TLP: Getting Away With It Isn't As Easy As It Used To Be

Tuesday, September 06, 2011 , 2 Comments

butch getaway
It took the FBI all of 15 years to catch up with alleged Boston mobster Whitey Bulger. The hijacker known as D.B. Cooper eluded the Bureau for nearly twice that long, dying without being caught, if you believe the story of a woman who says he was her uncle.

Neither one had the luck or the smarts of Butch Cassidy, according to an account uncovered by a book collector.

A rare books collector says he has obtained a manuscript with new evidence that Butch Cassidy wasn't killed in a 1908 shootout in Bolivia but returned to the U.S. and lived peaceably in Washington state for almost three decades.

The manuscript, "Bandit Invincible: The Story of Butch Cassidy," dates to 1934. At 200 pages, it's twice as long as a previously known but unpublished novella of the same title by William T. Phillips, a machinist who died in Spokane in 1937.

Utah book collector Brent Ashworth and Montana author Larry Pointer say the text contains the best evidence yet - with details only Cassidy could have known - that "Bandit Invincible" was not biography but autobiography, and that Phillips himself was the legendary outlaw.
Maybe the secret is in the hiding out. Despite the boldness of his bank-robbing and other ballsy stunts like stopping trains and blowing up railroad cars to break into safes, Cassidy disappeared into the western landscape, ran away to Bolivia and then, according to the new account, got a day job.

Cooper did pretty well, too, according to his would-be niece, blending in with his family and only letting on to a few about his famous leap. Mostly, people seemed to think the fall killed him. Bulger apparently was tripped up by his girlfriend, who didn't have the mobster's knack for evading surveillance and led the FBI to their apartment, otherwise ordinary except for being stuffed with $800,000 in cash.

And then there are the criminals who don't try to hide at all.

The Lazy Paperboy

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.


tsada kay said...

Great post. I blame teh interwebs.

Also, not to diminish Whitey's slight-of-hand skills, but if you're Irish and have friends in high places, it's amazing what the Boston cops "don't see". Even when you're standing right smack dab in front of Dunkin' Donuts.

Wickid pissah.

Thanks, toonie! I think all three of them benefited from the romanticism of their exploits - and the further back you go, the easier it is to do that. Anyone who was a victim of Butch Cassidy's crime is long gone. And D.B. Cooper was practically a folk hero by the time he hit the ground.

I still think Whitey Bulger is a great screen name for a porn star.