SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Hiram Bebee’s grave lies amongst other prison inmates who died while in prison.
The small black headstone is isolated from others and there are no traces of flowers or momentos of his life.
That’s the way it is for most inmates who lie in the pauper’s cemetery in Salt Lake City.
Bebee was buried there after serving a life sentence for killing Sanpete County Marshal Jon T. Larsen in 1945.
In a new book, “Last of the Bandit Riders … Revisited, Again,” the author Dr. Steve Lacy claimed Bebee was the Sundance Kid.
Bebee was believed to be around 62-years-old but he wouldn’t confirm his birthdate or age. Lacy called Bebee a mystery man.
“He was vague when he had his two trials for murder,” said Lacy. “He didn’t tell anybody where he was from. The FBI found out he had been to South America. But he still wouldn’t tell anything about him.”
A photograph from Lacy’s collection showed an aged Bebee with prison officials. He was housed in the old prison where Sugarhouse Park now sits.
His death sentence was commuted to life in prison.
“He had a long beard, long hair,” said Lacy. “He was the oldest prisoner in the prison.”
It’s well known that Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid were bank robbers and moved to South America.
In the movie named after them, they were led to believe they were killed in a shoot out with local authorities.
“There was no official identification of the men who were killed,” Lacy said.
Reportedly, DNA was taken from the men buried in the graves and it did not match the two outlaws.
In his latest book, Lacy claimed the two men returned to the U.S. together and moved to California. But then they seperated and never reunited.
Butch Cassidy’s real name was Robert Leroy Parker born in Beaver. Lacy said when he return from Bolivia, Cassidy changed his name to Frank Ervin who died in Fresno California in 1956.
In 1939, a man named Ervin visited Joyce Warner in Price. Warner was the daughter of another infamous outlaw from Carbon County named Matt Warner. Butch Cassidy and Matt Warner roamed throughout the west and robbed banks.
“Matt had told Joyce stories about Butch that he didn’t put in the book, and they shared those stories back and forth that day November 21st, 1939,” Lacy said. “She knew right away that he was Butch.”
As for the Sundance Kid, his real name was Harry Longabaugh. He ended up in prison in California but was released and eventually made it back to Utah using the name Hiram Bebee, the man who ended up in prison for murdering the Mt. Pleasant marshal.
While incarcerated, prison officials who Lacy spoke with, read Bebee’s letters to the Longabauh family.
“He wrote to his cousins in Colorado,” said Lacy. “And they wrote back all while he was in prison. They wouldn’t have corresponded for five years back and forth if there wasn’t a connection in the first place.”
In his conversations with the guards who were close to Bebee, Lacy said it was well known that the Sundance Kid constantly ate Ralson cereal.
Whenever Bebee’s wife visited him, she would often bring Ralston cereal with her according to Lacy.
“She brought in Ralson because the commissary (at the prison) didn’t have any Ralston cereal,” he said. “There were rumors going all around while he was in prison that he was the Sundance Kid.”
But Lacy claimed that while Bebee was in prison he never told anyone that he was the Sundance Kid.
On June 2, 1955, Bebee took that secret to the grave.