Butch Cassidy's Only Time In Jail Isn't For What You Think

The American outlaw Butch Cassidy earned national notoriety in the late 1880s. He was known for committing a variety of crimes, mostly robbing banks and making off with thousands, per Biography. Cassidy more often than not took part in criminal activity with the assistance of other lawless men. They were known as the Wild Bunch, which also included the Sundance Kid (born Harry Longabaugh). The Kid's relationship with Cassidy would be dramatized by Hollywood years later in the popular 1969 film "Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid" (via IMDb).

Born on April 13, 1866 as Robert Leroy Parker, Cassidy grew up poor in Utah. He had a dozen siblings and left home at a young age to make his own way. It wasn't too long after that he found himself living a life of crime.

Cassidy and his gang pulled off a series of robberies and other heists, most notably two train robberies in Wyoming, says History. These incidents made them wanted by authorities, but the law didn't actually catch up with the two. As History recalls it, Cassidy and the Sundance Kid both met their end in a shootout in Bolivia, although that continues to be debated (via Los Angeles Times).

Which brings up the question: If Cassidy was never arrested for his robberies, when did he go to jail, and what for?

Butch Cassidy's one and only stint in jail

The Wild Bunch (pictured), including Cassidy (front right), evaded authorities throughout most of their criminal careers, but at some point, they were caught, via Britannica. Cassidy and Sundance Kid were just lucky when they left stateside for South America.

And while Cassidy did have a propensity for robbery, he'd never get arrested for it. The crime that sent him to his first and only stint in jail was for stealing farm animals, or what was called rustling back then (Biography). It has always been against the law to take someone else's cattle or horse, and in the 1890s Cassidy was a rustler. In 1894, he was arrested for it. He was sentenced to prison in Wyoming for stealing a horse that cost all of $5, says History. His punishment for the crime was two years, but he was released 18 months into his sentence, apparently for good behavior.

It wouldn't be too long after his release that he'd find his old ways. He'd never get caught again, or serve another time in jail.