Etta Place was the girlfriend/wife/partner in crime of The Sundance Kid of the infamous Hole in the Wall Gang. Little is known and much is speculated about her past. Some say she was a New York sophisticate who fell in with a bad crowd and others say she ran a house of ill repute in Fort Worth, Texas prior to meeting up with Sundance. Perhaps the most accepted theory is that she was Anne Barrett, the so-called "Queen of the cattle rustlers" from Brown's Park, Utah.
Anne Barrett was born to Herb and Elizabeth Barrett at Brown's Park in 1878. She grew up on a cattle ranch there, learning to rope and ride and shoot. Her mother died when she was 12, whereupon Anne was sent to a Catholic Girls' school to try and curb her wild ways, but she was sent home with a request not to return after one year. She befriended Butch Cassidy during one of his visits to Brown's Park, and soon moved in with him in a small cabin in Robbers Roost, the outlaw hideout in northeastern Utah. She began using the name Etta (or Ethel) Place during this time. Meanwhile, her father's ranch was being threatened by a large Texas cattle company that was attempting to force the smaller ranchers out of Brown's Place. Anne took to cattle rustling and sabotage in an attempt to save her father's holdings, but gave up in the attempt around 1900. Anne Barrett was noted to have boarded a train bound for Texas in the fall of 1900.
In the meantime, the Wild Bunch, as Butch and Sundance's gang was known as, left Utah and congregated in Texas. After several well publicized and profitable train heists, on July 3, 1901, Butch and Sundance’s “Wild Bunch” pulled off one last great robbery — a holdup of the Great Northern Coast Flyer train near Wagner, Montana. After dividing the estimated take of $65,000, the Wild Bunch split up forever.it seemed like a good idea to the two men to leave the country for awhile. So, Butch Cassidy, Harry Longabaugh(the Sundance Kid) and Sundance's wife, Etta Place (Etta was now the companion of Sundance, rather than Butch) went to New York where they attended plays, saw the sights, bought new clothes and had their picture taken in the infamous photograph taken in DeYoung's Studio on lower Broadway in New York City(http://www.thelastbestwest.com/sundance_kid_etta_place.htm), prior to the couple's February 20, 1901, departure on the S.S. Herminius.
The trio resettled in Argentina, where they had heard one could make a prosperous living as a sheep rancher. They purchased a 1300 acre ranch and 800 head of cattle in rural Argentina, socializing with their ranching neighbors and participating in fiestas in the nearby town of Esquel.
The peaceful life didn't last long for Etta, however. Within a few years of settling in Argentina, Butch, Sundance, and Etta began robbing banks once again. Etta was known to have dressed in mens' clothing and often stood guard for Butch and Sundance as they cleaned out the bank vaults. Things in Argentina began getting hot, and in 1904 or 1905, Etta returned to the United States without Sundance, stating that she was ill and needed to recover in peace. There, she became lost in history, although there is no lack of theories about where she went and what name she used. Some say she returned to Fort Worth and ran a bordello, dying in a fire there in 1962. Others say she married a government official in Paraguay and lived there until her death. Romanticists insist that Sundance didn't die in a Bolivian shootout in 1908, but instead returned to America and reunited with Etta.
Anne Barrett resurfaces in history when she married Frank Willis, a cowboy and prospector, in 1923. They settled in the small town of Leeds, Utah. Anne died in 1956.
Etta Place, the mistress or wife of the Sundance Kid remains a mystery. Despite much research, speculation and claims about her (and at least two books about her), her orgins and later life remain unknown.