Five Famous Western Outlaws
I am a big old western fan. I enjoy movies, books, stories, and the legends of the outlaws. Reading about old outlaws is one of the most interesting things to read about to me. Those guys lived crazy lives. Here are my five best western outlaws.
Jesse James – It is pretty obvious that James goes on the top of the list. He would be at the top of most lists. James was the face of the James-Younger gang that was notorious for its armed robberies and murders in the late 1800’s. The gang included brothers Jesse and Frank James, and brothers Cole, Jim, Bob, and John Younger at its core. As fierce as Jesse James was in his robberies, many believed Jesse James to be similar to Robin Hood, taking from the rich and giving to the poor. James was eventually gunned down by Robert Ford, whom James trusted. Ford was sentenced to death by hanging but was pardoned and freed by Missouri governor Thomas Crittendon.
Billy The Kid – Billy the Kid (whose real name was Henry McCarty) was an outlaw and gunman who became famous for being in the Lincoln County War. He was rumored to kill 21 men in that battle, although it has been disputed. What I found fascinating was his personality. The Kid was able to kill and escape from the two deputies ordered to guard him after he was sentenced to death. One of the deputies name was Robert Ollinger, and when Ollinger tried to come help his fallen comrad, Billy the Kid watching him through an upstairs window and when Ollinger was in sight, Billy the Kid stated “Hello Bob!” and then proceeded to kill him. The Kid then stole a horse and casually rode out of town while singing.
Kid Curry – This guy was bad news. Kid Curry was responsible for the death of many civilian and law enforcement men. His real name was Harvey Logan, but he was famously known as Kid Curry. William Pinkerton, the man who ran Pinkerton Detective Agency, said that Curry was the most viscious outlaw in America. Curry seemed to not be the one who left behind unfinished business. He killed a sheriff and a sheriff’s deputy in retaliation for killing his brother Lonny, and then went to Montana to kill a man who was responsible for the death of his other brother, Johnny, years before. The night Kid Curry was captured he had lost his temper in a bar and started strangling one guy while shooting others with his pistol. He then escaped the “escape proof” jail. Kid Curry might not be the most famous outlaw, but Mr. Pinkerton was right, he sure is the most viscious.
Butch Cassidy – Cassidy, real name Robert Leroy Parker, was the leader of the legendary Wild Bunch. This gang consisted of members such as Cassidy, Kid Curry, George Curry, The Tall Texan, Willam Carver, and the Sundance Kid. Forming a gang consisting of these guys gets him on this list. Cassidy was a notorious bank and train robber, robbing a lot of Union Pacific Railroad trains. It is rumored that Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were gunned down by a group that had them barricaded. There are a lot of different rumors regarding whether or not they actually did it or not, the most believable being Cassidy’s youngest sister claiming that it didn’t happen.
The Sundance Kid – Harry Longabaugh aka the Sundance Kid got his name because he served time in a prison in Sundance, Wyoming. Although it is rumored that the Sundance Kid didn’t kill anybody until the infamous shootout in Bolivia, he was considered a very quick handed gunfighter. Kid Curry was also considered the one of the quickest gunfighters in the west, so there is still confusion to this day if one was exceptionally fast or both of them, because they both at times were called the Kid. Just imagine the trouble the Wild Bunch was, because three of their members are on this list.