George LeRoy Parker "BUTCH"

Did you know that the most credible ending to these outlaws is Bolivian?

The following is written by Anne Meadows & Daniel Buck, USA:

Butch and Sundance came to southern Bolivia in August 1908 and took up residence with the Briton AG Francis, who was transporting a gold dredge on the Rio San Juan del Oro. While casing banks to finance their retirement, the outlaws learned of an even sweeter target: a poorly guarded U$480,000 mine-company payroll to be hauled by mule from Tupiza to Quechisla. 

On November 3, 1908, manager Carlos Peró picked up a packet of cash from Aramayo, Francke & Compañía in Tupiza and headed north with his 10-year-old son and a servant, but they were discreetly tailed by Butch and Sundance. Peró's party overnighted in Salo, then set off again at dawn. As the three ascended the hill called Huaca Huañusca, the bandits watched from above with binoculars. In a rugged spot on the far side of the hill, they relieved Peró of a handsome mule and the remittance, which turned out to be a mere U$90,000 - the prized payroll had been slated for shipment the following week.

  Harry Longbaugh "SUNDANCE"

Dispirited, Butch and Sundance returned to AG Francis' headquarters at Tomahuaico. The following day, Francis guided them to Estarca, where the three of them spent the night. On the morning of November 6, the bandits bade farewell to Francis and headed west to San Vincente.

Meanwhile, Peró had sounded the alarm, and posses were scouring southern Bolivia. A four-man contingent from Uyuni reached San Vincente that afternoon. Butch and Sundance arrived at dusk, rented a room from Bonifacio Casasola, and sent him to fetch supper. The posse came to investigate and had scarcely entered the courtyard when Butch shot and killed a soldier. During the brief gunfight that ensued, Sundance was badly wounded. Realizing that escape was impossible, Butch ended Sundance's misery with a shot between the eyes, then fired a bullet into his own temple.

  At the inquest, Carlos Peró identified the corpses as those of the men who had robbed him. Although buried as "desconocidos" in the cemetry, the outlaws fit descriptions of Butch and Sundance, and a mountain of circumstantial evidence points to their having met their doom in San Vincente. For example, Santiago Lowe, Butch's well-known alias, was recently found among the hotel guest list published in the Tupiza newspaper just a few days before the Aramayo holdup. 

Nonetheless, rumours of their return to the USA have made their fate one of the great mysteries of the American West.

In 1991, when a team led by forensic anthropologist Clyde Snow attempted to settle the question by excavating the bandits' grave, no one in the village had any knowledge of its location, except one elderly - and as it turned out, imaginative - gentleman, who led them to a specific tombstone. The grave's sole occupant turned out to be a German miner named Gustav Zimmer (who might well have been the legendary German who blew himself up while trying to defrost dynamite on the stove).

So that's how the story goes, click here for a more detailed version. And for other theories on how it ended, click here.

Some sources think that they are still at large, judging by this poster!!


El Corazòn - 2002 ©