Weekly Gem #294, Crime doesn't pay
Location: Robert Leroy Parker grew up in tiny house in Circleville, Utah (see the Clue Me! Map). He was the oldest of 13 children and as a kid was known as a good big brother. He spent countless hours exploring hills and valleys, becoming adept at navigating and living off the land. It must have been fun playing "hide-and-seek", or "good-guys/bad-guys" in the canyons near his home.
Parker left home and found work on a ranch. He fell into the company of a cowhand named Mike Cassidy - a cattle thief in his ‘off hours.’ Parker admired Cassidy and followed his example of nefarious behavior. Soon after, Parker had his first brush with the law. He wanted to buy some overalls, but the store was closed. So, he broke in, took the pants, ate some pie that was on the counter, and left an IOU. The shop owner didn’t appreciate Parker’s sense of humor, and pressed charges. Parker was acquitted, maybe let off a little too easily to learn his lesson. He continued veering to a life of crime.
As Parker continued down the path of dastardly doings he wanted an alias. He had apprenticed as a butcher at one ranch and received the nickname, Butch. He had always liked Mr. Cassidy. He started using the moniker “Butch Cassidy.”
Butch Cassidy's first bank robbery was a success. He galloped away with $21,000 (about $684,000 today) and escaped to southern Utah. He hid in the same country where he played "good-guys/bad-guys" as a child. He continued to rob banks until there were so many law enforcement agencies after him that he decided he had to leave the country. He fled to Bolivia. His thieving continued there, but after stealing the payroll for a mine, he was gunned down by the Bolivian army.
Or was he? He was supposedly buried in Bolivia, the grave well marked … but recently the remains were tested, and they are most definitely not Butch Cassidy.
Rumor even then suggested that Cassidy decided that Crime Doesn’t Pay! That he left the life of crime, and lived out an anonymous life, perhaps using the name Robert Parker.
Here's the hidden gem entry from our Clue Me! map.
Is there a Sundance Kid around?
The childhood home of Butch Cassidy
Why It's Interesting
Butch didn't seem like an outlaw in the making while he was growing up here, but he did learn a lot about wilderness survival, and how to evade those pesky enforcers of the law.