Sunday, August 29, 2010

Legendary Criminals in one 'Wild West' photo

From the BBC Washington office comes this amazing photo. It's not been photoshopped, but it just might be a photo that includes Wyatt Earp, Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid, Teddy Roosevelt and Judge Roy Bean, among others.

If it is real, it is extraordinary: a moment when the myths and legends of the Old West crystallised for a moment into a single group photograph before evaporating again into the anonymity of the hot afternoon.

The story is told that the 15 men include Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Wyatt Earp, his brother Virgil and their friends Doc Holliday and Bat Masterson. The lounging figure is - or might be - Judge Roy Bean, who conducted trials in the bar of the saloon he owned in Texas and encouraged jurors to buy drinks between cases.  A few feet away, apparently on an upturned crate, sits a figure identified as Theodore Roosevelt, the future president. 

The picture is genuine in the sense that it is a real photograph of 15 men from the 1880s.  Just can't be quite sure who they all were.

Teddy Roosevelt did retreat into the western wilderness in 1883 after the death of his first wife and when Butch Cassidy, Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday and Bat Masterson were all dotted somewhere around America's ragged and dangerous western frontier.

Read the article HERE


CIU- Talk said...

fab picture does anyone know if a print will be available for purchase

Janet Rudolph said...

I don't, but I'm going to explore.

Unknown said...

Saw a print of this pic in a bar located on Route 66 in Arizona on way to Grand Canyon. Owner had only one and could not recall where she got it from. Have you had any luck in locating copies of this photo? Really would love to have a copy.

Janet Rudolph said...

No,I found this on The BBC website. Not sure of the source. Sorry..

Anonymous said...

They sell them in Tombstone for $3.00 apiece.

colette said...

If you click through and read the article there is a significant portion directed toward our national reverence of criminals. In this dialog, these criminals and our memory of them is compared to people who are seemingly more righteous such as political and sports figures. The author states that we recall bonnie and clyde, billy the kid, etc but not the secretary of state, for example. However, this has less to do with reverence for crime and the people who commit it but with relativity. It's a matter of numbers. We DO remember political figures and sports heros among other types of people but we remember a relative amount. Think of how many criminals are out there and have been and we only remember these few. I'm not denying our national fascination with drama, crime, and the unspeakable but I'm asking readers to be realistic about how we remember historical figures.