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Did Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid Die In A Shoot-Out In Bolivia?

Movie poster from the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Final scene from the iconic film, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

It was 1908 when two men rode into San Vicente, Bolivia, leading mules from the Aramayo Silver Mine payroll shipment that had recently been robbed. The duo strolled into the local boarding house and booked a room under the name Cassidy. The two outlaws settled in to their quarters unaware that they had made at least two fatal mistakes that day.  

Not only had the San Vicente locals been alerted by the name Cassidy, they had also recognized the mules as coming from the recently robbed payroll train. The authorities were notified and soon the robbers were surrounded.

Image Of Old San Vicente

Old section of San Vicente as it appears today. (Photograph by Neil Pike )

 

 

It is not clear whether they were killed by gunfire from the authorities or whether they took their own lives. In any case, they were dead and were subsequently buried in the San Vicente graveyard. 

 But, what if it was not the Sundance Kid and Butch Cassidy who died there that day? There is compelling evidence that it was not. For one thing, why did they register in the San Vicente boarding house under the infamous name Cassidy? It is well known that, for obvious reasons, the notorious fugitives always used aliases when in South America. Then there was Butch’s sister who claimed that he visited her years after he and Sundance were supposedly killed in that remote town.  

Illustration of boarding house

A drawing that depicts the boarding house where the outlaws were killed.

 

Another puzzling fact was discovered during the 1991 excavation of a grave in the San Vicente Cemetery that supposedly contained the bodies of Butch and Sundance. The grave turned out to contain only one body and that body was subsequently identified as a miner named Gustav Zimmer. The bodies of Butch and Sundance have never been located.

 

 

San Vicente Cemetery

San Vicente Cemetery.

Image of San Vicente Cemetery Today

San Vicente Cemetery Today.

Lula Parker Betenson, Butch Cassidy’s sister.

Lula Parker Betenson, Butch Cassidy’s sister.

 

  An Award Winning Novel

The question is: If the Sundance Kid and Butch Cassidy did not die in Bolivia in 1908, what became of them?

An award winning novel, The Old Gun, Finding Sundance, recipient of  a first place literary award in the Hollywood Book Festival and a first place in the Beverly Hills Book Awards,  gives a fictional answer to that question.

This Novel has also won literary awards in the Los Angeles Book Festival, the Next Generation Indie Book Awards in New York City, and an award in the London Book Festival.

The Old Gun - Finding Sundance

2014 Next Generation Indie Book Finalist Award Winner In Historical Fiction

 

Thirteen years after he and Butch Cassidy were supposedly killed, Sundance is alive and living on an Oklahoma ranch with his wife, son and daughter. It is 1921 and oil production in Oklahoma is on the rise. A New York gangster turned oil baron has moved in with hired gunmen to force the local ranchers off of their land.

Sundance has been living furtively, endeavoring to make a new life for himself and to leave the mistakes of his past behind. Now with this new threat, he must decide whether to fight the invaders, possibly exposing his true identity, or give in to the bullying of a gang of thugs and lose his home along with the new life he has built.  

In flashbacks, this novel also covers the early years of the infamous duo
from the wild American West to Argentina and Bolivia. 

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Buy The Old Gun – Finding Sundance by Randal Benjamin at Amazon and Barnes & Nobel.