Harry A. "Sundance Kid" Longbaugh - Outlaw

Harry Longbaugh 1870-1909-11-57?

Harry Longbaugh (Sundance Kid) was born in Colorado in 1870. Little is known of his early life but in the late 1880s he was involved in rustling in Sundance, Wyoming. After serving 18 months in prison he worked as a cowboy in Wyoming. Soon after his release he was charged with stealing $80 from an old man in Lusk. He escaped and in December, 1892, he Great Northern train in Malta, Montana.

Longbaugh had joined up with Harvey Logan to rob a bank at Belle Fourche, South Dakota on 27th June, 1897. Longbaugh and Logan were captured but managed to escape from Deadwood Jail three months later.

In 1900 Longbaugh met Butch Cassidy. He moved to the Robbers' Roost in Utah and joined what became known as the Wild Bunch. As well as Cassidy the gang included Ben Kilpatrick, Harvey Logan, William Carver, George Curry, Laura Bullion, Elza Lay and Bob Meeks.

The name Wild Bunch was misleading as Butch Cassidy always tried to avoid his gang hurting people during robberies. His gang were also ordered to shoot at the horses, rather than the riders, when being pursued by posses. Cassidy always proudly boasted that he had never killed a man. The name actually came from the boisterous way they spent their money after a successful robbery.

On 29th August, 1900 the Sundance Kid and Butch Cassidy robbed a Union Pacific train at Tipton, Wyoming. This was followed by a raid on the First National Bank of Winnemucca, Nevada (19th September, 1900) that netted $32,640. The following year the gang obtained $65,000 from the Great Northern train near Wagner, Montana.

George Curry was killed by Sheriff Jesse Tyler on 17th April, 1900. The following year William Carver and Ben Kilpatrick were ambushed by Sheriff Elijah Briant and his deputies at Sonora, Texas. Carver died from his wounds three hours later. Kilpatrick escaped but he was captured in St Louis with another gang member, Laura Bullion, on 8th November, 1901. Kilpatrick was found guilty of robbery and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Another gang member, Harvey Logan was captured on 15th December, 1901.

Cassidy and the Sundance Kid began to think that being an outlaw in America was becoming too dangerous and decided to start a new life in South America. On 29th February, 1902, the two men and Etta Place, left New York City aboard the freighter, Soldier Prince. When they arrived in Argentina they purchased land at Chubut Province.

After farming for nearly four years the men decided to return to crime and in March 1906 Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid robbed a bank of $20,000 in San Luis Province. During the raid a banker was killed. Other raids followed at Bahia Blanca (Argentina), Eucalyptus (Bolivia) and Rio Gallegos (Argentina).

In 1909 the men were back in Bolivia. One account claims that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were killed in a shoot-out at San Vicente. However, the police were not able to positively identify the two dead men. According to another source the men were killed while trying to rob a bank in Mercedes, Uruguay in December, 1911. Another source claims that Robert Longbaugh escaped from these incidents and returned to the United States and died in Casper, Wyoming in 1957.