November 7th, 1908 – Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid

Today-In-History

November 7th, 1908 was the day that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were reportedly killed in San Vicente, Bolivia.

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Butch Cassidy (Paul Newman) and the Sundance Kid (Robert Redford) in the 1969 film.

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Robert Leroy Parker (April 13, 1866 – November 7, 1908)

Robert Leroy Parker, better known as Butch Cassidy, was a notorious American train robber, bank robber, and leader of the Wild Bunch gang in the American Old West

Harry Alonzo Longabaugh, better known as the Sundance Kid, was an outlaw and member of Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch in the American Old West. Longabaugh likely met Butch Cassidy after Parker was released from prison around 1896. Together with the other members of “The Wild Bunch” gang, they performed the longest string of successful train and bank robberies in American history.

After pursuing a career in crime for several years in the United States, the pressures of being pursued, notably by the Pinkerton detective agency, forced him to flee with an accomplice, Harry Alonzo Longabaugh, known as the Sundance Kid, and Longabaugh’s girlfriend, Etta Place. The trio fled first to Argentina and then to Bolivia.

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Harry Alonzo Longabaugh (1867 – November 7, 1908) and Etta Place (born circa 1878, date of death unknown)

Little is known about Etta Place aside from principally the companion of Longabaugh. Both her origin and her fate remain shrouded in mystery. Despite Longabaugh and Parker’s fame, by the mid-20th century, it was the mysterious vanishing of Place that sparked the most interest.

The Pinkerton Detective Agency described her in 1906 as having, “classic good looks, 27 or 28 years old, 5’4″ to 5’5″ in height, weighing between 110 lb and 115 lb, with a medium build and brown hair.”

There is still considerable debate over when Place’s relationship with Longabaugh ended. Some claims indicate that Place ended her relationship with Longabaugh and returned to the United States prior to his death. Other claims indicate that the two remained romantically involved, and that she simply tired of life in South America. By 1907, she was known to have been living in San Francisco, but after that, the trail runs cold.

“Today in History” on The Pandora Society dot com is primarily focused on Victorian and Edwardian history and does not always have a direct connection to Steampunk, Dieselpunk, or whatever punk; in fact it rarely does, but it is our hope that in sharing these historical events they might serve as some inspiration to the writers in our community to create potential alternative history stories which we look forward to reading 🙂


 

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