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Book review: 'Butch Cassidy: The Lost Years' by William W. Johnstone with J.A. Johnstone

“Butch Cassidy: The Lost Years” by William W. Johnstone with J.A. Johnstone presents an interesting premise about what happened to Butch Cassidy.
BY JOHN HARRINGTON Published: July 7, 2013

Now we know what really happened to notorious criminal Butch Cassidy. He and the Sundance Kid were supposedly killed by Bolivian troops in 1908.

But another story is presented in “Butch Cassidy: The Lost Years” (Kensington Publishing, $25) by William W. Johnstone with J.A. Johnstone.

When a young Pinkerton agent visits a group of old-timers playing dominoes in a 1950s west Texas town, one player has an interesting story without admitting anything.

It seems Cassidy, or rather Jim Stanfield, is wandering through west Texas when he meets a dying rancher who wills him his ranch if he gets the three rustlers who shot him.

Stanfield does and now legally owns the ranch. With help from men he's hired, the ranch does well, and he's leading a respectable life.

But when the rail worker father of one of his men is killed through the fault of the railroad and they refuse to help his widow, Stanfield comes up with an idea. He forms a new Wild Bunch to help get some money for the widow and get at the railroad. The train robberies begin.

It's an interesting premise, a fun and lively story, and it's sequel ready.

— John Harrington


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