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Oct 11, 2010
Harry Alonzo Longabaugh (Sundance Kid) Harry Alonzo Longabaugh (1867 - November 6, 1908?), sometimes spelled Longbaugh, born in Mont Clare, Pennsylvania, also known as the Sundance Kid, was an outlaw and member of Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch, in the American Old West.Notoriety, Riding with Butch Cassidy
In 1887, Harry Longabaugh was convicted of horse theft and sentenced to 18 months in the Sundance, Wyoming, jail. Because of this jail time he was called the Sundance Kid. Longabaugh likely met Butch Cassidy (real name Robert Leroy Parker) sometime after Parker was released from prison around 1896. They formed the "Wild Bunch Gang." Together with the other members of the gang, they performed the longest string of successful train and bank robberies in American and Old West history. Little is known of Longabaugh's exploits prior to his riding with Parker. However, this is known: in 1891 Harry Longabaugh was a 25 year old ranch hand working at the Bar U Ranch in Alberta, Canada. The Bar U was one of the largest commercial ranches of the time.
Although Longabaugh was reportedly fast with a gun and often referred to as a "gunfighter" he is not known to have killed anyone prior to a later shootout in Bolivia, where he and Parker were alleged to have been killed. He became better known than another outlaw member of the gang dubbed "Kid," Kid Curry (real name Harvey Logan), who killed numerous men while with the gang. It is possible that often the "Sundance Kid" was mistaken for "Kid Curry," since many articles referred to "the Kid." Longabaugh did participate in a shootout with lawmen who trailed a gang led by George Curry to the Hole-in-the-Wall hideout in Wyoming and was thought to have wounded two lawmen in that shootout. With that exception, though, his verified involvement in shootouts is unknown.
Longabaugh and Logan used a log cabin at what is now Old Trail Town in Cody, Wyoming, as a hide-out before they robbed a bank in Red Lodge, Montana. Parker, Longabaugh and other desperados met at another cabin brought to Old Trail Town from the Hole-in-the-Wall country in north central Wyoming. That cabin was built in 1883 by Alexander Ghent.
Historically, the gang was for a time best known for their lack of violence during the course of their robberies, relying heavily on intimidation and negotiation, but nevertheless if captured they would have faced hanging. However, that portrayal of the gang is less than accurate and mostly a result of Hollywood portrayals depicting them as usually "non-violent." In reality, several people were killed by members of the gang, including five law enforcement officers killed by Logan alone. "Wanted dead or alive" posters were posted throughout the country, with as much as a $30,000 reward for information leading to their capture or death.
They began hiding out at the Hole In The Wall, located near Kaycee, Wyoming. From there they could strike and retreat, with little fear of capture, since it was situated on high ground with a view in all directions of the surrounding territory. Pinkerton detectives led by Charlie Siringo, however, hounded the gang for a couple of years.
Parker and Longabaugh, evidently wanting to allow things to calm down a bit and looking for fresher robbing grounds, left the United States on February 20, 1901. Longabaugh sailed with his "wife" Etta Place and Parker aboard the British ship Herminius for Buenos Aires in Argentina.Longabaugh's Death
The facts concerning Longabaugh's death are not known for certain. On November 3, 1908, near San Vicente in southern Bolivia, a courier for the Aramayo Franke y Cia Silver Mine was conveying his company's payroll, worth about 15,000 Bolivian pesos, by mule when he was attacked and robbed by two masked American bandits who were believed to be Longabaugh and Parker. The bandits then proceeded to the small mining town of San Vicente where they lodged in a small boarding house owned by a local resident miner named Bonifacio Casasola. When Casasola became suspicious of his two foreign lodgers, as well as a mule they had in their possession which was from the Aramayo Mine, identifiable from the mine company logo on the mule's left flank, Casasola left his house and notified a nearby telegraph officer who notified a small Bolivian Army cavalry unit stationed nearby, which was the Abaroa Regiment. The unit dispatched three soldiers, under the command of Captain Justa Concha, to San Vicente where they notified the local authorities. On the evening of November 6, the lodging house was surrounded by a small group consisting of the local mayor and some of his officials, along with the three soldiers to arrest the Aramayo robbers.
When the three soldiers approached the house where the two bandits were residing, the bandits opened fire, killing one of the soldiers and wounding another. A gunfight then ensued. At around 2 a.m., during a lull in the firing, the police and soldiers heard a man screaming from inside the house. Soon, a single shot was heard from inside the house, in which the screaming stopped. Minutes later, another shot was heard.
The standoff continued as locals kept the place surrounded until the next morning when, cautiously entering, they found two dead bodies, both with numerous bullet wounds to the arms and legs. One of the men had a bullet wound in the forehead and the other had a bullet hole in the temple. The local police report speculated that, judging from the positions of the bodies, that one bandit had probably shot his fatally wounded partner-in-crime to put him out of his misery, just before killing himself with his final bullet.In the following investigation by the Tupiza police, the bandits were identified as the men who robbed the Aramayo payroll transport, but the Bolivian authorities didn't know their
real names, nor could they positively identify them. The bodies were buried at the small San Vicente cemetery, where they were buried close to the grave of a German miner named Gustav Zimmer. Although attempts have been made to find their unmarked graves, notably by the American forensic anthropologist Clyde Snow and his researchers in 1991, no remains with DNA matching the living relatives of Parker and Longabaugh have yet been discovered.
This uncertainty has, perhaps inevitably, led to many claims that one or both eventually returned to the United States and there lived on.
One of these claims, for example, was that Longabaugh lived under the name of William Henry Long in the small town of Duchesne, Utah. Long died in 1936 and was buried in the town cemetery. His remains were exhumed in December 2008, and testing was done to determine whether he was Harry Longabaugh, and the results did not support this theory.
However, until the San Vicente bodies are finally rediscovered (they were buried together in an unmarked grave in the local San Vicente cemetery) and forensically examined, these claims may remain a matter for dispute.Aliases: The Sundance Kid, Frank Smith, H.A. Brown, Harry A. Place (his mother's maiden name was Annie Place), Harry Long