Photo of Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch in Color, 1900

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Color photo of Butch Cassidys Wild Bunch
Colorized photograph of Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch. The “Fort Worth Five Photograph” showing (left to right) the Sundance Kid, Tall Texan, and Butch Cassidy sitting, with News Carver and Kid Curry standing. Taken in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1900.
Credit: Mads Madsen

Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch were a gang of outlaws who operated out of “Hole-in-the-Wall”, a natural fortress in Wyoming during 1899-1901. Known as the most successful train robbing gang in history, they also stole horses and cattle and robbed from stagecoaches and banks. Some of their most famous robberies included robbing a Union Pacific train near Wilcox, Wyoming, and raiding the First National Bank in Winnemucca, Nevada.

The Fort Worth Five Photograph was taken in 1900 in Fort Worth, Texas and ultimately led to the gang’s downfall. A lawman recognized the men in the photograph and passed it on to the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, who used the photograph to print wanted posters across the West. With five faces of the Wild Bunch distributed to agencies, there were very few lawmen who wouldn’t have recognized the outlaws. 

Butch Cassidy was born Robert LeRoy Parker in 1866. His nickname came from an apprenticeship to a butcher and to honor his mentor. There is some debate on whether he died during a shootout in Bolivia with the Sundance Kid or if he remained at large.

The Sundance Kid, born Harry Alonzo Longabaugh, earned his moniker after stealing a gun, horse, and saddle from a ranch in Sundance, for which he was jailed for 18 months. He was the most well-known accomplice of Butch Cassidy, though he was not among the founding members of the Wild Bunch. He is thought to have died in the Bolivian shootout.

Ben Kilpatrick was recruited by the Wild Bunch’s other leader, Elzy. At 6 foot 2 and having been born in Texas, he earned the name Tall Texan. He was arrested in 1901 and died attempting to rob a train in 1912.

William “News” Carver loved seeing his name in the newspapers when his crimes were reported. Following the splitting up of the Wild Bunch, he went south to avoid pursuit and continued committing crimes, only to be killed in an ambush by lawmen.

Thought to be the wildest of the Wild Bunch, Kid Curry (born Harvey Logan) may have killed nine law enforcement officers and two others, and was known to participate in shootouts with both police and civilians. He committed suicide during a shootout to avoid capture in 1902.

Other members of the Wild Bunch included Elzy, a close friend of Cassidy; Laura Bullion, who became romantically involved with the Tall Texan; Flat-Nose Curry, Kid Curry’s mentor; and various others.

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