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Sundance Kid

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Sundance Kid
The Sundance Kid and Etta Place before they left for South America (c. 1901)
Harry Alonzo Longabaugh

1867 (1867)
DiedNovember 7, 1908(1908-11-07) (aged 40–41)
Cause of deathGunshot
Resting placeSan Vicente Cemetery
Occupation(s)Thief, bank robber, train robber, criminal gang leader
AllegianceButch Cassidy's Wild Bunch
Criminal chargeTheft (1887)
Penalty18 months in jail
Wanted by
Pinkerton Detective Agency
Partner(s)Ben Kilpatrick
Robert Leroy Parker
Will Carver
Harvey Logan
Wanted since≈1892
Time at large
Span of crimes
CountryUnited States
State(s)Wyoming, Montana
PartnerEtta Place (1899–1906)
  • Josiah Longabaugh (father)
  • Annie G. Place Longabaugh (mother)
The Sundance KidThe Tall TexanButch CassidyNews CarverKid CurryClick for larger image
The Sundance Kid is seated first on the left (the "Fort Worth five" photo) Click a person for more information. Click elsewhere on the image for a larger image.

Harry Alonzo Longabaugh (1867 – November 7, 1908), better known as the Sundance Kid, was an outlaw and member of Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch in the American Old West. He likely met Butch Cassidy (real name Robert LeRoy Parker) during a hunting trip in 1883 or earlier.[citation needed] The gang performed the longest string of successful train and bank robberies in American history.[citation needed]

Longabaugh fled the United States along with his consort Etta Place and Butch Cassidy to escape the dogged pursuit of the Pinkerton Detective Agency. The trio fled first to Argentina and then to Bolivia, where most historians believe Parker (Cassidy) and Longabaugh were killed in a shootout in November 1908.

Early life[edit]

Longabaugh was born in Mont Clare, Pennsylvania, in 1867 to Pennsylvania natives Josiah and Annie G. (née Place) Longabaugh, the youngest of five children.[1] At age 15, he traveled west in a covered wagon with his cousin George to help settle George's homestead near Cortez, Colorado. While there, he found work as a wrangler at a neighboring ranch, and he learned to buy and breed horses.[2] He left Cortez in 1886 and struck out on his own, drifting north and working on ranches.[3] He found work on the N Bar N Ranch in Montana Territory, but the hard winter of 1886–1887 forced the ranch to lay off wranglers, including Longabaugh.[4] Longabaugh drifted to the Black Hills before turning back to try to find work again at the N Bar N.[5]


In 1887, while traveling across the Three V Ranch near Sundance, Wyoming, he stole a gun, horse, and saddle from a cowboy. He was captured by authorities in Miles City, Montana, and sentenced to 18 months in jail by Judge William L. Maginnis. He adopted the nickname Sundance Kid during this time in jail.[6] After his release, he went back to working as a ranch hand, and he worked at the Bar U Ranch in the North-West Territories of Canada in 1891, which was one of the largest commercial ranches of the time.[7] He became joint owner of a saloon in the Grand Central Hotel in Calgary, but after quarreling with his partner, he headed south to Montana again. There, he took another job with the N Bar N and began rustling cattle and horses in Montana and Canada.[4]

Longabaugh was suspected of taking part in a train robbery in 1892 and a bank robbery in 1897 with five other men. He became associated with a group known as the Wild Bunch, which included Robert Leroy Parker, better known as Butch Cassidy.[8] Longabaugh was reportedly fast with a gun and was often referred to as a gunfighter, but he is not known to have killed anyone prior to a shootout in Bolivia in which Parker and he allegedly were killed. He became better known than Kid Curry, a member of his gang whose real name was Harvey Logan; Curry killed numerous men while with the gang. Longabaugh did participate in a shootout with lawmen who trailed a gang led by George Curry to the Hole-in-the-Wall hideout in Wyoming, and he was thought to have wounded two men in that shootout. Several people were killed by members of the gang, including five law enforcement officers killed by Logan. "Wanted dead or alive" posters were posted throughout the country, with rewards of as much as a $30,000 for information leading to their capture or deaths.[9]

Longabaugh and Logan used a log cabin at Old Trail Town in Cody, Wyoming, as a hide-out, as they planned to rob a bank in Red Lodge, Montana.[10] They then began hiding out at Hole-in-the-Wall, located near Kaycee, Wyoming. From there, they could strike and retreat with little fear of capture, since it was situated on high ground with a view of the surrounding territory in all directions. Pinkerton detectives led by Charlie Siringo, however, hounded the gang for a few years.[9] Parker, Longabaugh, and his consort Etta Place left the United States on February 20, 1901, aboard the British ship Herminius for Buenos Aires, Argentina.[9]

A man going under the name Frank Boyd, who was in reality Sundance/Longabaugh, killed a police officer on August 21, 1905 in a shootout at the port town of Antofagasta, Chile. He was released on a bond (equivalent to US$50,000 in 2022) and then, assisted by the US vice-consul in Antofagasta, fled to Argentina and finally Bolivia. This was not known until 2022, when the old Antofagasta El Industrial newspaper[11] was digitized.[12]


A courier was carrying the payroll for the Aramayo Franke and Cia Silver Mine on November 3, 1908, near the small mining town of San Vicente in southern Bolivia, when he was attacked by two masked American bandits believed to be Cassidy and Longabaugh. Witnesses saw them three days later in San Vicente, where they lodged in a small boarding house owned by miner Bonifacio Casasola.Casasola became suspicious of them because they had a mule from the Aramayo Mine, identifiable from the company's brand. He notified a nearby telegraph officer, who notified the Abaroa cavalry regiment stationed nearby. The unit dispatched three soldiers under the command of Captain Justo Concha, and they notified the local authorities.

The soldiers, the police chief, the local mayor, and some of his officials all surrounded the lodging house on the evening of November 6, intending to arrest the Aramayo robbers. As they approached the house, the bandits opened fire, killing one of the soldiers and wounding another and starting a gunfight which lasted for several hours into the evening and the night. At around 2:00 am, during a lull in the fighting, the mayor heard a man scream three times inside the house, then two successive shots were fired from inside the house.

The authorities entered the house the next morning, where they found two bodies with numerous bullet wounds to the arms and legs. The man assumed to be Longabaugh had a bullet wound in the forehead, and the man thought to be Cassidy had a bullet hole in the temple. The local police report speculated that judging from the positions of the bodies, Cassidy had probably shot the fatally wounded Longabaugh to put him out of his misery, then killed himself with his final bullet. The Tupiza police identified the bandits as the men who robbed the Aramayo payroll transport, but the Bolivian authorities did not know their real names, nor could they positively identify them.

The two bodies were buried at the small San Vicente cemetery, near the grave of a German miner named Gustav Zimmer. American forensic anthropologist Clyde Snow and his researchers attempted to find the graves in 1991, but they did not find any remains with DNA matching the living relatives of Cassidy and Longabaugh. Snow's search formed the basis of the British documentary Wanted - Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (Channel 4, April 22, 1993; later screened on Nova, October 12, 1993).

In 2017, a new search was launched for Cassidy's grave, which zeroed in on a mine outside Goodsprings, Nevada. The dig found human remains, but they did not match the DNA provided

Some have claimed that one or both men survived and returned to the United States. 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.[13][14][15] Anthropologist John McCullough stated Long's remains did not match the DNA which they had obtained "from a distant relative of the Sundance Kid."[16]

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ernst, Buck & Meadows 2012, p. 7.
  2. ^ Ernst, Buck & Meadows 2012, p. 17.
  3. ^ Ernst, Buck & Meadows 2012, p. 28.
  4. ^ a b Niedringhaus, Lee I. (Spring 2010). "The N Bar N Ranch: A Legend of the Open-range Cattle Industry, 1885-99". Montana The Magazine of Western History. 60 (1): 20. JSTOR 25701715.
  5. ^ Ernst, Buck & Meadows 2012, p. 32.
  6. ^ Ernst, Buck & Meadows 2012, p. 44.
  7. ^ "Bar U Ranch National Historic Site of Canada". Parks Canada. July 5, 2004. Archived from the original on October 17, 2007. Retrieved February 27, 2011.
  8. ^ Ernst, Buck & Meadows 2012, p. 54.
  9. ^ a b c Jaramillo, Arthur J. (July 29, 2009). "Carbon County Outlaws: Butch Cassidy". Wyoming: Carbon County Facts and Fiction. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  10. ^ "Old Trail Town". Cody Wyoming: Old West Trail Town, History. Vertical Media. Archived from the original on October 1, 2009. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  11. ^ "El Industrial". Biblioteca Nacional Digital: Sección Periódicos (in Spanish). Retrieved December 16, 2022. Web site with links to digitised issues, with several articles about the Frank Boyd case.
  12. ^ Goñi, Uki (December 16, 2022). "New find details deadly chapter in Butch and Sundance's escape to South America". The Guardian.
  13. ^ Liesik, Geoff (December 16, 2008). "Is Sundance Really Buried in Duchesne?". Deseret News. Archived from the original on December 17, 2008.
  14. ^ Hollenhorst, John (March 24, 2009). "Producer, Scientist Say Body Unearthed in Duchesne Is the Sundance Kid". KSL.com. Archived from the original on November 25, 2018. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  15. ^ Hollenhorst, John (June 1, 2009). "New Movie on Sundance Kid May Delay DNA Results". KSL.com. Archived from the original on November 25, 2018. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  16. ^ Hollenhorst, John (September 15, 2009). "DNA Evidence Shoots Holes in Sundance Kid Theory". KSL.com. Archived from the original on November 25, 2018. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  17. ^ The Three Outlaws (1956) at IMDb Edit this at Wikidata
  18. ^ Aaker, Everett (2017). Television Western Players, 1960–1975: A Biographical Dictionary. McFarland Publishing. p. 48. ISBN 978-1476628561.
  19. ^ "The Sundance Kid to All Is Lost: Robert Redford's greatest roles – in pictures". The Guardian. August 6, 2018. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
  20. ^ Friedman, Megan (January 27, 2010). "A Brief History of the Sundance Film Festival". Time. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
  21. ^ Igenlode Wordsmith (January 15, 1974). "Mrs. Sundance (TV Movie 1974)". IMDb.
  22. ^ Hartl, John (October 13, 2011). "'Blackthorn': Sequel brings back Butch Cassidy". The Seattle Times. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
  23. ^ Dolge, Adam (May 20, 2013). "Call of Juarez: Gunslinger Review – an addictive shooter with terrific Wild West atmosphere". PlayStation Universe. Retrieved May 19, 2019.


External links[edit]