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 More than a little good in a real bad man

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HelenWest

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PostSubject: More than a little good in a real bad man   Thu Sep 05, 2013 4:12 pm

I was startled and touched this evening to hear on National Public Radio a story of a turn around by a bank robber. Yes, there is a real bank robber who went straight just like you know who and you know who, if not more so! Here is a real Nebraska bank robber who really is a convicted felon and really went to jail and then turned jail-house-lawyer, top student, and now law clerk. If all goes well, he'll be a real lawyer before too long, and he is already a husband and father. So real life, once again, is stranger and more wonderful than fiction. I hope the guy can do it! He would be an inspiration to my versions of Heyes and the Kid. And he is already an inspiration to a lot of real prisoners hoping they can turn it around, too.

See the story:
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/09/05/219295368/the-incredible-case-of-the-bank-robber-whos-now-a-law-clerk

What do you folks think? Have you come across other real people mirroring aspects of our favorite characters?

HW
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Ghislaine Emrys
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PostSubject: Re: More than a little good in a real bad man   Thu Sep 05, 2013 6:03 pm

I read an article in The New York Times about him a short while ago and reserved the book he wrote about his life at my local library.  His name is Shon Hopwood and here's the link:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/27/us/taking-a-second-chance-and-running-with-it.html

Strangely, I didn't make the explicit connection to Heyes and Curry!  No  So thanks for pointing that out, HelenWest.

Oh, and btw, you came up with a great title for this topic!

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HelenWest

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PostSubject: Re: More than a little good in a real bad man   Thu Sep 05, 2013 6:24 pm

Thanks, GE! Mr. Hopwood's story really does make me think about my own stories. I thought I might have taken things too far, had the turn around be too incredible. But then here comes a bank robber jail-house lawyer who gets two cases to the Supreme Court! So what I write for Heyes and Curry isn't so unbelievable as I thought. The same values are there. And I think the same turn up in other stories about them, as well. The scene where he goes to a prison and tells the guys his story and they cheer for him, as he described it tonight, had me near tears - and I could hear that it did the same to the interviewer. Some of my own scenes suddenly seem more believable to me. So I cheer for Hopwood and hope he makes it all the way! By the way, I mean real bad as authentically bad, not very bad. I guess he was both, but not now.
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InsideOutlaw

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PostSubject: Re: More than a little good in a real bad man   Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:16 pm

Here's a little tidbit from the Capitol Reef blog about Butch Cassidy.  Now who does this sound like?:

Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch became the most notorious gang in the Wild West. Yet Butch liked to think of himself as a “gentleman bandit.” In one of his more infamous “acts of kindness,” he apologized after unknowingly accosting a priest, then chaperoned him to his destination and offered to make a donation to his church.   And unlike most outlaws of the day, Butch never killed anyone—at least not that anyone could prove.

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HelenWest

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PostSubject: Re: More than a little good in a real bad man   Fri Sep 06, 2013 4:49 pm

PED would be mad at you and say that they were separate characters. But of course you are talking about the real Butch Cassidy, not the character played by Paul Newman. So you make a terrific point, IO! There's a bad man with some good in him.
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BeeJay
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PostSubject: Re: More than a little good in a real bad man   Sat Sep 07, 2013 10:05 am

Cassidy didn't kill anyone in the North American robberies. However, recent studies of the South American robberies show that he killed people during a bank robbery there. I will try to locate the source of that information. I read this a couple of years ago, and was very disappointed. I so wanted to believe he was non-violent. But the eye-witnesses were credible.

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HelenWest

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PostSubject: Re: More than a little good in a real bad man   Sat Sep 07, 2013 10:10 am

That is disappointing, BeeJay. Shows to go you, the fictional boys went straight for good reason. Or that the way I play it in my stories. If you are engaged in crime it will make you do bad things on a worse and worse scale.
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Penski
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PostSubject: Re: More than a little good in a real bad man   Sat Sep 07, 2013 2:18 pm

Desperate men do desperate things! Suspect 

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BeeJay
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PostSubject: Re: More than a little good in a real bad man   Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:33 pm

I cannot find the information on Cassidy online. I believe it was in a book I read, and I can't remember the title. Drat.
All I can find online are stories about whether he died in Bolivia or not.

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InsideOutlaw

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PostSubject: Re: More than a little good in a real bad man   Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:33 am

Here's the link to the Capitol Reef Blog:

http://capitolreef.org/blog/butch-cassidy-outlaw-later-years

Note that it says that Butch didn't kill anyone, but qualifies it with at least not that can be proven.  That caught my eye because I instantly thought of the boys and Danny Bilson.  They've killed, but no one knows it was them and it wasn't during a robbery.

Capitol Reef National Park is adjacent to Robber's Roost and Cassidy Arch in Grand Wash is named for Butch.  His gang is thought to have used Grand Wash as a hideout from time to time.

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BeeJay
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PostSubject: Re: More than a little good in a real bad man   Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:35 am

Inside Outlaw, I love your new avatar.purr 

Thanks for the link. It was one of those I read during my internet search, and I think others will enjoy it.

What I remember reading involved a bank robbery in which a man was killed. The eye-witnesses attributed the murder to a man who matched Cassidy, and it was considered a good match. Apparently, good enough that the Pinkertons kept the information on file. The Pinkerton man on their trail was an excellent operative. I think I'll have to re-read, again if I can find, the book that contains his information from South America, and his conclusions.

The other side to that is: were the robbers actually Cassidy and the Sundance Kid? There were rumors of copy-cat robberies. Of course, that brings up a question of how many Americanos were in Argentina robbing banks besides, Cassidy, Longabaugh, and Logan? 

What is real? Who knows? After they lost their ranch, they start to move about. They did commit one huge robbery in Argentina. There were a lot of sitings which is understandable after a crime as people get excited, and report all sorts of things. But it becomes impossible to pinpoint Cassidy and the others. . Then rumors about the American robbers start to fly about.  Etta Place returns to North America. She becomes impossible to trace accurately. And Etta was probably the only person who could provide exact information.

Most of the Information in that link is really good, but I notice is says Cassidy returned home to the US and died in 1937. That means the writer believes he was Wm T. Phillips. Historians don't believe that any longer: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700171369/Butch-Cassidy-imposter-exposed.html?pg=all  Doesn't mean he didn't survive and return to North America, but it is unlikely. Apparently, the only sibling of his who believed he returned was Lula. (there were 13 Parker children born). She was born the year he left home-1884. If he did return home for a visit during his robbing days, it would have to have been brief; her memory of him couldn't have been that accurate. I think there is a lot of wishful thinking about him returning to the US.

I know I wish he had survived, and I wish he weren't as bad as the Pinkertons say he was in their records. Darn it all to heck!

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InsideOutlaw

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PostSubject: Re: More than a little good in a real bad man   Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:47 am

Thanks for the link, BJ, that was a very interesting article. I love reading about Butch Cassidy. There are so many places around the west that he's been and was known. My husband and I love to go to some remote spots and, while at one, one of us will invariably ask, "wonder if Butch was here?"

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Ghislaine Emrys
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PostSubject: Re: More than a little good in a real bad man   Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:09 pm


Going back to Shon Hopwood--I read his book last Saturday. It was a quick read and I enjoyed it. Even though he does gloss over things, he still comes off as being, initially, a jerk, and then, later on, incredibly lucky. If anyone else reads it, I'd be interested to hear your opinion(s).

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