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Butch Cassidy: Beyond the Grave

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Overview

This well-researched biography of the life—and controversial death—of Robert LeRoy Parker, aka Butch Cassidy, is a journey across the late nineteenth American West as we follow Cassidy’s exploits in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah, where he made his name as a surprisingly affable outlaw. More importantly, this book answers the following question: did Butch Cassidy, noted outlaw of the American West, survive his alleged death at the hands of Bolivian soldiers in 1908 and return to friends and family in the United ...

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Butch Cassidy: Beyond the Grave

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Overview

This well-researched biography of the life—and controversial death—of Robert LeRoy Parker, aka Butch Cassidy, is a journey across the late nineteenth American West as we follow Cassidy’s exploits in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah, where he made his name as a surprisingly affable outlaw. More importantly, this book answers the following question: did Butch Cassidy, noted outlaw of the American West, survive his alleged death at the hands of Bolivian soldiers in 1908 and return to friends and family in the United States? The evidence suggesting he did is impressive and not easily dismissed, but how he lived and which identity he assumed are still being debated.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Professional treasure hunter and author Jameson (Lost Treasures of American History) is dismissive of the “poor chronicling and unsubstantiated research” by outlaw history hobbyists. Outlaw history is not ranked high in academia, he notes, so Jameson sets out to separate fact from fiction. He traces Cassidy from his Utah boyhood to his criminal activities with the Wild Bunch and the Sundance Kid, noting erroneous perceptions generated by the popular 1969 film, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Concluding chapters examine conflicting accounts of Cassidy’s “enigmatic and controversial” final years. Was Butch Cassidy killed in a shootout in Bolivia in 1908, as tradition has it? Or did he return to the U.S. alive to visit family and friends? Some think Cassidy returned with the identity of William T. Phillips—“Could it be only a coincidence that Phillips looked amazingly like Cassidy?” and appeared from nowhere around the time Cassidy allegedly died? Phillips died in 1937, leaving behind The Bandit Invincible, a manuscript filled with little-known facts about Cassidy. Many readers will find themselves transfixed by Jameson’s probing discussion of this intriguing mystery, which he calls “a historical conundrum.” Illus. (Oct. 3)
Library Journal
Jameson reviews here the literature on Robert LeRoy Parker, better known as Butch Cassidy. As the death of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in Bolivia in 1908 is not well documented, Jameson champions the case that Cassidy did not die in Bolivia, but returned to the United States to live out his life as William T. Phillips in Spokane, Washington, where he died in 1937. His main evidence is a manuscript biography of Cassidy entitled Bandit Invincible, a work first analyzed at length in Larry Pointer's In Search of Butch Cassidy (1977), in which Pointer argued that the manuscript appeared to be a genuine autobiographical account. Unfortunately, two 2012 publications are not referenced in Jameson's discussions, both of which point to William Wilcox, an outlaw associate of Cassidy, as Bandit Invincible's author. Cassidy's great-nephew, W.J. "Bill" Betenson, has written Butch Cassidy: My Uncle: A Family Portrait, while Larry Pointer has self-published an annotated edition of Bandit Invincible. VERDICT Jameson's book will be of interest to readers of popular outlaw history, but more scholarly readers should note that the facts surrounding the life of Butch Cassidy are now more controversial than ever, as other recent Cassidy biographical works have broadened the discussion.—Nathan E. Bender, Albany Cty. P.L., Laramie, WY
Deseret News
. . . [M]eticulously researched, and the author’s love of the subject matter comes through clearly. Reading Butch Cassidy: Beyond the Grave is like reading a really good mystery.
Booklist
By most accounts, Butch Cassidy (born Robert LeRoy Parker) was an affable, charming rogue who rustled cattle and robbed banks and trains with a smile. Perhaps that explains why many refuse to accept his ignominious end—shot to pieces by Bolivian troops in a grubby mining town. Jameson, an award-winning author and contributor to the History Channel, is determined to cast doubt on that unsavory demise. Much of this compact work is a useful and conventional biography of Cassidy. Jameson describes his young life as the oldest child of devout Mormon parents, growing up poor in Utah. He seems to have drifted slowly into a life of crime as he moved from various ranching jobs across Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming. Jameson describes his partnership with the Sundance Kid as a mating of opposites who shared and enjoyed each other’s restless spirits.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781589797390
  • Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/3/2012
  • Series: Beyond the Grave Series
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

W.C. Jameson is the award-winning author of 60 books and over 1,500 published articles and essays. In addition to writing fiction, Jameson is the creator of the Lost Mines and Buried Treasure Series. His success and fame as a professional treasure hunter has led to appearances on Unsolved Mysteries, the History Channel, The Discovery Channel, the Travel Channel, Nightline, and National Public Radio. He lives in Austin, Texas.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 Origins 7

2 Youth 15

3 Telluride 21

4 Enter Butch Cassidy 29

5 Prison 37

6 Robberies 45

7 Enter the Sundance Kid 57

8 Growth of an Outlaw Reputation 65

9 Betrayal 71

10 Winnemucca Bank Holdup 77

11 Eastbound 81

12 South America 91

13 The San Vicente Incident 105

14 The San Vicente Incident Revisited 111

15 Exhumation 125

16 Return of the Outlaw, Butch Cassidy 133

17 Enter William T. Phillips 147

18 What Was the Fate of Butch Cassidy? 155

Selected Bibliography 175

Index 181

About the Author 189

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 23, 2012

    A New Look

    This is an excellent summation of an interesting life that everyone thinks they know all about. Mr. Jameson gives us a new look at the life and times of Butch Cassidy and tries to tear down some of the fallacies that have been given to us through books, magazine articles, and movies. One may have to accept the idea that maybe Cassidy did commit all of the crimes he is believed to have committed and that maybe, just maybe, he was not killed by the Bolivian army. Jameson gives a very good overview of Cassidy's early life and the possible reasons for his turning to life of crime. He traces the events or crimes that Cassidy may or may not have been involved with and his move to South America to get away from the pursuit of the Pinkerton Agency. It seems his attempts to go straight were impaired by being blamed for robberies and activities that he was not a part of at the time. Of course this period ends with a shoot out with the Bolivian army that most of us have seen in the movie. Jameson gives a review of the evidence that maybe Cassidy survived the shoot out. Evidence is there that possible he returned to the United States but there is no proof that it happened. It is left to the reader to read the evidence and to decide for themselves what they want to believe. A very interesting and captivating biography.

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