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Wild! Butch Cassidy's gun draws $175,000 auction bid

AP

This image provided by RMK Services shows a Colt .45 SAA revolver that belonged to Robert LeRoy Parker, better known as Butch Cassidy, the legendary bank thief, train robber, and leader of the Wild Bunch Gang—the notorious Wyoming-based bandits that stalked the American West throughout the 1890s.


LOS ANGELES — A gun the Wild West outlaw Butch Cassidy wielded in the late 19th century and later tried to exchange for amnesty has drawn a $175,000 bid at a California auction house, the owner of the company said on Monday. 

The Colt revolver was turned over to a sheriff in Utah in 1899 as part of Cassidy's failed attempt to obtain amnesty from the state's governor, said John Eubanks of California Auctioneers & Appraisers.

"He tried to become a regular citizen by turning over his guns," Eubanks said.

The $175,000 bid for the Colt came over the weekend from a buyer who wants to remain anonymous, Eubanks said.

Cassidy and his partner Harry Longabaugh, who went by the nickname "Sundance Kid," robbed banks and had an outlaw gang called the Wild Bunch.

Their exploits were featured in the 1969 film "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford.

Cassidy had long been thought to have been killed in a shootout in Bolivia, but his fate remains mysterious as members of his family and former associates have said he returned to the United States and lived under a false identity, according to a web page about the outlaw on a Utah government website.

The sale of Cassidy's gun was part of an auction of Wild West items that California Auctioneers held on Saturday and Sunday in Casitas Springs, 65 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

A beaded jacket that belonged to the American Indian leader Crazy Horse sold for $10,000 in the auction, to a couple from upstate New York, Eubanks said.

Other pieces of memorabilia from the Wild West have fetched even higher prices. Last year, the only authenticated photograph of gunslinger Billy the Kid was auctioned off to the billionaire William Koch for $2.3 million. 

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