Heroism and Freedom

Elzy Lay

Outlaw Elzy Lay got out of prison after rescuing the warden’s family.

Outlaw Elzy Lay turned out to be a model prisoner. Lay—Butch Cassidy’s best friend from their first meeting in 1889—was given a life sentence in New Mexico after robbing a train and getting into a gunfight with a posse. Three of the lawmen died. In 1906, some of his fellow prisoners took the warden’s wife and daughter as hostages. Lay met with the hostage-takers and convinced them to let the women go. For that, Lay was released. He went straight and was a respected member of society until his death in 1934.

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