Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
The legendary and controversial story behind Butch Cassidy and his partner, the Sundance Kid, goes back to the time of the American Old West. This time period was marked by exploration and people’s struggle with cultural conflicts, economic growth or falls, and mental as well as physical drama. Harry Longabaugh (the “Sundance Kid”) Criminal career started prior to his joining the “Wild Bunch”. On February 27, 1887, while traveling from South Dakotas Black Hills back to the ranch, named “N bar N”, where he worked at as a cowboy. Twenty years old Harry Longabaugh passed through a ranch called the “Three V Ranch”. While passing through this ranch, which was owned by a group of English investors, young Longabaugh stole a grey horse (branded J on its shoulder), a gun, and a saddle. He continued his journey to N bar N while the Three V Ranch’s employees were looking for a young man that is smooth-faced and has grey eyes. After unsuccessful two weeks of searching, with information given from one of the Three V Ranch employees, Harry Longabaugh was arrested by the James Ryan, Sherriff of Sundance, Wyoming. A few months later, while heading as a prisoner west to Rapid City, South Dakota, Longabaugh slipped from his handcuffs and jumped of the moving train while the sheriff was in the bathroom. After coming back to Wyoming with no luck of relocating his escaped prisoner, Sheriff Ryan offered a $250 for Longabaugh. In a not so smart move, Longabaugh returned to N bar N and was soon caught by the Sheriff’s Deputy. He arrested and was sentenced to 18 months in jail. During the time he spent in jail, Harry Longabaugh was given his new nickname, by which he is known today: the “Sundance Kid”.
A few years later, late in august 1891, Butch Cassidy, that was considered as the “worst man in four states…Utah, Colorado, Idaho, and Wyoming.”(“The Washington Post”,pg. 20’), followed his future partner’s path to prison. While Butch Cassidy was staying at a place called ”Mail Camp”, Billy Nutcher, a part of the “Jack Bliss” gang, rode in trailing three saddle horses. He put his horses under care and joined a person named Burnaugh and his guests, including Butch Cassidy. Butch was interested in Nutcher’s business, as well as his horses, and a discussion about a sale soon followed. After a short discussion, a deal was struck, and Cassidy became the owner of three horses. The problem was that not a lot of attention was paid to the paperwork. Ranchers in the area started to notice that their horses were disappearing, and soon discovered that Cassidy and one of his associates in the horse dealing “business” were stealing the animals. After one of the ranchers served a complaint and an investigation started. With the lawmen on their tail, Cassidy and his associate hided in a ranch, but were discovered shortly thereafter. They were taken into custody for a few months before going into trail, and were then found guilty. After a few months they were brought a few times in front of a judge with new evidence. At the end, Cassidy was found guilty and sentenced to prison. Not long after his release from prison, Butch Cassidy started to gather some of his outlaw friends. One of its first recruits was the Sundance Kid. This new formed group was later known as the famous “Wild Bunch”. The story of Butch Cassidy (real name, Robert LeRoy Parker) and the Sundance Kid as partners in crime is in fact became well known by the American Western film, directed by George Roy Hill and written by William Goldman, carrying the name of the two- “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”. The film features the two as two friends who try to be as successful as they can be as robbers while escaping the law. The main cliffhanger of the movie is that the two believe they are being chased by a lawman that was paid to kill them. Consequently, the both escape to Bolivia while being accompanied by the Sundance Kid’s girlfriend Etta, and become...
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