Museum Minute: The Fort Worth Five

Dec 19, 2019

Fort Worth Five
Credit McCracken Research Library

In 1900, Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid and other members of the Wild Bunch were in Fort Worth, Texas where they posed for a photo. Eric Rossborough, the associate librarian at the McCracken Research Library at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, said the photographer hung the photo in the window of his studio.

“A detective walked by and recognized Butch and Sundance. This [photo] became known as the Fort Worth five photo, and it was circulated nationwide,” said Rossborough.

Because of the photograph’s attention, Butch and Sundance had to flee to New York and then to South America and eventually out of the country because they were recognizable.

“To me this famous photo symbolizes the very death of the old West,” said Rossborough. “If you look at the photo Butch has a completely cocky expression. He looks like he's putting one over on the whole world. And [he] did for a while but he didn't realize at this point that he is already done for.”