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Butch Cassidy imposter exposed

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  • Rock Of The Marne Phoenix, AZ
    Aug. 16, 2011 11:25 p.m.

    Confirms what already belived. A relative of mine named Matt Warner who was a fellow Outlaw pal of Butch Cassidy (robbed their first bank in Telluride together) and some of his former bandit friends sent a man to South America in the 1920s to find out what happened to Butch and Sundance. The man, through his research and interviews with locals, concluded that they were indeed killed in Bolivia like the story goes. To me Phillips was just a guy who wanted to be someone else and pretending to be a former outlaw gave him the notoriety and flavor his common life lacked. Butch never would have become a machinist as he was a free spirit with a large amount of wanderlust. Even living a law abiding life Butch would have been out and about in the west or the world. Butch was also extremely affable; I dont get the impression Phillips was. Bottom line, Butch, Sundance, Matt and the rest of them have gone the way of the old west; I say let them rest in peace.

  • Reasonable Person Layton, UT
    Aug. 17, 2011 7:50 a.m.

    So Pointer wrote a book in the 1970s, so he could make money from the "legend", and now he's writing another?

    Friends, this is how urban legends and conspiracy theories start: if there's a way to make money, someone will embroider a tale.

    Rock of the Marne is correct: Butch Cassidy wouldn't have suddenly settled down anywhere, to be a machinist, family man, farmer. The record ends in Bolivia.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Aug. 17, 2011 7:52 a.m.

    Lula Parker stated that her brother came back to the States and died here. There is no reason to doubt her word. She had no reason to lie. People from Circleville believe her. Those who knew her state that she was a completely honest person and that if she said he came back she was telling the truth. No proof of his death in South America has ever been found. It's all speculation. Those who have invested in this theory and written books (Dan Buck) refuse to be open to anything else. Until proof is found otherwise, there is no reason to doubt Lula's word.

  • Gazetteer WASHINGTON, DC
    Aug. 17, 2011 8:43 a.m.

    After several decades of claiming William T. Phillips was Butch Cassidy, right up through Monday's big AP story, Larry Pointer two days later says, oh, never mind, Phillips wasn't Cassidy and The Bandit Invincible memoir is a fake.

    Well, we already knew that.

    Dan

  • snowman Provo, UT
    Aug. 17, 2011 8:53 a.m.

    Butch Cassidy did not die in South America. Go Read the book that was written by his sister.

  • Dean 'n Gone PROVO, UT
    Aug. 17, 2011 8:58 a.m.

    Larry's latest theory as to the identity of William T. Phillips is dubious at best. Phillips claimed his mother was Celia Mudge, not her older sister Flora.

    That being said, William T. Wilcox's history does not fit in with what Phillips told his family and friends about his past. Larry is going about this all backwards and it will lead him nowhere.

  • justamacguy Manti, UT
    Aug. 17, 2011 9:59 a.m.

    Butch's body resides in a now unmarked grave in the middle of the Cainville desert Swingarm City motorcycle riding area. Or at lease some one is buried there. But it's fun to think the person is ol' Butch.

  • mountainmama Lander, WY
    Aug. 17, 2011 10:40 a.m.

    Praise the Lord!!! Another hoax put to rest. Finally!

  • Silly Rabbit Small Town, USA, UT
    Aug. 17, 2011 10:44 a.m.

    Lets face it this mystery will never be solved, not to be cold and callous but the only thing we know about Mr. Robert Leroy Parker is that he is deceased now. I have put a lot of time in research of this man and all I can say is he is a mystery that is wrapped in an enigma thats hidden in a shadow somewhere at night. We will never know the truth about this man, but I know that he is not William T. Phillips that is a sure thing, the pictures dont even look the same. Do I believe he died in Bolivia in 1908, no I do not. My belief is that this man did what to fix his life and even joined up to fight in the Spanish American War to get his past cleared up, I also believe that he had some personal tragedy (death of wife and children) that is why he left the country to pursue other things, that led to crime again.
    But lets face it we will never know what happened to this man, where, when, how he died

  • Michael De Groote
    Aug. 17, 2011 11:33 a.m.

    Dan Buck and other critics of Pointer's book were right that Phillips was not Butch Cassidy. Larry Pointer admits this now and told me their questions were legitimate -- although he said he developed his theories based on what he thought the weight of the evidence showed

    But it isn't merely a matter of "I told you so."

    Pointer based his conclusions on new evidence he followed in Ashworth's copy of Philllips' manuscript.

    I say give Pointer credit for bringing this out and admitting he had made a mistake.

  • Sly Parker Horse Creek, Wy
    Aug. 17, 2011 12:01 p.m.

    It took a man with great deal of honesty and integrity to go public and admit he was wrong.

  • Gazetteer WASHINGTON, DC
    Aug. 17, 2011 12:35 p.m.

    Michael, You're being charitable. Monday to the AP Phillips was Cassidy & Wednesday to the DN he's not? Pointer has known for decades there were huge holes in the story. E.g., Jim Regan: in the early 1970s Pointer and his then co-author Jim Dullenty had found a 1942 newspaper interview with Regan in which Regan said he knew Cassidy and Phillips as two different people.

    Dullenty wrote Pointer a letter saying that the Regan statement re Phillips was "devastating" to their case that Phillips was Cassidy. When Pointer wrote his book, he left out any mention of Regan knowing Phillips.

    Then there's the matter of Phillips living in the US when Cassidy was in Bolivia.

    In other words, Pointer has long had major facts undercutting the Phillips story.
    Dan

  • RantBully Bend, OR
    Aug. 17, 2011 12:36 p.m.

    I think Butch Cassidy's remains are buried under EnergySolutions Arena (originally Delta Center) when it was constructed.

  • mountainmama Lander, WY
    Aug. 17, 2011 12:42 p.m.

    It is a lot more then that. Because I and Mike Bell of the UK have begun publishing my 22 years of research ,Pointer knew the jig was up. I have extensive documentation and court records that absolutely disprove Pointer and others in their theories of Butch . Pointer has now even cited my research that just appeared in June 2011 of WWHA Journal.Mike and I hope to complete my volume of research within the next year. I only hope the newspapers cover it as much as they did the hoax.

    Not ashamed to sign my name on this forum. Pat Schroeder,Lander,WY

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Aug. 17, 2011 12:58 p.m.

    Usually with stories like this it is the most likely explanation that is the true one. We can make up stories of him coming back and living the rest of his life and make stories up in our heads. The most likely explanation is that he died in Bolivia. It makes the most sense. Or maybe he went to a hideout that later became the hideout for tupac, elvis, michael jackson, etc. We can wish all of these people weren't dead, and make up fantasies in our heads. But they are dead. Butch was no different. Is it possible that he lived and returned? Yes, possible but not likely.

  • B Parker Kanab, UT
    Aug. 17, 2011 1:18 p.m.

    I think Larry Pointer should be commended for his research, integrity and courage to reveal what he recently found. This is huge to know exactly who Phillips was. Even if you didn't believe Phillips was Cassidy, we never who exactly who he was until now.

    I'm not so sure other Cassidy researchers would do the same as I believe some suppress information that doesn't agree with their conclusions.

    The AP interviews were done a month or more ago and not released until this week. In the meantime, Larry was able to definitely discover that Phillips was Wm T Wilcox. I am disappointed that Deseret News didn't show the mug shot of Wilcox in the article.

    I'm glad Pointer is back in the game as he has a lot to add to the research of Cassidy. I still value his book and the research he did especially on Cassidy in Wyoming.

    Keep up the good work Larry!!!

  • mountainmama Lander, WY
    Aug. 17, 2011 2:19 p.m.

    One thing should be pointed out from the above article. Pointer did not interview James Reagan(proper spelling) in 1970 because James Reagan/Regan was long dead.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Aug. 17, 2011 6:27 p.m.

    I'm going out on a limb and going to say Butch and Sundance died in Bolivia. Sometimes we have to go with the obvious rather than than deeper conspiracy. It is amusing but no one has really offered any tangible, verifiable evidence that Butch and Sundance came back from Bolivia. I know it sounds romantic that he survived or whatever but it's probably not what happened.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 17, 2011 7:05 p.m.

    I loved the legend when I was a kid, and it is fun to see it brought back to the forefront from time to time.... good memories.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Aug. 17, 2011 7:43 p.m.

    Dear Howard Beal: We have the eyewitness testimony of his Butch's sister. She stated verbally and in writing that he didn't die in South America and returned to the U.S. She stated he died and is buried in the United States. There is also a woman, who has since died, who categorically stated that she saw Butch at the Parker home when she was a child. He was introduced to her by his father as "my son Bob." There is actually NO evidence that Butch died in South America. That is only supposition.

  • Gazetteer WASHINGTON, DC
    Aug. 17, 2011 9:05 p.m.

    Cats,
    Cassidy's father said he never came home; most of Cassidy siblings said he never came home; one of Lula's sisters said her book was "a pack of lies," and one of Lula's sons told one person the 1925 visit never happened and another person that it did. Cassidy's brother Dan said Cassidy died in SoAm because he's read that in a magazine. Go figure.

    A Cassidy niece exlplained it to me: because he never came home there was simply a lack of knowledge about him. The brothers searched for him for years. No one knew what happened, except that he hadn't returned. He vanished.

    Oh, and Lula's co-writer Dora Flack, told me that based on everything Lula said, she concluded Phillips was Cassidy. If that's the case, Lula really did have no idea.

    Dan

  • toshi1066 OGDEN, UT
    Aug. 18, 2011 6:15 a.m.

    I wonder if the name Butch Cassidy was used by more than one person... that might account for all the diverging leads.

  • Dean 'n Gone PROVO, UT
    Aug. 18, 2011 9:21 a.m.

    Cats, In addition to the statements from Butch's family, other than Lula, that he did not come home, the Parker and Betenson families both listed Butch's death date as 7 July 1809 in all of their temple and genealogical work up until after 1969, then suddenly it changed to 1937 after the movie came out and Lula told her "story."

    Did Lula suddenly remember after the movie came out that "Oh, Bob actually came back, now I remember?"

  • Gazetteer WASHINGTON, DC
    Aug. 18, 2011 10:44 a.m.

    Toshi1066,
    Precisely. Two of his brothers reportedly impersonated him for laughs. Even while he was alive and still in the West he was being seen here, there, and everywhere. Reports of his death in North & South America and in Europe started in the late 1890s and didn't stop until the 1970s -- 60 or so different death tales. My personal favorite is has him getting stabbed in Paris by an Apache, French street slang for a local tough.

    A modern analogy is D.W. Cooper. The FBI has received hundreds of different Cooper sightings, many sent in by women who are mad at their boy friend or husband.

    Dan

  • NightTrader Colonia, Yap, FSM
    Aug. 18, 2011 2:30 p.m.

    hmmm... and here I always thought that Paul Newman was Butch Cassidy.

  • Sly Parker Horse Creek, Wy
    Aug. 18, 2011 2:40 p.m.

    You have to love these blogs, brings out the best of Mr. Buck. For the past five years Ive been reading Mr. Bucks remarks on these blogs, It doesnt matter if the subject is Larry Pointer and William T. Phillips or Paolo Greer and Machu Picchu the rhetoric is always the same. His contention that the Betenson family knew, reminds me of the fellow who found his fathers stash of Playboy magazines after his death, a third of the family either knew or believed they belonged to the old man, one third had no idea, and the other third disowned the son who found them. For those of us who were around in the 1950s, we know people didnt brag about having an outlaw in the family. I know of several instances where the parents never told their children, what the children knew came second hand from sources other than their parents. If Leroy did return, the Betenson family had a good reason to keep it a secret at least until after his death. Cats stick with what you believe, disregard what Dean n Gone and Gazetteer say.

  • The Artful Codger Washington, DC
    Aug. 18, 2011 3:56 p.m.

    Sly, it's not that the Parkers disowned Butch, they said he never returned from South America. They never saw him again. Happens to be the truth.

    Lula is the only sibling who said unequivocally that he came home, and you habe to admit the story is precious: he had blueberry pie -- or whatever kind of pie it was -- and told stories about playing Santa Claus for the kids and saving widows' mortgages (two, which is one more than Robin Hood).

    Her family though, disagreed with her. The father, Max Parker said he never came home. Her brother-in-law said the same. A sister called Lula's book "a pack of lies."

    Lula could never keep her stories straight. In one interview she said Sundance died in Bolivia and how sad Butch was to leave him there. In her book she resurrected Sundance, telling the story of Butch bumping into Sundance & Etta in a Mexico City bar. Just imagine that.
    Dan

  • Sly Parker Horse Creek, Wy
    Aug. 19, 2011 8:49 a.m.

    Dean n Gone
    Lets see if I understand you correctly, everything William T. Phillps told his friends and family about his birth, youth, and early life, can be documented. Well Dead n Gone, lets see the some of your documentation prior to 1900.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Aug. 19, 2011 10:48 a.m.

    People claiming to be somebody famous, or somebody that they wish they were is not new. It is just that it has no basis of fact. There have been numerous people claiming to be Jesse James, Billy the kid (11 different people), Butch Cassidy, and many more. How people actually believe these tall tales is beyond me.

  • mountainmama Lander, WY
    Aug. 19, 2011 6:58 p.m.

    Jack /Sly. Pointer admits that Phillips was not Butch. I know you want to believe that Bert Charter ,your family, who is in Pointers book saying he met Butch as Phillips in 1933 , but one has to know when to give it up.

  • The Artful Codger Washington, DC
    Aug. 20, 2011 4:25 a.m.

    =========================
    "All of these people [who saw Phillips in Wyoming in the 1930s] were bamboozled by this faker from Spokane ...?" Pointer said. "These weren't hayseed, duped ignorant people. These were pillars of our community. And if they said something, you had to better take it seriously."
    =========================
    Associated Press, 15 August 2011

    Hm, I've met a lot of "hayseeds" in my life, and I find them generally to be as intelligent and upstanding as others I've met who have advanced degrees and pillar our communities. In many cases even more so.

    In any event, the people who said they met Phillips in the 1930s in Wyoming and later said he was Butch Cassidy fall into three categories: First, people who wouldn't have known Cassidy from Jimmy Hoffa. Second, people, who had met or even known Cassidy, but hadn't seen him in decades, and so were easily persuaded, or perhaps better put, self-persuaded. Third, people who knew it was all a prank, but went along for the ride.
    Dan

  • Sly Parker Horse Creek, Wy
    Aug. 20, 2011 12:32 p.m.

    Yes and I know where Butch was. Right in the good ole Usa. I believe with all my heart Butch was in the US and that he is NOT Phillips.
    Pat Schroeder Saturday, August 28, 2010.
    Well Pat, I also believe Cassidy returned you wont find any public or private statement attributed to me 50 years ago or today were I said I believed he was William T. Phillips. In fact on a previous blog, I pointed out that Boyd Charter never said he knew Phillips was Butch Cassidy, In Search of Butch Cassidy p240 Boyd believes he heard the man say his name was Phillips. In 1972, Boyd Charter visited my grandmother, the name Phillips was never mentioned. I first heard of William T. Phillips in 1976, when I ask my grandmother if she had ever heard of Phillips, she said no. John Gooldy, Tom Vernon and Fred Ducolon all said Cassidy returned, none of them said he was known as William T. Phillips. I enjoy giving Dan a hard time, on this one Im in agreement, Cassidys death/return will never be resolved to everyones satisfaction. More on Phillips/Wilcox later. Jack, Sly, Kid.

  • Dean 'n Gone PROVO, UT
    Aug. 20, 2011 4:00 p.m.

    Kudos need to go out to Sly Parker (Jack Stroud) for finding the final connection between the small-time Wild Bunch hanger-on, W.T. Wilcox and William T. Phillips. Jack's discovery of the Wilcox prison record needs to be applauded.
    I have bandied about around the connection for quite some time privately. The John Wilcox family in St. Clair Co. MI has been a prime suspect as a foster family for William T. Phillips, them living with Phillip's grandfather and uncle's. Also, WT Wilcox's affinity for sailing, carving a fully rigged model ship while in prison, which was later displayed in a Lander Saloon has been intriguing. But I have had no real proof between the WT Wilcox of Lander and the William Wilcox of the 1880 census in St. Clair Co., MI. Congratulations Jack for finding the link.
    I still think that you have misinterpreted the evidence. Most of Phillips family and friends knew that he was illegitimate, and was sent to live with his Grandfather. The John Wilcox family who lived with Stephen Mudge was what we would term a foster family today.

    All the Best, Bob

  • B Parker Kanab, UT
    Aug. 20, 2011 6:33 p.m.

    Dan Buck sure seems to be a Parker expert. I'd like to see some doucmentation and proof on the statements he makes about the Parkers. I guess if you restate the same thing enough times it makes it true?

    The truth is: Max Parker never gave interviews and talked publically about his son. Most of Butch's sibling never talked about him dying or coming home. Lula's niece wasn't present for the 1925 visit and had no first hand knowledge.

    Where is your proof that he died in Bolivia? I saw the DNA proved it wasn't him, but then the story quickly changed to, Oh, we dug up the wrong graves!

    Seem like all your effort go to attacking any opposing ideas wrong...

  • The Artful Codger Washington, DC
    Aug. 21, 2011 5:11 a.m.

    Jack,
    Congrats for your puzzling out the Wilcox connection. Good work. We agree on several topics, one of which is that research pays off.

    B Parker,
    Evidence and proof are distinct. Evidence can be anything from anecdotes to legal documents. Proof is generally considered that level or accumulation of evidence that establishes something conclusively, though subject to rebuttal. The words "evidence" and "proof" are often used interchangeably, sometimes carelessly. A marriage license evidence rises to the level of proof, unless established otherwise, whereas an anecdote is only evidence.

    As for what the Parkers might have said, consult our, "Did Butch Cassidy Return? The Family Can't Decide," WOLA Journal, Spring 1998. Max Parker might not have spoken publicly about his son's fate, but he might have said something to relatives/friends, which they later repeated. Thats evidence. The idea that BC&SK died in Bolivia is supported by an accretion of evidence, an accretion better than the evidence supporting other scenarios, in my view. For years, one of the leading alternative scenarios in some circles was William T. Phillips, though to anyone who paid attention, his claim was ludicrous.

    The outlaw history official bird is the wild goose.
    Dan

  • Kid Charter RIVERTON, WY
    Aug. 21, 2011 9:07 a.m.

    Bob,
    The credit for solving Phillips/Wilcox mystery rightly belongs to the Larry Pointer and his group of dedicated researchers.
    My research led Larry Pointer to conclude it might be worth while to take another look at William T. Phillips, we both proceeded separately in our own way at or own pace. By the end of July 2011, I was 99% sure Phillips was Wilcox. On August 1, 2011, Pointer reached the same conclusion. Pointer ordered the Mug Shot of William T. Wilcox from the Wyoming State Archives, the archives e-mailed the Wilcox photograph to Pointer, he then forwarded their e-mail to me, (Date: Tue, Aug 2, 2011 at 9:21 AM Subject: re Wm. T. Wilcox, WSP Inmate #134 & #324). The mug shot proved Phillips was Wilcox. Although disappointed, Pointer did not hesitate, he said it is what it is as soon as I get the rest of the material, Ill call the Deseret News. On August 11, 2011 the Deseret News conducted a 45 minute interview. on August 16, 2011 the Deseret News published Butch Cassidy imposter exposed. J. S. K

  • Kid Charter RIVERTON, WY
    Aug. 21, 2011 1:25 p.m.

    Bob,
    The credit for solving Phillips/Wilcox mystery rightly belongs to Larry Pointer and his group of dedicated researchers.
    My research led Larry Pointer to conclude it might be worth while to take another look at William T. Phillips, we both proceeded separately in our own way at or own pace. By the end of July 2011, I was 99% sure Phillips was Wilcox. On August 1, 2011, Pointer reached the same conclusion. Pointer ordered the Mug Shot of William T. Wilcox from the Wyoming State Archives, the archives e-mailed the Wilcox photograph to Pointer, he then forwarded their e-mail to me, (Date: Tue, Aug 2, 2011 at 9:21 AM Subject: re Wm. T. Wilcox, WSP Inmate #134 & #324). The mug shot was the clincher Phillips was Wilcox. Although disappointed, Pointer did not hesitate, he said it is what it is as soon as I get the rest of the material, Ill call the Deseret News. On August 11, 2011 the Deseret News conducted a 45 minute interview. on August 16, 2011 the Deseret News published Butch Cassidy imposter exposed. J. S. K

  • B Parker Kanab, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 9:33 a.m.

    Dan,

    I don't need to read your Parker article (although I have and don't agree with a lot of it) to have first hand knowledge of the Parkers. Your statements about the Parkers are not consistent with what I grew up hearing. We believed and respected Lula's claims as do many Parker family members. Your statement about a sister saying her book was a "pack of lies" cannot be true as all of Lula's siblings were deceased when her book was released in 1975. Lula was very close to her siblings and harsh words like these were not spoken. All of her sons were supportive of her claims and Mark confirmed he saw Butch in 1925.

    How about concentrating on providing something new to prove he died in Bolivia and leave the Parker family alone.

  • Zigstone Millington, NJ
    Aug. 5, 2016 12:35 a.m.

    Much as I want to believe these assertions about Butch Cassidy, I have a rather firm memory of reading a few years ago that HARRY LONGBAUGH (THE SUNDANCE KID) all too similarly died circa 1937 and is buried in the same Spokane, Washington area.

    Am I to believe that they both hung out together until their ultimate, long-delayed shared
    end? Mebbe. But it sure stretches things beyond the fantastic, that is, absolutely beyond the believable.