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The South American activities of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid remained largely unknown until recently. Although the 1969 hit movie transported the outlaws and their criminal enterprise directly from the United States to Bolivia shortly after the turn of the century, Butch and Sundance actually went to Argentina and spent four years ranching peacefully in Patagonia with Ethel (AKA Etta) Place before wending their way to Bolivia in 1906.

When authors Anne Meadows and Daniel Buck became interested in the subject eight decades later, the bandits’ participation in the numerous South American crimes attributed to them had not been documented, and the shootout that ended the movie was widely believed to have been fictional. Many old-timers asserted that Butch and Sundance had come back alive to North America. To solve the mystery, Buck and Meadows have traveled extensively in Argentina, Chile, and Bolivia, locating hundreds of contemporaneous police records, judicial transcripts, newspaper articles, eyewitness accounts, and letters concerning the exploits and fates of the two most famous members of the Wild Bunch.  Digging Up Butch and Sundance is Meadows’s account of their adventures in South America researching the story.

Updated: October 26, 2011

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