In 1969’s Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, are the characters Joe LeFors and Lord Baltimore based on real people?
Joe LeFors was born in Paris, Texas, in 1865 and raised in the Cherokee Nation in Indian Territory. He worked as a drover, freighter and mail rider. In 1895, he became a livestock inspector in Wyoming and built a reputation for recovering stolen cattle in the Hole-in-the-Wall country. He then became a U.S. deputy marshal out of Cheyenne. He’s best remembered, aside from the 1969 movie, for his role in the arrest of Tom Horn for the killing of Willie Nickell. LeFors died in Buffalo, Wyoming, in 1940.
Dan Buck and Ann Meadows, noted experts on Butch and Sundance, add this: “We’ve never come across a single verifiable fact about an Indian tracker named Lord Baltimore; we’ve always assumed that he was a figment of screenwriter William Goldman’s imagination.”