Share “Utah filmmaker says DNA will prove...”

Utah filmmaker says DNA will prove relative was Butch Cassidy’s legendary sidekick

DAVID ZIZZO Modified: July 14, 2009 at 5:35 am •  Published: July 14, 2009
Advertisement
If

the DNA is not a match, Grace said, it might be because the living donor is not really a Longabaugh descendant, Grace said. If it’s positive, it proves Long was the Kid.

"Either way, we win,” she said.

Buck said the filmmakers are "playing hide and seek” with their research, and without strict, independent "chain of custody” controls of DNA tests, results cannot be considered valid. Grace said Buck has tried to thwart her research, but "we’re just trying to find the truth.”

Gerald Kolpan, author of "Etta,” a fictional account of Sundance’s girl-friend, the mysterious Etta Place, said the photo of Long used in the comparison raises serious doubts over the theory. While the Kid is dapper in every known photo, Long is wearing a wrinkled suit and a hat "that looks like it’s been crushed and put back on his head.”

"I’m not sure the Sundance Kid would allow himself to be photographed like that,” Kolpan said.

One relative is so convinced Long was the Sundance Kid he has spent $200,000 trying to prove it, said Geoff Liesik, editor of the Uintah Basin Standard newspaper in Utah. "That’s what sparked all this.”

Buck said Grace previously was focused on exhuming the body of another guy, Hiram Bebee, to prove he was the Kid. Bebee, a convicted murderer who died in a Utah prison in 1955, was 5-foot-3. The Sundance Kid was around 6 feet tall.

"This is really a bizarre exercise, this whole thing,” Buck said.

The timing’s right, though. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the movie starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford that brought the legend into the national consciousness. Besides, Kolpan said, "People really are crazy about their Old West outlaws.”

For them, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid had it all.

"It’s a great mystery,” Buck said. "They were an interesting couple of guys.”