GRL_BANDIT_PAGE59

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Title The Bandit Invincible: The Story of the Outlaw Butch Cassidy
Subject Criminals; History
Spatial Coverage Wayne County (Utah); Wyoming
Personal Names Cassidy, Butch (1866-?); Sundance Kid; Logan, Harvey
Description Historical account of Butch Cassidy's exploits
Creator Phillips, William T.
Publisher Rocky Mountain House Press
Contributors Dullenty, Jim; Baker, Pearl
Date Digital 2004-07-09
Date 1986
Type Text
Format image/jpeg
Format Creation Scanned at 400ppi on an Epson Expression 1630XL flatbed scanner. Files saved as uncompressed TIFF and re-sized to JPEG using PhotoShop CS.
Source Original booklet: The Bandit Invincible: The Story of the Outlaw Butch Cassidy
Language eng
Rights Management Digital image copyright 2004, Green River Public Library. All rights reserved.
Holding Institution Green River Public Library, 85 South Long St., Green River, UT 84525
Source Physical Dimensions 66 p. : ill., ports. ; 30 cm.
Scanning Technician Nima Rakhsha
Metadata Cataloger Denice Hoffman
ARK ark:/87278/s6t43szj
Setname gr_pbb
Date Created 2005-03-18
Date Modified 2005-03-18
ID 317865
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6t43szj

Page Metadata

Title GRL_BANDIT_PAGE59
Description CONCLUSION By Jim Dullenty There is not enough space here to give a detailed analysis of the Phillips- Cassidy mystery. An attempt was made in the Pointer book, In Search of Butch Cassidy but in retrospect, it appears that book was decidedly premature. It should not have been published until more research was done. It is flawed because the author chose to discard or disregard much important information. It is also unfortunate that we got the Phillips' manuscript in hand-written form. Phillips may have written his story rather well. It should have been fairly well done, inasmuch as it was edited and typed by Ellen Harris, a long-time friend of Phillips', and her son, Ben Fitzharris, both of Los Angeles. Ellen and her husband had once owned a lumber mill north of Spokane and met Phillips in the Elks lodge. Much of the confusion in the story may have been caused by the fact that no original copy of Phillips' manuscript has been found. What we have is a hand-copied version, done by three Spokane women who were sent the manuscript by Ellen Harris. The three women wanted their own copy, made it, and sent the original back to Mrs. Harris. It has since been lost, but the hand-copied version remains. At least we should be thankful we have that one copy. It would have been easy for Phillips to pass himself off as Cassidy to intimate friends in Spokane. Most of them had never heard of Cassidy (this was long before a successful movie made Cassidy an American folk hero) and they only had Phillips' stories to go on. There was one man in Spokane, however, who should not have been fooled. He was Bill Lundstrom, who had been a sheepherder on the Wyoming ranges during the time that Cassidy operated there as an outlaw. Lundstrom was among the intimates to whom Phillips confessed his outlaw activities. Apparently Lundstrom believed Phillips was Cassidy or, if he did not, he enjoyed his friend's ability to put one over on the local yokels in Spokane -- including Lundstrom's wife and daughter who strongly believed Phillips was Cassidy. Phillips presents Cassidy as a modern Robin Hood. This is not unusual, except that Phillips gives the story a socialist twist, as even he admits. By the 1930s, Phillips had lost his business and was surviving by selling pieces of furniture and other items. Friends recall he favored several socialist schemes popular in the 1930s to rescue people in poverty. Phillips used the Cassidy story to promote his political ideas. Little of the story actually deals with the gang's exploits; rather large sections are devoted to Cassidy's trips to Los Angeles and Michigan and elsewhere, all of which sound out of character for a western outlaw. And none of which add anything to the Cassidy story. Where gang activity is recorded, it is often incorrect or vague, almost as if Phillips is embarrassed to say much. It may be argued, of course, if Phillips was Cassidy, he still worried about prosecution -- some of his crimes were less than 30 years old -- and so he wanted to distort the truth a bit. Phillips must have known that if his Cassidy story were published it would focus attention on himself. Apparently his desperate need for money overcame fear of disclosure. If he were not Cassidy, he must have known that some readers could detect falsifications and he could be made to look foolish. Since the manuscript was never published, these problems did not arise. Phillips' wife, Gertrude, who could have settled the issue once and for all, was asked about her husband by writer Charles Kelly. The letter arrived in 1938, shortly after Phillips' death. But Gertrude's response raised more questions than it answered and since she lied about some aspects of her husband's past, who could believe her when she said he was just a friend of Cassidy's? The mystery remains. This book does not clarify it, only contributes to it. Perhaps someone some day will discover the missing clue which will solve this frustrating puzzle. -59-
Format image/jpeg
Identifier 064_GRL_BANDIT_PAGE59.JPG
Source Original booklet: Pearl Baker: Interviewed by John McFarlane
Setname gr_pbb
Date Created 2005-03-18
Date Modified 2005-03-18
ID 317857
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6t43szj/317857