Sundance Kid

Harry Alonzo Longabaugh (1867 – November 7, 1908), better known as the Sundance Kid, was an outlaw and member of Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch in the American Old West. He likely met Butch Cassidy (real name Robert Leroy Parker) after Cassidy was released from prison around 1896. "The Wild Bunch" gang performed the longest string of successful train and bank robberies in American history. Longabaugh fled the United States along with his consort Etta Place and Butch Cassidy in order to escape the dogged pursuit of the Pinkerton Detective Agency. The trio fled first to Argentina and then to Bolivia, where Cassidy and Longabaugh were killed in a shootout in November 1908.

Sundance Kid
Sundance Kid and Etta Place before they left for South America
Harry Alonzo Longabaugh

DiedNovember 7, 1908 (aged 40 or 41)
Cause of deathGunshot
Other namesThe Sundance Kid
OccupationThief, bank robber, train robber, criminal gang leader
Spouse(s)Etta Place (1899–1906)
  • Josiah Longabaugh
  • Annie G. Place Longabaugh
AllegianceButch Cassidy's Wild Bunch
The Sundance Kid is seated first on the left (the "Fort Worth 5" photo) Click a person for more information. Click elsewhere on the image for a larger image.

Early life and career

Longabaugh was born in Mont Clare, Pennsylvania in 1867 to Pennsylvania natives Josiah and Annie G. (née Place) Longabaugh, the youngest of five children. At age 15, he traveled west in a covered wagon with his cousin George. In 1887, he stole a gun, horse, and saddle from a ranch in Sundance, Wyoming. He was captured by authorities and sentenced to 18 months in jail by Judge William L. Maginnis. He adopted the nickname Sundance Kid during this time in jail.[1] After his release, he went back to working as a ranch hand, and he worked at the Bar U Ranch in Alberta, Canada in 1891, which was one of the largest commercial ranches of the time.[2]

Longabaugh was suspected of taking part in a train robbery in 1892 and a bank robbery in 1897 with five other men. He became associated with a group known as the Wild Bunch, which included Robert Leroy Parker, better known as Butch Cassidy.[1] Longabaugh was reportedly fast with a gun and was often referred to as a gunfighter, but he is not known to have killed anyone prior to a shootout in Bolivia in which he and Parker allegedly were killed. He became better known than Kid Curry, a member of his gang whose real name was Harvey Logan; Curry killed numerous men while with the gang. 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 he was thought to have wounded two men in that shootout. Several people were killed by members of the gang, including five law enforcement officers killed by Logan. "Wanted dead or alive" posters were posted throughout the country, with rewards of as much as a $30,000 for information leading to their capture or deaths.[3]

Longabaugh and Logan used a log cabin at Old Trail Town in Cody, Wyoming as a hide-out, as they planned to rob a bank in Red Lodge, Montana.[4] They then began hiding out at 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 of the surrounding territory in all directions. Pinkerton detectives led by Charlie Siringo, however, hounded the gang for a few years.[3] Parker, Longabaugh, and his consort Etta Place left the United States on February 20, 1901 aboard the British ship Herminius for Buenos Aires, Argentina.[3]


A courier was conveying the payroll for the Aramayo Franke y Cia Silver Mine on November 3, 1908 near San Vicente Canton, Bolivia when he was attacked and robbed by two masked American bandits. The bandits then proceeded to the mining town of San Vicente, where they lodged in a small boarding house owned by Bonifacio Casasola, a miner. Casasola became suspicious of them because they had a mule from the Aramayo Mine which bore the mining company's brand; he informed a nearby telegraph officer who notified the Abaroa cavalry unit stationed nearby. The unit dispatched three soldiers under the command of Captain Justo Concha, and they notified the local authorities. The mayor, a number of his officials, and the three soldiers from the Abaroa Regiment all surrounded the house on the evening of 6 November. The bandits then opened fire, killing one of the soldiers and wounding another and starting a gunfight. The police and soldiers heard a man screaming from inside the house around 2 a.m., during a lull in the firing. They heard a single shot from inside the house, after which the screaming stopped, then they heard another shot minutes later.

The soldiers entered the house the next morning and 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 wound in the temple. The police report surmised from the positions of the bodies that one bandit had shot his mortally wounded partner to put him out of his misery, before killing himself with his final bullet soon after. The Tupiza police investigation concluded that the dead men were the bandits who had robbed the Aramayo payroll transport, but the Bolivian authorities could not positively identify them. The bodies were buried at the San Vicente cemetery, where they were interred close to the grave of Gustav Zimmer, a German miner. American forensic anthropologist Clyde Snow and his researchers attempted to find the graves in 1991, but they did not find any remains with DNA matching the living relatives of Parker and Longabaugh.

Some have claimed that one or both men survived and returned to the United States. One of these claims was that Longabaugh lived under the name of William Henry Long in the small town of Duchesne, Utah. Long died in 1936, and his remains were exhumed in December 2008 and subjected to DNA testing.[5][6][7] Anthropologist John McCullough stated Long's remains did not match the DNA which they had gotten "from a distant relative of the Sundance Kid."[8]


  • The Sundance Kid
  • Frank Smith
  • H. A. Brown
  • Harry A. Place (his mother's maiden name was Annie Place)
  • Enrique Place (in Argentina)
  • Harry Long

See also


  1. Kelly, Martin. "The Sundance Kid". Archived from the original on 2 November 2011. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  2. "Bar U Ranch National Historic Site of Canada". Parks Canada. 5 July 2004. Archived from the original on 17 October 2007. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  3. Jaramillo, Arthur J. (29 July 2009). "Carbon County Outlaws: Butch Cassidy". Wyoming: Carbon County Facts and Fiction. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  4. "Old Trail Town". Cody Wyoming: Old West Trail Town, History. Vertical Media. Archived from the original on 1 October 2009. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  5. Liesik, Geoff (16 December 2008). "Is Sundance Really Buried in Duchesne?". Archived from the original on 17 December 2008.
  6. Hollenhorst, John (24 March 2009). "Producer, Scientist Say Body Unearthed in Duchesne Is the Sundance Kid". Archived from the original on 25 November 2018. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  7. Hollenhorst, John (1 June 2009). "New Movie on Sundance Kid May Delay DNA Results". Archived from the original on 25 November 2018. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  8. Hollenhorst, John (15 September 2009). "DNA Evidence Shoots Holes in Sundance Kid Theory". Archived from the original on 25 November 2018. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  9. The Three Outlaws (1956) on IMDb
  10. Aaker, Everett (16 May 2017). Television Western Players, 1960-1975: A Biographical Dictionary. McFarland Publishing. p. 48. ISBN 9781476628561.
  11. "The Sundance Kid to All Is Lost: Robert Redford's greatest roles – in pictures". The Guardian. Guardian News & Media Limited. 6 August 2018. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  12. Friedman, Megan (27 January 2010). "A Brief History of the Sundance Film Festival". TIME. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  13. Igenlode Wordsmith (15 January 1974). "Mrs. Sundance (TV Movie 1974)". IMDb.
  14. Hartl, John (13 October 2011). "'Blackthorn': Sequel brings back Butch Cassidy". Seattle Times. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  15. Dolge, Adam (20 May 2013). "Call of Juarez: Gunslinger Review – an addictive shooter with terrific Wild West atmosphere". PlayStation Universe. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  16. "Kirkus Review: Sundance". Kirkus Reviews. March 20, 2014. Retrieved September 23, 2018.

Further reading

  • Ernst, Donna B. (2009). The Sundance Kid: The Life of Harry Alonzo Longabaugh. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 978-0-8061-3982-1.
  • Nickle, Jerry. (2014). Bringing Sundance Home: The Story of William Long aka Harry Longabaugh Until His Death in 1936.
  • Clayton, John (2013). Stories from Montana's Enduring Frontier. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 978-1626190160. Pages 42–47 tell the story of Kid Curry and the failed attempt at a bank robbery in Red Lodge.
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