BUTCH CASSIDY by Richard Patterson


A Biography
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A thorough search to set the record straight about questions surrounding the fate of a legendary outlaw. Patterso, a retired lawyer turned freelance writer and editor, seems to have followed nearly every trail, well or little known, ever left by Cassidy, the personable, restless drifter, skillful cowboy, and elusive prey of all those unrelenting posses and Pinkerton, railroad, and bank detectives—as well as the US Cavalry—who dogged him across the vast Old West spaces of Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and, later, South America. Patterson defines Robert Leroy Parker (Cassidy’s real name), born Mormon in Utah, as a puzzling good/bad guy, a hard-working ranch hand who was always loyal to his employer of the moment, kind to children, and yet also a bold cattle rustler, horse thief, and robber of banks and trains who cleverly planned successful escape routes with his associates from the famous Wild Bunch gang. In time, the West was no longer a safe place for even him to hide: Communications improved, and multiple pursuers closed in. Some Wild Bunch members eventually found themselves caught, imprisoned, or hanged. Cassidy and Harry Longabaugh (the so-called Sundance Kid) then fled to South America, where they died in a payroll robbery—or did they? Patterson’s search for the facts was complicated by conflicting and confusing reports that compel speculation to this day. Persuasive accounts of later Cassidy sightings and meetings, for example, can only further complicate matters. A colorful, not yet resolved mystery. (15 photos, not seen)

Pub Date: Nov. 11th, 1998
ISBN: 0-8032-8756-9
Page count: 372pp
Publisher: Univ. of Nebraska
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1998