Digging Up Butch and Sundance

Anne Meadows, Author St. Martin's Press $24.95 (388p) ISBN 978-0-312-10968-4
After Meadows and her husband learned that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid had ranched for several years in their beloved vacation stomping grounds of northern Patagonia, the couple became obsessed with pinning down the last days and deaths of the legendary 19th-century outlaws. For seven years they chased rumors in Bolivia, Argentina and Chile, twice mortgaging their house in order to hunt down facts that had eluded police, Pinkerton detectives and historians. Starting in Patagonia, the two amateur detectives ferreted out thousands of letters, documents and newspapers; located South American neighbors and U.S. relatives of the bandits; visited supposed hideouts; exhumed coffins said to contain their remains; and had bones analyzed for DNA clues. Nothing satisfied Meadows until she and her husband chose to believe an account, once dismissed by Pinkertons as false, that had been told by a hostage taken by the outlaws the night before they were killed by Bolivian soldiers. The account established the year (1908), place (San Vincente) and manner of Cassidy and the Kid's deaths. Unfortunately, the drama of this obsessive pursuit is buried under Meadows's overwhelming detail, which supplants the colorful bandits themselves, the exotic locales and any insight into the compulsion that drove her and her husband. Illustrations not seen by PW. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/30/1994
Release date: 06/01/1994
Paperback - 406 pages - 978-0-8032-8225-4
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