were Cassidy and the Kid. To this very day, the San Vicente locals insist that the two famous hombres are buried in the town's small graveyard.

Butch Cassidy My Uncle by Bill Betenson Part 1

Reports to the Contrary Began to Surface

It's been suggested that these two famous criminals effectively faked their own deaths. According to the official account, the two men who checked into the San Vicente boarding house under the name “Cassidy.”

There are two problems with this. First, as smart and cunning as Parker/Cassidy was in real life, it's difficult to believe that he would have signed his assumed name on the guest register. The second problem is, who on earth could possibly convince others to take their place in a gun battle? Perhaps it's more likely that Cassidy and the Kid had two accomplices who used the name “Cassidy,” Still yet, another possibility is that Cassidy was able to get someone to foster the story of their deaths, or perhaps he paid key townspeople to do it.

The fact is, there's a mountain of evidence that suggests that Cassidy for one did not suffer death in Bolivia. For example, “One of these claims was that Longabaugh lived under the name of William Henry Long in the small town of Duchesne, Utah. Long died in 1936, and his remains were exhumed in December 2008 and subjected to DNA testing. Anthropologist John McCullough stated Long's remains did not match the DNA which they had gotten "from a distant relative of the Sundance Kid" (Wikipedia,

Cassidy's sister, Lula Parker Betenson, who was 18 years younger than her brother, claimed that Butch had come to visit her and their father in and about 1925. If true, this would indicate that at least one of the crime duo made it out of South America alive. She wrote a book, entitled “Butch Cassidy, My Brother,” published in 1975, in which she told the story of how he came to Circleville, Utah to pay her a visit. Unfortunately, Lula died on August 5, 1980, at the ripe, old age of 96.

Another story where Butch Cassidy returned from the dead involved Josie Bassett who claimed that he had paid her a visit after his alleged death. Josie and her sister, Ann Bassett, were outlaws with Cassidy's Wild Bunch. These are just the beginning of the reports that have surfaced years and years later involving the appearance of Butch Cassidy.

In 1991, Clyde Snow and his organization attempted to verify or disprove the allegation that Cassidy and the Kid died in 1908. The bodies in the grave alleged to hold the two criminals were exhumed and Snow conducted a DNA test on one of them. The body that was examined that day, however, was that of a German miner.

Butch Cassidy My Uncle by Bill Betenson Part 2

In Conclusion, in the following sidebar, composed by WMD Christopher Robinson, is the video of an episode of “In Search of,” narrated by Leonard Nemoy. In it, you will find additional claims where individuals saw and talked to Butch Cassidy many years after the Bolivia shootout.

Truth be known, the sad fact is we may never know exactly what happened that fateful day in Bolivia on November 6, 1908.

Leonard Nemoy's In Search Of
Space may be the final frontier but the previous one could be just as intriguing. In 1978, Butch Cassidy’s alleged appearances after the Bolivian shootout was a subject of an episode on the series, In Search Of… hosted by Leonard Nimoy, no stranger to westerns himself.

Interviews and reenactments were utilized to examine the theory that has Cassidy living past his supposed killing and returning to hometown Circleville, Utah as well as Baggs, Wyoming in 1924. There Cassidy is said to have stopped into a general store and hotel while also visiting and staying at his old family home. His death is speculated by at least one interviewee to have actually occurred in 1937, twenty-nine years after history would officially have it.

Though the 30-minute installment of the popular series served to support the less accepted point of view, it also stressed that the accounts are only limited to witnesses’ statements and historical proof on either side is scant, at best. Such was the case with many episodes as it featured a disclaimer in the opening emphasizing that the sources relied on theory and conjecture and reminded viewers that the explanations were “not necessarily the only ones” to the questions regarding its stories and subjects. As Mr. Spock himself might say-“Fascinating!” --Christopher Robinson

In Search Of...Butch Cassidy

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