Howdy folks and greetings from the Great Plains of North Texas!
We're in the middle of a series about two of America's most famous and successful outlaws, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. In the last post we left off with the boys buying and building a ranch operation in Cholila, Argentina in the beautiful Patagonia grasslands. Etta Place was with them.
This location was like a dream come true with lush grasslands, plenty of lakes and streams, very isolated. They were having the best time building their ranch operation.
This is a photo of one area of the Patagonia grasslands:
But, while they were hard at work building a cabin, corals, and outbuildings, not to mention working and herding cattle, sheep and horses, a Wild Bunch robbery was committed back in the States.
It was a train robbery this time and executed in basically the same manner as all the other Butch-designed jobs except this one had alot of shooting!
If you remember me talking about Harvey Logan, he was the most dangerous member of the gang because he was unpredictable and had a hair trigger finger(meaning he liked to shoot people).
When Butch was there he was under control and never acted out or got violent.
Here's Harvey with one of his girlfriends:
The train was held up the same way as the gang had done it before, this was in a desolate area of Montana which was a good choice for a location, many miles from towns or posses. Harvey climbed over the Tender car and took control of the train through the engineer.
Shooting people for the fun of it
The mail and express cars were separated from the passenger cars like Butch had done and all was going according to plan but two railroad workers were shot down while they were running alongside the track.
They were getting ready to place flares as a warning to any oncoming trains to avoid a collision. One of them died of his gunshot wounds.
Of course, there was no reason to shoot them but Logan didn't need a reason. There was also an 18 year old girl who had been shot in the shoulder when she leaned out a passenger car window to see what was going on, but she recovered.
Those boys liked their dynamite
The gang blew open the safe and made off with about $40,000 and as they left they shot, or maybe it was just Logan, shot quite a few rounds at the passenger cars, just out of meanness. Thankfully no one was hurt by that last act.
The authorities of course blamed Butch and Sundance and some even claimed that they were there. This kept the Pinkertons enthused about searching for them, especially with the violence that was done and that innocent railroad worker being shot down in cold blood.
Anyone who knew the way the gang operated with Butch at the helm knew that there is No Way he was involved. He would never have allowed such senseless violence. No, this had Harvey Logan written all over it.
Two of the Wild Bunch were arrested, Ben Kilpatrick and Laura Bullion who was his girlfriend at the time because he'd won her in a card game! lol. It's true. You can't make this stuff up! Detectives identified bills taken in the robbery that they had in their possession. See, law enforcement was getting more sophisticated.
Here's a picture of ol Ben, better known as The Tall Texan but this shot was taken in better days:
And here's his mug shot after getting arrested:
And here is Laura Bullion, she was used mostly(besides companionship and poker bets) for money laundering:
This was the last robbery committed by the Wild Bunch but the damage was already done as far as intensifying the search for Butch and Sundance, who authorities ultimately held accountable even though there was no evidence that they were anywhere near the area.
This was nothing new though. There were other murders and crimes committed that they were blamed for. In fact other outlaws tried to make holdups look like one of the Wild Bunch's jobs to throw them off the trail. That worked especially well in the early days.
In the next post we'll catch up with Butch, Sundance and Etta in their ranch building and find out how they got along with the locals.
Thanks for reading, God bless you all!
the gentleman redneck
PS- ya know...you might just be a redneck if:
A full-grown ostrich has fewer feathers than your cowboy hat!