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The Sundance Kid

Henry Longabaugh

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Harry A. Longabaugh made a huge mistake: he got caught stealing a horse in Sundance, Wyoming and was thrown in jail. He might have lost his innocence, but he gained a name and a place in history. He became known as 'The Sundance Kid'.

Born in 1867 in Pennsylvania, Longabaugh was not long in making his way West. In fact, he was only 15 when he began his journey on a covered wagon with ihs cousin George. By 1887, however, things were not going so well for him. He stole a horse, gun, and saddle from a ranch in Sundance, Wyoming and fled. However, he was captured and sentenced to 18 months in jail.

After his release, he went back to working as a ranchhand. Unfortunately, the life of an honest cowboy did not suit him. He was implicated in 1892 in a train robbery, and again in 1897 in a bank robbery along with five other men. Sundance became associated with a group known as the 'Wild Bunch' which included his famous partner Robert Leroy Parker, a.k.a. Butch Cassidy. By 1900, they held up the Winnemucca National Bank in Nevada and then headed for South America with their proceeds, all the while being pursued by Pinkertons.

Before the Wild Bunch actually made their escape, they made a fatal mistake: they took a picture of themselves. Detectives later used this to help identify them.

Sundance and Butch Cassidy made their way to Argentina where they tried to live the life of peaceful farmers. However, for one reason or another, they turned back to their criminal ways sometime around 1905.

In 1908, they were seen escaping with a mule and money taken from a mining company's payroll in Bolivia. Ironically, the mule was recognized and led to their discovery. They were wounded in a gunfight with lawmen and eventually killed, some say by their own hand as a way to avoid capture and jail. However, their bodies were not physically identified and many still believed them to live after this encounter. In fact, the Pinkertons continued their search for many years.

The Sundance Kid was, of course, immortalized by Robert Redford in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid." While we are not entirely certain of all the facts, one thing can be stated for sure: Sundance has become a legend of the Wild West.

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