The Cruzan Rogues' Gallery

Name: Wm Cruzan, Prisoner Number #3722
When Convicted: Mar. 19th 1895
When Received: Mar. 22nd 1895
Crime: Grand Larceny
Sentence: 4 years
County Sent From: Mesa
Age: 27
Height: 5'1"
Complexion: Medium
Color Of Eyes: Grey
Color Of Hair: Dark
Occupation: Cattleman
Where Born: Texas
Name Of Parents And Residence: Thom & Abagill Cruzan
Married: No
Discharged: May 12, 1898 - John Cleghorn, Warden
Read: Yes
Write: Yes
Temperate: No
Tobacco: Yes
Prison Before: No
Signature:

Marks:

Rather heavy build. Scar left side upper lip. Scar on forehead over left eye. Scar inside corner left eyebrow. Scar right top head. Scar right forehead. Scar center back top head. Double chin. Scar 1st & 2nd joint 1st right finger. Scar 2nd joint 2nd right finger. Large scar on right hand. First joint 2nd finger left hand crooked. Small scar over 1st left finger, left hand.


Some notes on The Wild Bunch:

William (Bill) Cruzan was probably the best horse thief in the Wild Bunch. He knew the hidden canyons where a stolen herd could be kept, was skillful as an Apache in covering his trail, and had enormous physical stamina. Charlie Siringo confessed that he had trailed Cruzan and Kid Curry for thousands of miles but although the pair was burdened with a herd of stolen horses; he could never catch up with them.

All that is known of Dave Atkins is that he killed at least one man in a gunfight and walked with a peculiar slouch. By the time he joined the Bunch, the sheriff of San Angelo, Texas, had posted a $300 reward far him and described him as dangerous.

Walter Punteney (Wat the Watcher) was the reconnaissance man for the Wild Bunch. He was an excellent horseman, good shot, and apparently ordinary enough to blend into any frontier town he visited. He lived until the 1950s and gave me his terse explanation of how the Wild Bunch operated:

"Cassidy and Longbaugh - they were not murderers. They would slip in some town and get the money and slip out again and they didn't want to hurt anybody....".

Willard E. Christiansen, who left his mark in the Wild West as Matt Warner, was the son of a Mormon convert and brother-in-law of Tom McCarty, leader of the McCarty gang. Warner, as a teen-ager, fled to Brown's Hole after he mistakenly thought he had killed a playmate in a fight. He rustled cattle and later joined his brother-in-law's gang when they temporarily put aside bank robbery to drive a stolen herd of cattle into Mexico. He died in 1938.

Bob Meeks. a likable Utah cowboy, friend of Elza Lay and Cassidy, was in his early twenties when he started to ride with the Wild Bunch; He had always existed on a cowboy's wages and his sudden affluence, after taking part in a few bank robberies, was so overwhelming that it eventually led to his arrest and a tragic end.

The majority of the Wild Bunch riders were in their mid-thirties. Nearly all had been cowboys, several were wanted for murder, stealing horses, or rustling cattle. There were many who appeared briefly, only to disappear when they had made their "raise." They are only names in fading reports written by stockmen's detectives or in frontier newspapers. A few became ranchers or saloon owners who were always prepared to provide information, provisions, shelter, weapons, or horses for their former comrades.

The next train robbery committed by the Wild Bunch took: place at Tipton; Sweetwater County, Wyoming, when the gang held up the Union Pacific on the evening of August 29, 1900. The scene and the players were the same. After the outlaws stopped the train they demanded that the express messenger open the door. It was young Woodcock again and he refused, but when Conductor Edward J. Kerrigan saw the gang preparing a charge powerful enough to blow the car to bits, he persuaded Woodcock to slide back the door.

The safe was blown apart, but this time the loot only amounted to $50.40 - they had missed a $100,000 gold shipment which had passed the same spot only a few hours before. Railroad detectives identified Cassidy; the Sundance Kid, Kid Curry, the Tall Texan, and William Cruzan as the train robbers."

The Authentic Wild West: The Outlaws, by James D. Horan

My thanks to Steve and Kim for locating and furnishing this information.
Marv Cruzan, July 15, 2002

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