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Letter to the editor: Robbers roosting at the bar

St. George


In the Deseret News on Dec. 16 Mr. Geoff Liesik ran an article titled, "Is Sundance really buried in Duchesne?". Then on Dec. 25 his article appeared in the Sun Advocate titled, "Scientists exhume Duchesne body for DNA testing."

Both articles covered a question that has hung over that area for nearly seven decades. Are the bones in said grave the bones of Harry Alonzo Longabaugh known as the Sun Dance Kid of formerly of the Wild Bunch or are they the remains of William Harry Long of who no one knows of his past and who took his own life at his home out side Duchesne on Nov. 27, 1936?

I do not want to get involved in that issue but this I do know; with out question in the late spring of 1934 I saw the Sun Dance Kid standing along side Butch Cassidy in Charlie Greens Pool Hall in Huntington. I was only 14 then.

Charlie Green's Pool Hall stood at the time on the west side of Main Street. It was approximately 30 feet wide and 80 feet long. The front door swung open to the right inside. After stepping thru the door one had their choice to continue down a paneled hallway to the pool room which was in the back of the building. The pool parlor had pool tables and a place you could throw darts.

Or, when you entered past the front door you could turn to your left and enter the bar where beer was served. Directly behind the bar was a large mirror six feet high and the length of the 30 foot bar.

Charlie Green would let us young lads not eighteen years of age yet, stand in the hallway, (but not inside the pool room) and watch those that was old enough to play pool. We never pushed Mr. Green's consideration and in fact we policed his ruling.

In the spring of 1934 , about noon, four of us young teenagers went into the pool hall to watch those older than us play pool. The two people we were watching was Pete Murning (or Morran) and Stott Howard. At that time there were four men at the bar in suits; two were wearing polished cowboy boots and the other two were wearing a laced up short boots.

The front door swung open, hitting the north wall with a bang, I looked back and saw it was Mrs. Sade Murning, Pete's mother. She turned into the bar and was walking back towards the pool hall as she was looking at the faces of the four men standing at the bar. When she was directly behind the men drinking beer at the bar, they raised their heads to see who was walking behind them. When Mrs. Murning looked at those faces in the mirror and saw them face to face she stopped and cried out loud. "Leroy !!!" She opened her arms and started towards him, he in turn turned away from the bar taking his hat off and opening his arms crying out, "Aunt Sade".

Then Mrs. Murning threw up her hands and said, "I'm so sorry, I thought you were some one I knew."

She then ran to back opening in the panel knocking me clear across the hallway. She then shouted out, "Pete you have got to come home the cows are in the alfalfa and bloating." She then turned and ran down the hall way; she did not go back into where the men were standing at the bar.

At the time the man she called "Leroy" who had stepped back from the bar and removed his hat, and the man standing next to him who also backed away from the bar and had removed his hat was also standing with a big smile on his face. To me this indicated he also knew who this woman was. I have always felt he was the Sundance Kid.

I cannot positively swear to this but I will stand firmly on my position that the man Mrs. Sade Murning called, "Leroy" was Robert Leroy Parker, aka Butch Cassidy. Meaning yes ... Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were not killed in Argentina, and had returned back to Utah.

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