Robert Leroy (Parker) Cassidy

Robert Leroy (Parker) Cassidy (1866 - abt. 1908)

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Robert Leroy (Butch) Cassidy formerly Parker
Born in Beaver, Beaver, Utah, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
[spouse(s) unknown]
[children unknown]
Died about in Boliviamap [uncertain]
Parker-11929 created 23 Jan 2014 | Last modified | Last edit: 11 Dec 2017
06:37: Stephanie Stults edited the Biography for Butch (Parker) Cassidy. [Thank Stephanie for this]
This page has been accessed 4,589 times.

Categories: Bank Robbers | Train Robbers | Wild Wild West | Wild Wild West Project | American Outlaws.

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Butch (Parker) Cassidy was involved in the westward expansion of the USA.
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Butch (Parker) Cassidy was an outlaw.
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Contents

Biography

Robert LeRoy Parker was born 13 April 1866 in Beaver, Beaver, Utah to Maximillian Parker and Ann Campbell Gillies, the eldest of 13 children.[1][2] The family were Mormon pioneers to Utah.[3]

"Roy" grew up in Circleville, Piute, Utah, his family moving there circa 1879.[1][2] Roy would work on ranches around western Utah.[1] After misfortune for the family, Roy started looking up to a local rancher, Mike Cassidy, who had a less than noble reputation.[1][3] His outlaw name may have been inspired by his admiration. Roy drifted to Colorado and started his outlaw life.[1]

Prison & The Wild Bunch

Robert LeRoy Parker changed his name to Butch Cassidy when he began his life of crime, possibly to protect his family.[1][3] Butch's first crimes happened along the Utah/Wyoming border, as well as in and out of Colorado.[1][4] Butch was one of the first to use the famed "Outlaw Trail", which meandered by many outlaw hideouts and ranches willing to give outlaws on the lam a place to park.[1]

Cassidy was incarcerated at the Wyoming Territorial Prison for grand larceny (stealing horses) from 1894-1896.[5] This would be the only time he would be in prison.[5] Upon release, he would establish the most successful band of bank and train robbers in the US, The Wild Bunch.[1][5] Butch and his gang would steal over $233,905.00 from trains, banks, and mining payrolls all over the West during a five year period.[5]

Cassidy, The Sundance Kid (Harry Alonso Longabaugh), Kid Curry and other Wild Bunch gang members were some of the most wanted men in the West, with the Pinkerton Detective Agency, among other bounty hunters, on their trails.[5] In 1902, the gang dissolved, and Butch, Longbaugh, and Etta Place all set sail for South America, via England.[1][5]

Butch believed he was a bit of a Robin Hood, fighting against large cattle ranches and those with "too much", as well as citizens and settlers rights.[1][3] He once said, "The best way to hurt them is through their pocket book. They will holler louder than if you cut off both legs. I steal their money just to hear them holler. Then I pass it out among those who really need it."[1][3] Cassidy went to great lengths to avoid killing during his heists, a trait some attribute to his Mormon upbringing.[3]

Impostor

Some believe Butch Cassidy had an impostor, William T. Phillips, also known as William T. Wilcox. He knew Cassidy personally as a fellow convict at the Wyoming Territorial Prison. Both outlaws were released in 1896.[5] Others believe Phillips is Cassidy after his European facelift.[1]

The Impostor

Unresolved Death

There are several theories as to when and where Butch Cassidy died.[3]

Cassidy may have died in a gunfight with local law enforcement authorities in San Vicente, Bolivia in 1908, but it hasn't been proven that "Butch" died there.[6] Attempts have been made to unearth remains said to be buried in Bolivia, but no DNA has been found.[6] Recently, scholars have unearthed evidence that indicates Cassidy faked his death in Bolivia.[1][7]

Butch may have returned to the United States under another identity. His last living sister, Lula Parker Betenson insisted he had returned in 1925 to visit family in Utah.[1] Her story is what is considered to be his demise on FindAGrave.[8] Lula believed Butch died in Spokane, Washington in 1937, after living quietly as a trapper and prospector under the name William Phillips.[1][7][6]

Some have claimed he died in Nevada.[6]

Other researchers believe that Butch may have made a fortune in his usual way in Bolivia, escaped to Europe where he had surgery to change his appearance, then moved back to the US, as his sister insisted.[1][7][6]

Sources

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 Utah.com, "Butch Cassidy"
  2. 2.0 2.1 "United States Census, 1880," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MNSV-LNH : 3 October 2016), Max Parker, Circleville, Piute, Utah, United States; citing enumeration district ED 36, sheet 528C, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 1336; FHL microfilm 1,255,336.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Berteaux, Kelsey, "Notorious American Train Robber Butch Cassidy, a Mormon?", LDS Living magazine online, 13 Sept 2016. Accessed 6 Feb 2017.
  4. "A Bank Robbery in Colorado", The Salt Lake Herald, 25 June 1889
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 "Convicts: Cuffed, Chained, and Confined", on Wyoming States Parks
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Wikipedia contributors, "Butch Cassidy," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butch_Cassidy (accessed January 23, 2014).
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Cohen, Zach C., "Did Butch Cassidy Survive? Uncovered Manuscript Says He Died of Old Age", Time Magazine, 16 Aug 2011; accessed via Time.com 6 Feb 2017.
  8. Find-A-Grave: Memorial #103741668

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DNA
No known carriers of Butch's ancestors' Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests and no close relatives have taken a 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA "Family Finder" test.

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Images: 4
The Fort Worth Five (five members of the Wild Bunch)
The Fort Worth Five (five members of the Wild Bunch)

Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid
Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid

Impostor
Impostor

Butch Cassidy's Mugshot
Butch Cassidy's Mugshot

Collaboration

On 30 Aug 2017 at 05:54 GMT Trudy Roach wrote:

Shouldn't the death date and place be unknown on this profile? Family has said and it is documented that Butch didn't die in Bolivia. Indeed for most people the burial site is unknown.

On 12 Jun 2017 at 03:08 GMT Trudy Roach wrote:

My stepfather is a great grand nephew of Roy. We were taking today of his memories of his father taking him to the grave site. And what had happened to it the last time his dad went there. It isn't at the old home place. We talked of how people had torn the old home place to pieces for mementos. How he thought the old place had sold. My dad ( step dad ) was glad the old grave wasn't even noticable as a grave anymore because some one somewhere would dig it up because they think the public has a right to know. They don't. I also talked with my mum about her family. So sad we turn to dust.



Butch is 31 degrees from Aaron Copland, 19 degrees from AJ Jacobs, 22 degrees from Barbara Shoff and 24 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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