I saw comparison photos of Etta Place and Ann Bassett, and they look identical to me. Was Ann Etta?

 

I saw comparison photos of Etta Place and Ann Bassett, and they look identical to me. Was Ann Etta?

Mike King
Middletown, New Jersey

You are not the first person to raise that theory. Doris Karren Burton published a booklet in 1992, Queen Ann Bassett Alias Etta Place, arguing that the Brown’s Park pioneer was the Sundance Kid’s girlfriend known to us as Etta Place.

Wild Bunch historian Daniel Buck dismisses her theory. A physical resemblance is not enough (a lot of look-alikes can be found in this world). Although Bassett was absent from Brown’s Park, Colorado, while the couple was on the South American ranch with Butch Cassidy, evidence suggests she went to Texas. Plus, Bassett never claimed to be Place.

No one knows for certain what happened to Place. She flat out vanished. When I look at that photo of her with the Sundance Kid in New York City, I’m reminded of another photo that turned out to be a major mistake, the Fort Worth Five photo with Cassidy, the Sundance Kid, Will Carver, Ben Kilpatrick and Harvey Logan (see the photo on
p. 144). The last thing a smart outlaw should do is have his photo taken.

What do you think?

Marshall Trimble

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian and the Wild West History Association’s vice president. His latest book is 2018’s Arizona Oddities: A Land of Anomalies and Tamales. Send your question, with your city/state of residence, to marshall.trimble@scottsdalecc.edu or Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327.