tv Legends Lies The Real West FOX News June 14, 2015 8:00pm-9:01pm PDT
>> you didn't tell me we were going to a costume party. >> oh, we are not. >> oh. o'reilly's "legend & lie is next. news is the first draft of history. it is immediate and takes place in realtime. legends take longer to develop and are sometimes based on myth. this fox news series looks at the truth behind the legend. ♪
on the north american plains, opportunity calls men of courage to chase the sun west into a new frontier. they would shape a nation. they hold in their destiny and birth a new mythology. but with the passing of time, every myth has its reckoning. butch cassidy, charismatic leader and crafty, fun-loving outlaw. known for his violent-free
banditry and his escape with his partner, the sundance kid. but behind every fugitive stands and man and behind every legend lies the truth. >> when most people think of butch cassidy, they think of his legend as presented in the famous movie, a charming criminal with a devil-maker attitude and a clever whip. but the real story of butch cassidy is that of a criminal mastermind, a western godfather of sorts who brings organization to the world of unorganized crime. and just like any group of gangsters, violence is part of that equation. even if the legend would have you believe otherwise. >> as america approaches the 20th century, 30 years of unprecedented expansion, ambition and bloodshed have connected fast transportation and communication systems from the east with the once wild american west. >> the world is changing.
it's modernizing. the large corporations are coming in. they are squeezing out the little guy. and even the little outlaw. >> these new advances in technology make an isolated life obsolete and for western outlaws they make crime harder to commit. but to a stubborn bandit like butch cassidy, there is still opportunity if you know where to look. the last grade outlaw of the american west begins life as robert leroy parker, the son of devout mormon immigrants who came west to search for the american dream. >> they were pretty poor. his father had homesteaded a farm in southern utah but the
kids were sent out to work in ranches in the neighborhood. >> like so many legends of the wild west, butch comes into contact with a mentor figure and a particularly important in his life. in this case, it's a gentleman by the name of mike cassidy. >> he soons find out that his mentor has a lucrative side business in the back country of the wild west. [ gunfire ] >> butch learns the ways of breaking the law in this very me minor way and he adopts butch cassidy of his own. >> after struggling to make an honest living, earning little more than the nickname butch, parker settles into his new
profession. >> by the summer of 1894, butch cassidy is a savvy and elusive wrestler, more than an annoyance to the cattlemen of wyoming who use their influence to arrest cassidy for stealing a $5 horse. it is that experience that many historians believe triggers cassidy's personal vendetta against authority, his career as an outlaw and his determination to never be locked up again. >> as big corporations continue to buy up the west, smaller privately owned ranchers are pushed out to make room for industrialists from the east. >> i need to get into something real, something that parts hard, solid gold in my hands.
>> cassidy heads to remote browns park utah, far from the reach of the law. and he looks for an opportunity to make a major score. >> well, look who it is. howdy, stranger. >> not one to work alone, butch searches for a partner in crime. someone willing to take on bigger jobs. >> most people think butch cassidy's best friend and only true partner in crime is the sundance kid. but the truth is, long before cassidy even meets sundance, his original collaborator is a man named l.z. lay. he's more aggressive than sundance. he needs him to compliment his personal aversion to violence. >> you know, the problem is you've got to trigger the ranchers to blow your head off. all for a lousy $300. >> if you're looking for a change of pace, there's a bank
in idaho that stays nice and still. worth more than a herd, a lot more. >> guess who took a trip to idaho last week. >> what the hell. what the hell. >> even with business booming in the west, there are still places where law enforcement has been slow to keep pace. >> the size of the town was certainly a factor in their pattern. exclusively, they are small towns and one could only assume that that's because it's easy to get in and out of the town and they are right fulfully guarded.
>> butch and l.z. plan to strike the bank fast. they are in and out in seconds and the small town is caught completely off guard. >> i will shoot you in the face. [ gunfire ] >> get back here. stop! >> after the hold-up, one of the law officers couldn't find a horse and so he jumped on a bicycle. >> stop! thief! >> and it was not successful.
>> butch and l.j. make it back to brown's park with gold and silver worth $200,000. word of the successful monpilier heist spreads among law enforcement and when the news reaches criminals, butch finds himself at the center of an outlaw ring. >> boys -- >> a gang that will come to be known around the country as oh no. who are you? daddy, this is blair, he booked this room with priceline express deals and saved a ton. i got everything i wanted..... i always do. he seemed nice.
couldn't do. i think the others in the gang recognized his confidence, recognized his leadership and thought that with this guy. >> the core members include harvey kid curry logan, known as the wildest bunch. and two fearless former cowboys from texas, then the tall texan kilpatrick and will news carver. >> come on! >> butch clearly realized the value of having a diverse team. people with different skills. >> come on! >> there's a state dinner for you. >> cassidy referred to the group not as the wild bunch but as the train robber syndicate.
this suggested a level of organization and perhaps a certain level of sophistication among this outlaw. this cuts above the average outlaw of the day. >> the train comes in at noon and the payroll office is only one flight up. >> good work, guys. keep it up. >> brown's park is almost like an outlaw country club where these men can be at ease, free of the fear of law. and into this atmosphere comes another man. a man whose career take as dramatic turn when he comes into the acquaintance of butch cassidy. >> this is the sundance kid. >> heard a lot about you, mr. cassidy. >> call me butch. >> and i've been hearing an awful lot about you, too, mr. sundance. mainly, you've got the law on your tail. >> butch and the wild bunch are
ready for their biggest job yet and have no time for distractions. >> i'd love to chitchat with you. >> mr. sundance, just so you know, we shouldn't be gone too long. >> come on, boys. >> butch and his crew make the 180-mile journey to castle gate, utah, to attempt the pleasant coal company's entire payroll. >> how you doing today? >> how are you doing? >> good, thanks. >> all right. sign for me here. >> you take care now.
>> i beg your pardon, mister: >> i need you to drop them bags. >> butch and elzy planned the heist down to the last detail and it looks like it's about to pay off big time until -- >> stop! >> hey, why don't you get your ass back inside before i fill you full of lead. that's right. >> these guys decide to rob the payroll in broad daylight right there. i mean, this is audacity at its greatest. if you're a lawman, you start going, who is this guy?
you know, this is -- you're really making a mark. >> don't be doing anything foolish either. it's just money. [ gunfire ] >> this is not just some drunken punks full of sha nan begins. this puts them on the map. >> cassidy and company planned for that, too. ♪ >> mr. cassidy, you owe me a steak dinner. >> all along the escape route, he stationed fresh horses
because he knew he would be pursued by law enforcement. he knew that law enforcement wouldn't have spare horses so he would exchange the worn-out horses for fresh horses and stay one jump ahead of the posse. >> both the legend of butch cassidy and the man himself claimed he's fighting against big business. only stealing from the powerful. but the truth is, when cassidy robs a payroll, the pleasant valley mining company, he's really taking money from the miners themselves. it's the little guys who suffer most, not the owners of the mine. >> the castle gate robbery nets the gang $9,000, more than $250,000 today. >> nice work, boys.
>> i wish y'all could have seen the look on that boy's face when i drew my gun. i should have put a slug in him just for staring at me too long. >> seems to me if a man has enough brains, there's no need for bloodshed. >> well, now, seems to me if man has enough brains, he'd keep his damn mouth shut. >> that's enough! [ gunfire ] >> butch has an intolerance for violence that begins as a young man when he witnesses a cold-blooded murder. >> come on, boys. >> butch cassidy, you need to understand, he never shot anybody. while he stole money and while he held people at gunpoint, he never pulled a trigger on anybody. elzy lay, on the other hand, had a bit of a violent streak. >> i said that's enough! >> come on, we've got business
to attend to. >> butch can't let internal fighting tear apart his team because there's a new threat on the horizon. their next heist will bring the attention of the most powerful law enforcement agency in the huh, fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. everybody knows that. well, did you know genies can be really literal? no. what is your wish? no...ok...a million bucks! oh no... geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.
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butch cassidy and its train robber syndicate encroach on big business withrailroad. the railroad giant is a high-profile target and a key to expansion. >> the engineer sees these swinging lanterns and assumes these guys are working for the railroad and that the tracks are washed out ahead so he's got to stop the train otherwise they might derail. >> got a nice train, mr. conductor. mind if i come up and check it out? >> one of the great aspects of cassidy was his avoidance of violence. and when he robbed the train, he would separate the engine and the coal car and express car from the people.
>> move it! >> and that way they could rob the express car at leisure. >> loaded with cash, gold and other valuables from the east, it's a bank on wheels. >> last chance, kid. open up. >> when the express agent refuses to open the room holding the safe, cassidy uses his special master key. >> is it a dud? >> not a dud. [ laughter ]
>> from this crazy heist, they wind up getting about $40,000. it was over a million dollars in today's cash. >> the wild bunch blasts their way into an incredible payday while striking a serious blow to the railroads making the gang a prime target for law enforcement. >> all right, boys. we're going to go. >> while cassidy himself may not have a taste for violence, his wild bunch is stacked with some more deadly than others. during their escape, kid curry and sundance are confronted by a
opossum and shoots and kills a sheriff and then flees to montana. though butch did not pull the trigger, he and his wild bunch are now wanted for murder. >> so, how many were there? >> six, maybe seven. curry got a shot off before i even got my hands up. >> damn fool. >> i think we ought to lay low for a while. >> lay low? >> yeah, lay low. >> we're going to attract all kinds of company. >> boys, we are just getting warmed up. >> what's this?
>> colorado southern railway. >> nobody looking for us there. >> suit yourselves. >> elzy lay wanted to rob more. so on his own and perhaps with a companion or two, he went out and robbed another train, much against butch cassidy's wishes. and it was at this point that the elzy lay/butch cassidy relationship divided. >> butch and his partner split ways. word of the wilcox heist spreads across the country and the men who have made their fortunes in the west are ready to strike back. to protect their growing transportation company, union
pacific gathers up a bounty and hires the most tenacious security force in america, the pinkerton national detective agency. >> they were a private detective agency. therefore, they weren't bound by the laws of the regular lawmen. >> bribery, deceit, nothing is off the table for the pinkertons and they are more sophisticated than butch cassidy. >> you've got those documents? >> with more men than in the u.s. standing army at their disposal, the pinkertons are set to unleash the full force of their power on butch and his crew. >> if they could nail butch cassidy, no matter how much money and resources they devoted to this, the fame of the agency would become so great that it would pay off in the long run with other jobs that they would get. and they would literally go to the ends of the earth to do it.
[ gunfire ] >> without the planning and support of butch and the wild bunch, elzy attempts a heist on his own. the botched job results in a shootout. [ gunfire ] for elzy lay, the ride is over and for the who does this kinda thing online? i-i-i clicked on some links, ugh the kids weren't even home. wait, wait, wait, this changes everything. it's cars.com service & repair feature. so we'll never pay more than we should. well done. research, price, find. get the right service without all the drama. every auto insurance policy has a number.
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new mexico, butch cassidy's partner elzy lay is shot and quickly brought to justice. >> when elzy lay is almost killed, butch really started thinking about, i'm done with this business. this is it. >> butch has worked hard to stay clear of violence but now the wild bunch is wanted dead or alive. but, as usual, butch has planned ahead keeping an attorney on retainer to protect him and his team. >> like any criminal mastermind, he also had a lawyer. he's got his own lawyer on payroll just you get into trouble and can work within the law to get you an amnesty deal. >> there's a heap of charges up against me and rewards i've kept close to the facts and there ain't any man in this country that can commit me of any crime.
>> but even a lawyer might not be enough to keep butch out of jail. the pingkertons are relentless. they are employing all of their methods to track butch down. >> while pulling off a tremendous heist that got national attention, a number of the bills that they collected were singed so that when they started passing these bills, it could be traced back to this one heist. >> when damage bank notes began to surface in towns across the west, word travels quickly thanks to wire services. suddenly the pinkertons have the break they've been looking for. >> they would publish the serial numbers of the stolen bank notes. and so the banks would all have them. >> an army of pinkerton agents
follows the money trail to browns park but the group is headed to new mexico to defend elzy lay in his murder trial. >> we the jury find the defendant william elsworth lay guilty of the crime of murder in the second degree. >> on october 2nd, 1899, elzy is sentenced to life in the new mexico territorial prison. >> butch, you're not supposed to be here. >> what do i pay you for? >> well, right now, you need to look out for yourself. >> when lay is sentenced to life in prison, butch cassidy is even more determined to stay out of jail. through his lawyer, cassidy offers to work as a security consultant for the very people he's been stealing from, the railroads. and in their desperation to end the robberies, they seriously
consider his offer. >> the union pacific railroad and the wild bunch lawyer arrange to meet butch at a secret location to discuss the job. but when no one shows, butch is left alone unprotected and suspicious he's been set up. son of a -- >> don't you cross that square with my watch. >> for more revealing stories on these and other western these and other western characters
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>> test >> test >> test >> test >> test >> test >> test test with the law and the once wide open american west closing in on him fast cassidy knows his outlaw days are numbered and tries to make a deal to go straight. but cassidy's lawyer and officials from the railroad are delayed and show up late to what would have been an historic meeting. >> after waiting all day, cassidy gives up, believing he's being stood up or, even worse, set up. but the railroad men are simply delayed by a storm and, indeed,
they are ready to make a deal. cassidy's impatience leads to more than a misopportunity. it creates one of the biggest what ifs in the history of the real west. >> the deal with the railroads is off the table and the famed bandit knows with law enforcement utilizing rapidly expanding communication, he's running out of places to hide. >> it's important to keep in mind that butch and sundance are heading towards the end of the west. one of the things that brings about the end of the west is technology. so one of the challenges that faces butch cassidy is staying one step ahead. >> butch and sundance realize that they were targeted by the pinkertons so they finally decided they needed to get out of town and made their way to ft. worth, texas.
>> at the turn of the 20th century, the cattle boom town has brothels and gambling halls, a perfect place for a cowboy to let off steam. and men with money to blend in. ♪ >> butch arranges for the wild bunch to rendezvous in ft. worth to plan their next move and decides to commemorate the reunion in style. for the master planner, it will be the biggest blunder of an otherwise brilliant criminal career. >> at the turn of the 20th century, photography is becoming quite common but it's still enough of a novelty to tempt the
ego of the butch cassidy. it may be a one-time slip-up but once again a technological advance will chip away at cassidy's clever control that has kept him steps ahead of the law for well over a decade. >> i am foolish. it is in my nature and i can't change it. >> the bandits are so impressed with the photograph that he orders a specially made copy as a souvenir. the photographer john schwartz thinks it's some of his best work and puts an enlearargement his shop window for all to admire, including a pinkerton agent in ft. worth. >> they didn't know it would be placed in the window of the establishment. they didn't know that it would be seen by a law enforcement
officer, thereby, giving butch's pursuers one thing that they needed, a recent accurate photo of the wild bunch. >> wanted posters are updated with the new picture and the most detailed descriptions yet of the wild bunch. they are plastered all across the west. butch splits up the gang. he and sundance head to new york but with the relentless pinkertons on their tail, freedom is fleeding. they board a ship to south america hoping to disappear. using money from their last two robberies, they buy a ranch in argentina and attempt to recapture the good old cowboy days. >> some americans went down there and bought ranches. cowboys went down there and worked. so there was a lot of economic exchange between ranching in the
old west and argentina. >> unfortunately for butch and sundance, fleeing to south america isn't far enough to escape their criminal past.ou a to see this. oo he received his letter from argentina. >> in south america butch cassidy may have forgotten about the pinkertons but the pinkertons had not forgotten about bush caddie. they were still deploying every tool to bring him to justice that included intercepting mail. >> sundance brought the letter home. in previous eras that wouldn't have been a problem. but they were able to get a hold of the letter and now used the resources to track him down to argentina. >> i need to send a telegram to argentina. butch cassidy has been sighted. >> butch cassidy built a criminal career out running and
outsmarting the law. but now a simple photograph and a letter have made it impossible for him to hide. america's first crime boss is about to become the last outlaw about to become the last outlaw of the wild this is good, mom. "good"? (chuckles) it's delicious! and this new kibble blend is so healthy. thank you. no, nancy, thank you. kibbles 'n bits. because every bit matters.
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and the law catches up with the other members of the wild bunch. one by one they are unto death. in south america butch and sundance are running out of friends, options and places to hide. desperate to disappear and with argentina no longer safe they head north to bolivia. >> this isn't territory they are familiar with. this is an entirely different country. they are lost. >> after one last robbery, the bolivian army is alerted to the presence of two suspicious americans in the mountains. (gunfi (gunfire)
>> they were cornered. p they were wounded. there was nowhere for them to go. you can only speculate this was the end of the road. >> was the sundance kid mortally shot and butch decided to put him out of his misery and couldn't go on himself? we don't know. >> exactly how butch and sundance reached their end is a true mystery of the real west. given the lengths they have traveled and cassidy's strong aversion to ever returning to jail, surrendering is simply not an option.
>> of all of the wild bunch members, one man still remains. after serving seven years of a life sentence he is released by a governor's pardon for heroism during a prison riot. ironically the violent side kick to butch cassie lives out his days in peace while the peaceable butch meets a violent end. for what's called a simpler time dutch cassidy lived a complex life as a new type of sophisticated criminal who at the same time becomes the last of a dying cowboy breed. >> it's just money. >> desperate to remain an outlaw, the remaining years of the law's west cassidy holds on for as long as he can. but the civilizing forces of
west barrward expansions sweez out. running south he searchs for the life he has lost. but even in bolivia it is clear butch cassidy saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa time. >> mr. vice president if we don't act now it's going to be too late. >> there's a blurring between fiction and reality. because they have a political agenda. >> no new pipeline? >> no. actually this time, no. >> americans control and own their own energy. >> and recycle. >> i am so empowered. >> shut down sea world. >> are your whales being in prison here. should they be free? >> they are succeeding. >> this is