Only Known Photo Taken Of Billy The Kid 1879. The orginal photo was sold at auction in June 2011

 for $2.3 million dollars, and the photo itself is barely wallet-sized

 

Who was Billy the Kid ? Was he Henry Antrim, Henry McCarty or William Bonney ? Was he a Robin Hood or a cold blooded killer ? Billy the Kid is one of the most celebrated characters  Not until his final month did anyone call him Billy the Kid. Newspapers pictured him as a king of outlaws; and his highly publicized capture, trial, escape, and end fixed his image in the public mind for all time. He was only twenty-one years old when a bullet from Sheriff Pat Garett's six-shooter killed him on July 14, 1881. Within a year Billy the Kid became the subject of five dime-novel "biographies" as well as Garett's ghost-written account, and that was just the beginning. Born in November 1859 as William H. Bonney, Billy the Kid as he soon became known started his criminal career at the age of twelve by stabbing a man in a bar fight. He then moved on to stealing horses, gambling, participating in the Lincoln County War, and even perpetrating mass murder. Billy the Kid s extraordinary exploits were followed in newspapers around the country, and his legend reached epic heights.  According to legend, he killed 21 men, but he is generally accepted to have killed between four and nine. Billy the Kid was said to be about 5 feet 8 inches tall and about 138 lbs with "light" hair and blue eyes.

 

 

 

 LibriVox recording of History of Billy the Kid, by Charles A. Siringo. Read by Roger Melin.

 

Movies about Billy the Kid

 

The Left Handed Gun  1958 starring Paul Newman as Billy the Kid and John Dehner as Pat Garrett

Arthur Penn's first feature film tells the story of the famous outlaw Billy the Kid. A young William Bonnie (Paul Newman) is caught up in the middle of a range war between cattle barons and rustlers. Billy is on the side of the rustlers, who are vastly outmanned and outgunned by the weatthy cattle barons who have hired thugs to do their dirty work. Billy is horrified as he watches his friends killed off by these hired guns, helpless to save them. Horror turns to rage when Billy's father figure is also murdered, and Billy vows revenge on the men who killed him. With a chilling single-mindedness, Billy hunts down the four men most responsible for the death of his friends and deals them his own brand of justice. Soon, Billy is a legend--and the most wanted man in the West.The screenplay was written by Leslie Stevens from a teleplay by Gore Vidal .Find The Left Handed Gun on eBay

 

 Trailer for The Left Handed Gun

 

 Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid  1973

 Directed by Sam Peckinpah and starring James Coburn, Kris Kristofferson, and Bob Dylan. Dylan composed several songs for the movie's score and soundtrack album Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid, which was released the same year. Billy the Kid (Kris Kristofferson), Filmed on location in Durango, Mexico,[3] the film was nominated for two BAFTA Awards for Film Music (Bob Dylan) and Most Promising Newcomer (Kris Kristofferson). The film was also nominated for a Grammy Award for Album of Best Original Score (Bob Dylan). The film was noted for behind-the-scenes battles between Peckinpah and the production company Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Soon after completion, the film was taken away from the director and substantially re-edited, resulting in a truncated version released to theaters and largely disowned by cast and crew members. Peckinpah's preview version[N 1] was released on video in 1988, leading to a re-evaluation, with many critics hailing it as a mistreated classic and one of the era's best films. The film is ranked 126th on Empire Magazine's 500 Greatest Movies Of All Time list.

 Find Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid on eBay

 

 

 

 Trailer for Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid

 

 

 Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid - Knockin' on heaven's door

 

 The Outlaw 1943

 

 Theatrical Trailer for Howard Hughes' Billy the Kid western The Outlaw starring Jane Russell, Jack Buetel, Walter Huston and the wonderful item of clothing that Mr. Hughes invented especially for Ms. Russell.

 Find The Outlaw on eBay

 

 

 

 

Young Guns 1988

British ranchowner John Tunstall (Terence Stamp) hires six young men to help him tend and guard his ranch. In addition he also teaches them to read and to be civilized, but soon Tunstall is murdered by a corrupt and ruthless competing cattle rancher. The six 'young guns' go seeking revenge and are erroneously branded outlaws by the law, until they can clear their names. The six young guns are played by Emilio Estevez, Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips, Charlie Sheen, Dermot Mulroney and Casey Siemaszko.  Find Young Guns on eBay

 

 Young Guns trailer

 

Billy the Kid  1989

Also known as Gore Vidal's Billy the Kid. this film, though little known, has routinely been described as the most historically accurate version to date. Written by Gore Vidal and directed by William A. Graham, Val Kilmer stars in the lead role of William Bonney aka Billy the Kid, with a supporting cast including Wilford Brimley, John O'Hurley, Duncan Regehr, and Ned Vaughn.

 Find Gore Vidal's Billy the Kid on eBay

 

 

 

 

 

Birth and Early Life

 

 

The outlaw who would later be known as Bily the Kid was born Henry McCarty and later known as Henry Antrim in the Irish 4th Ward of New York City on November 20, 1859 . He had an older brother named Joe.  It's not known for sure who his biological father was, some researchers have theorized that his name was Patrick McCarty, Michael McCarty, William McCarty, or Edward McCarty . His mother name was Catherine McCarty, although there have been continuing debates about whether McCarty was her maiden or married name. She is believed to have immigrated to New York during the time of the Great Famine .William's skinny body, small hands, and effeminate features made him a target for bullying and teasing. They little realized that William was as brave as he was quick-witted. Little Billy also had a tremendous sense of humor and fun as well as a passion for music, singing, and dancing. A good student in school, he also enjoyed reading for his own pleasure and was soft spoken, mild mannered, courteous, loyal, and easygoing. Even his future enemies had to admit he was a rare, likable fellow .

 

His mother, Catherine, died on September 16, 1874 after a long standing battle with tuberculosis. William's stepfather, William Antrim, packed the boys off to the Knight family for a while to continue their schooling before the boys were eventually split up and shifted from one foster home to another before their stepfather moved to Arizona, permanently abandoning them to their fate. William was barely thirteen or fourteen at the time.

 

 

 A fascinating look at the myth and the man behind it, who, in just a few short years transformed himself from a skinny orphan boy to the most feared man in the West and an enduring western icon.

In the slum district of the great city of New York, on the 23rd day of November, 1859, a blue-eyed baby boy was born to William H. Bonney and his good looking, auburn haired young wife, Kathleen. Being their first child he was naturally the joy of their hearts. Later, another baby boy followed.In 1862 William H. Bonney shook the dust of New York City from his shoes and emigrated to Coffeeville, Kansas,on the northern border of the Indian Territory, with his little family.

 

 

 Redneck Mystery Hunter, Jackson Burns, finds that Billy the Kid survived his murder by Pat Garret

 

Family moves to New Mexico

Soon after settling down in Coffeeville, Mr. Bonney died. Then the young widow moved to the Territory of Colorado, where she married a Mr. Antrim. Shortly after this marriage, the little family of four moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, at the end of the old Santa Fe trail.Here they opened a restaurant, and one of their first boarders was Ash Upson, then doing work on the Daily New Mexican. Little, blue-eyed, Billy Bonney, was then about five years of age, and became greatly attached to good natured,jovial, Ash Upson, who spent much of his leisure time playing with the bright boy.

Three years later, when the hero of our story was about eight years old,Ash Upson and the Antrim family pulled up stakes and moved to the booming silver mining camp of Silver City, in the southwestern part of the Territory of New Mexico.Here Mr. and Mrs. Antrim established a new restaurant, and had Ash Upson as the star boarder.Naturally their boarders were madeup of all classes, both women and men,some being gamblers and toughs ofthe lowest order.Amidst these surroundings, Billy Bonney grew up. He went to school and was a bright scholar. When not at school, Billy was associating with toughmen and boys, and learning the art of gambling and shooting.This didn't suit Mr. Antrim, who became a cruel step-father, according to Billy Bonney's way of thinking. Jesse Evans, a little older than Billy,was a young tough who was a hero in Billy's estimation. They became fast friends, and bosom companions. In the years to come they were to fight bloody battles side by side, as friends, and again as bitter enemies.

As a boy, Mr. Upson says Billy had a sunny disposition, but when aroused had an uncontrollable temper.At the tender age of twelve, young Bonney made a trip to Fort Union, NewMexico, and there gambled with the negro soldiers. One black soldier cheated Billy, who Billy shot him dead.  Making his way back to Silver City he kept the secret from his fond mother,who was the idol of his heart.One day Billy's mother was passing crowd of toughs on the street. One of them made an insulting remark about her. Billy, who was in the crowd, heard it. He struck the fellow in the face with his fist, then picked up a rock from thestreet. The "tough" made a rush atBilly, and as he passed Ed. Moulton heplanted a blow back of his ear, and laidhim sprawling on the ground.This act cemented a friendship between Ed. Moulton and the future youngoutlaw.About three weeks later Ed. Moultongot into a fight with two toughs in JoeDyer's saloon. He was getting the bestof the fight. The young blacksmith who had insulted Mrs. Antrim and who had been knocked down by Ed. Moulton, sawa chance for revenge. He rushed at Moulton with an uplifted chair. Billy Bonney was standing near by, on nettles,ready to render assistance to his bene-factor, at a moment's notice. The timehad now arrived. He sprang at theblacksmith and stabbed him with a knifethree times. He fell over dead.

A 1950's comic book about Billy the Kid . There were over 50 movies made about Billy the Kid .

Billy ran out of the saloon, his righthand dripping with human blood.Now to his dear mother's arms, wherehe showered her pale cheeks with kissesfor the last time.Realizing the result of his crime, he was soon lost in the pitchy darkness ofthe night, headed towards the south-west, afoot. For three days and nights Billy wandered through the cactus covered hills, without seeing a human being.Luck finally brought him to a sheep camp, where the Mexican herder gavehim food.From the sheep camp he went to McKnight's ranch and stole a horse, riding away without a saddle.

Three weeks later a boy and a grown man rode into Camp Bowie, a government post. Both were on a skinny, sore-back pony. This new found companion had a name and history of his own,which he was nursing in secret. He gave his name to Billy as " Alias," and that was the name he was known by around Camp Bowie.Finally Billy, having disposed of his sore-back pony, started out for the Apache Indian Reservation, with"Alias," a foot. They were armed withan old army rifle and a six-shooter,which they had borrowed from soldiers.About ten miles southwest of Camp Bowie these two young desperados came onto three Indians, who had twelve ponies, a lot of pelts and several saddles,besides good firearms, and blankets. In telling of the affair afterwards, Billy said: "It was a ground-hog case. Herewere twelve good ponies, a supply of blankets, and five heavy loads of pelts.Here were three blood-thirsty savages revelling in luxury and refusing help to

Becoming tired of town life, the two desperadoes hit the trail for San Simon,where they beat a band of Indians out of a lot of money in a "fake" horserace.The next we hear of Billy Bonney is in the State of Sonora, Old Mexico,where he went alone, according to his own statement.In Sonora he joined issues with a Mexican gambler named Melquiades Segura.One night the two murdered a monte dealer, Don Jose Martinez, and secured his "bank roll."Now the two desperadoes shook th edust of Sonora from their feet and landed in the city of Chihuahua, the capital of the State of Chihuahua, several hundred miles to the eastward, across the Sierra Madres mountains.

In the city of Chihuahua, the two desperadoes led a hurrah life among the sporting elements. Finally their money was gone and their luck at cards went against them. Then Billy and Segura held up and robbed several monte dealers, when on the way home after their games had closed for the night. One of these monte dealers had offended Billy, which caused his death.One morning before the break of day,this monte dealer was on his way home a peon was carrying his fat "bank roll" in a buckskin bag, finely decorated with gold and silver threads. When nearing his residence in the outskirts of the city, Segura and young Bonney made a charge from behind a vacant adobe building. The one-sided battle was soon over. A popular Mexican gambler lay stretched dead on the ground. The peon willingly gave up th esack of gold and silver.Now towards the Texas border, in a north-easterly direction, a distance of three hundred miles, as fast as their mounts could carry them.When their horses began to grow tired, other mounts were secured. Their bills were paid enroute, with gold doubloons taken from the buckskin sack.On reaching the Rio Grande river,which separates Texas from the Republic of Mexico, the young outlaws separated for the time being.

 

LINCOLN New Mexico Court House Where Billie the Kid Shot Ollinger

 

 Indian Battle

 

On one occasion the boys ate dinner with a party of Texas emigrants, and were well treated. Leaving the emi- grant camp, a band of renegade Apache Indians were seen skulking in the hills. The boys concealed themselves to await results, as they felt sure a raid was to be made on the emigrants, who were headed for the Territory of Arizona. There were only three men in the party, and several women and children. Just at dusk, the boys, who were stealing along their trail in the low, flint covered hills, heard shooting. Eealizing that a battle was on, Billy Bonney and Jesse Evans put spurs to their mounts and reached the camp just in time. By this time it was dark. The three men had succeeded in standing off the Indians for awhile, but finally a rush was made on the camp, by the reds, with blood curdling war whoops. At that moment the two young heroes charged among the Indians and sprang off their horses, with Winchester rifles in hand. For a few moments the battle raged. One bullet shattered the stock of Billy's rifle, clipping his left hand slightly. He then dropped the rifle and used his pistol. When the battle was over, eight dead Indians lay on the ground.

Given the name "Billy the Kid"

Soon after the Indian battle Billy Bonney and Jesse Evans landed in the Mexican village of La Mesilla, New Mexico, and there met up with some of Jesse's chums. Their names were Jim McDaniels, Bill Morton, and Frank Baker. During their stay in Mesilla, Jim McDaniels christened Billy Bonney, " Billy the Kid," and that name stuck to him to the time of his death. Finally these three tough cowboys started for the Pecos river with Jesse Evans. " Billy the Kid" promised to join them later, as he had received word that his Old Mexico chum, Segura, was in jail in San Elizario, Texas, below El Paso. This word had been brought by a Mexican boy, sent by Segura. The "Kid" told the boy to wait in Mesilla till he and Segura got there. It was the fall of 1876. Mounted on his favorite gray horse, "Billy the Kid" started at six o'clock in the evening for the eighty-one mile ride to San Elizario.  A swift ride brought him into El Paso, then called Franklin, a distance of fifty- six miles, before midnight. Here he dismounted in front of Peter Den's sa- loon to let his noble "Gray" rest. While waiting, he had a few drinks of whiskey, and fed "Gray" some crackers, there being no horse feed at the saloon. Now for the twenty-five mile dash down the Rio Grande river, over a level road to San Elizario. It was made in quick time. Daylight had not yet begun to break.

Billy Frees Segura

Dismounting in front of the jail, the "Kid" knocked on the front door. The Mexican jailer asked; "Quien es?" (Who's that?) The "Kid" replied in good Spanish: "Open up, we have two American prisoners here." The heavy front door was opened, and the jailer found a cocked pistol pointed at him. Now the frightened guard gave up his pistol and the keys to the cell in which Segura was shackled and hand- cuffed. In the rear of the jail building there was another guard asleep. He was re- lieved of his fire-arms and dagger. When Segura was free of irons the two guards were gagged so they couldn't give an alarm, and chained to a post. The two outlaws started out in the darkest part of the night, just before day, Segura on "Gray" and the "Kid" trotting by his side, afoot. An hour later the two desperadoes were at a confederate's ranch across the Rio Grande river, in Old Mexico. After filling up with a hot breakfast, the "Kid" was soon asleep, while Segura kept watch for officers. The "Kid's" noble "Gray" was fed and with a mustang, kept hidden out in the brush. Now the ranchman rode into San Eliz- ario to post himself on the jail break. Hurrying back to the ranch, he ad- vised his two guests to "hit the high places," as there was great excitement in San Elizario. Reaching La Mesilla, New Mexico, the two young outlaws found the boy who had carried the message to "Billy the Kid," from Segura, and rewarded him with a handful of Mexican gold.

After a few daring raids into Old Mexico, with Segura, the "Kid" landed in La Mesilla, New Mexico. Here he fell in with a wild young man by the name of Tom O'Keefe. Together, they started for the Pecos river to meet Jesse Evans and his companions. Instead of taking the wagon road, the two venturesome boys cut across the Mescalero Apache Indina Reservation, which took in most of the high Guada- lupe range of mountains, which separ- ates the Pecos and Rio Grande rivers.

Lincoln County War

Here the "Kid" was told of the smouldering cattle war between the Murphy-Dolan faction on one side, and the cattle king, John S. Chisum, on the other. Many small cattle owners were ar- rayed with the firm of Murphy and Dolan, who owned a large store in Lin- coln, and were the owners of many cat- tle. On John S. Chisum J s side were Alex A. McSween, a prominent lawyer of Lincoln the County seat of Lincoln County and a wealthy Englishman by the name of John S. Tuns tall, who had only been in America a year. McSween and Tunstall had formed a co-partnership in the cattle business, and had established a general trading store in Lincoln. It was now the early spring of 1877. Jesse Evans tried to persuade " Billy the Kid" to join the Murphy-Dolan fac- tion, but he argued that he first had to find Tom O'Keefe, dead or alive, as it was against his principles to desert a chum in time of danger. For nearly a year a storm had been brewing between John Chisum and the smaller ranchmen. Chisum claimed all the range in the Pecos valley, from Fort Sumner to the Texas line, a distance of over two hundred miles. Naturally there was much maverick- ing, in other words, stealing unbranderl young animals from the Chisum bands of cattle, which ranged about twenty- five miles on each side of the Pecos river.

Chisum owned from forty to sixty thousand cattle on this " Jingle-bob " range. His cattle were marked with a long " Jingle-bob " hanging down from the dew-lap. In branding calves the Chisum cowboys would slash the dew- lap above the breast, leaving a chunk of hide and flesh hanging downward. When the wound healed the animal was well marked with a dangling " Jingle-bob. " Thus did the Chisum outfit get the name of the " Jingle-bobs." Well mounted and armed, "Billy the Kid" started in search of Tom O'Keefe. He was found at Las Cruces, three miles from La Mesilla, the County seat of Dona Ana County, New Mexico. It was a happy meeting between the two smooth-faced boys. Each had to relate his experience during and after the In- dian trouble. O'Keefe had gone back to the place where he had left the "Kid's" mount and the pack mule. There he found the " Bid's" horse shot dead, but no sign of the mule. His own pony ran away with the saddle, when he sprang from his back. Now O'Keefe struck out afoot, to- wards the west, living on berries and such game as he could kill, finally land- ing in Las Cruces, where he swore off being the companion of a daring young outlaw. "

Billy the Kid" tried to persuade O'Keefe to accompany him back to the Pecos valley, to take part in the ap- proaching cattle war, but Tom said he had had enough of playing "bad-man from Bitter Creek." Now the "Kid" went to a ranch, where he had left his noble "Gray," and with him started back towards the Pecos river. Arriving back at the Murphy-Dolan cow-camp on the Pecos river, "Billy the Kid" was greeted by his friends, Mc- Daniels, Morton and Baker, who persu- aded him to join the Murphy and Dolan outfit, and become one of their fighting cowboys. This he agreed to do, and was put on the pay-roll at good wages. The summer and fall of 1877 passed along with only now and then a scrap between the factions. But the clouds of war were lowering, and the "Kid" was anxious for a battle.

Still he was not satisfied to be at war with the whole-souled young English- man, John S. Tunstull, whom he had met on several occasions. On one of his trips to the Mexican town of Lincoln, to "blow in" his accu- mulated wages, the "Bad" met Tunstall, and expressed regret at fighting against him. The matter was talked over and "Bil- ly the Kid" agreed to switch over from the Murphy-Dolan faction. Tunstall at once put him under wages and told him to make his headquarters at their cow- camp on the Rio Feliz, which flowed in- to the Pecos from the west. Now the "Kid" rode back to camp and told the dozen cowboys there of his new deal. They tried to persuade him of his mistake, but his mind was made up and couldn't be changed. In the argument, Baker abused the "Kid" for going back on his friends. This came very near starting a little war in that camp. The "Kid" made Baker back down when he offered to shoot it out with him on the square. Before riding away on his faithful "Gray," the "Kid" expressed regrets at having to fight against his chum Jesse Evans, in the future. At the Rio Feliz cow camp, the "Kid" made friends with all the cowboys there, and with Tunstall and McSween, when he rode into Lincoln to have a good time at the Mexican "fandangos" (dances.) A few "killings" took place on the Pecos river during the fall, but "Billy the Kid" was not in these fights. In the early part of December, 1877, the "Kid" received a letter from his Mexican chum whom he had liberated from the jail in San Elizario, Texas, Melquiades Segura, asking that he meet

In the month of February, 1878, W. S. Morton, who held a commission as deputy sheriff, raised a posse of fight- ing cowboys and went to one of the Tunstall cow-camps on the upper Kuidoso river, to attach some horses, which were claimed by the Murphy-Dolan out- fit. Tunstall was at the camp with some of his employes, who "hid out" on the approach of Morton and the posse. It was claimed by Morton that Tunstall fired the first shot. In the fight, Tunstall and his mount were killed. While laying on his face gasping for breath, Tom Hill, who was later killed while robbing a sheep camp, placed a rifle to the back of his head and blew out his brains. This murder took place on the 18th day of February, 1878. Before sunset a runner carried the news to " Billy the Kid," on the Eio Feliz. His anger was at the boiling point on hearing of the foul murder. He at once saddled his horse and started to Lincoln, to consult with Lawyer McSween. Now the Lincoln County war was on with a vengeance and hatred, and the "Kid" was to play a leading hand in it. He swore that he would kill every man who took part in the murder of his friend Tunstall.

At that time, Lincoln County, New Mexico, was the size of some states, about two hundred miles square, and only a few thousand inhabitants, mostly Mexicans, scattered over its surface. On reaching the town of Lincoln, the "Kid" was informed by McSween that R. M. Bruer had been sworn in as a special constable, and was making up a posse to arrest the murderers of Tun- stall. "Billy the Kid" joined the Bruer posse, and they started for the Rio Pecos river. On the 6th day of March, the Bruer posse ran onto five mounted men at the lower crossing of the Rio Penasco, six miles from the Pecos river. They fled and were pursued by Bruer and his crowd. Two of the fleeing cowboys separated from their companions. The "Kid" recognized them as Morton and Baker, his former friends. He dashed after them, and the rest of the posse followed his lead. Shots were being fired back and forth. At last Morton's and Baker's mounts fell over dead. The two men then crawled into a sink-hole to shield their bodies from the bullets. A parley was held, and the two men surrendered, after Bruer had promised them protection. The "Kid" protested against giving this pledge. He remark- ed: "My time will come." Now the posse started for the Chisum home ranch, on South Spring river, with the two handcuffed prisoners. On the morning of the 9th day of March, the Bruer posse started with the prisoners for Lincoln, but pretended to be headed for Fort Stunner.

On returning to Lincoln, "Billy the Kid" had many consultations with Law- yer McSween about the murder of Tun- stall. It was agreed to never let up un- til all the murderers were in their graves. The "Kid" heard that one of Tun- stall's murderers was seen around Dr. Blazer's saw mill, near the Mescalero .

On the 28th day of March, Billy Mathews, unarmed, met the "Kid" on the street by accident. Mathews started in- to a doorway, just as the "Kid" cut down on him with a rifle. The bullet shattered the door frame above his head.

Major William Brady, a brave and honest man, was the sheriff of Lincoln County. He was partial to the Murphy- Dolan faction, and this offended the opposition. He held warrants for "Billy the Kid" and his associates, for the killing of Morton, Baker, and Roberts. On the first day of -April, 1878, Sheriff Brady left the Murphy-Dolan store, accompanied by George Hindman and J B. Mathews to go to the Court House and announce that no term of court would be held at the regular April term. The sheriff and his two companions carried rifles in their hands, as in those days every male citizen who had grown to manhood, went well armed. The Tunstall and McSween store stood about midway between the Murphy-Dolan store and the Court House. In the rear of the Tunstall-McSween store, there was an adobe corral, the east side of which projected beyond the store building, and commanded a view of the street, over which the sheriff had to pass.

On the top of this corral wall, " Billy the Kid" and his "warriors" had cut grooves in which to rest their rifles. As the sheriff and party came in sight, a volley was fired at them from the  adobe fence. Brady and Hindman fell mortally wounded, and Mathews found shelter behind a house on the south side of the street. Ike Stockton, who afterwards became a killer of men, and a bold desperado, in northwestern New Mexico, and south- western Colorado, and who was killed in Durango, Colorado, at that time kept a saloon in Lincoln, and was a friend of the "Kid's." He ran out of his saloon to the wounded officers. Hindman called for water; Stockton ran to the Bonita river, nearby, and brought him a drink in his hat. About this time, "Billy the Kid" leaped over the adobe wall and ran to the fallen officers. As he raised Sheriff Brady's rifle from the ground, J. B. Mathews fired at him from his hiding place. The ball shattered the stock of the sheriff's rifle and plowed a furrow through the "Kid's" side, but it proved not to be a dangerous wound.

Now "Billy the Kid" broke for shelter at the McSween home. Some say that he fired a parting shot into Sheriff Brady's head. Others dispute it. At any rate both Brady and Hindman lay dead on the main street of Lincoln. This cold-blooded murder angered many citizens of Lincoln against the "Kid" and his crowd. Now they became outlaws in every sense of the word. From now on the ' ' Kid ' ' and hisgang" made their headquarters at McSween 's residence, when not scouting over the country searching for enemies, who sanctioned the killing of Tunstall. Often this little band of "warriors" would ride through the streets of Lincoln to defy their enemies, and be royally treated by their friends. Finally, George W. Peppin was appointed Sheriff of the County, and he appointed a dozen or more deputies to help uphold the law. Still bloodshed and anarchy continued throughout the County, as the " Kid's" crowd were not idle. San Patricio, a Mexican plaza on the Ruidoso river, about eight miles below Lincoln, was a favorite hangout for the "Kid" and his "warriors," as most of the natives there were their sympathizers. One morning, before breakfast, in San Patricio, Jose Miguel Sedillo brought the "Kid" news that Jesse Evans and a crowd of ' ' Seven River Warriors ' ' were prowling around in the hills, near the old Bruer ranch, where a band of the Chisum-McSween horses were being kept. Thinking that their intentions were to steal these horses, the "Kid" and party  started without eating breakfast. In the party, besides the "Kid,", were Charlie Bowdre, Henry Brown, J. G. Skerlock, John Middleton, and a young Texan by the name of Tom OThalliard, who had lately joined the gang. On reaching the hills, the party split, the "Kid" taking Henry Brown with him.

 

 

 

 Pat Garret

 

 

From an July 19, 1881 newspaper

 

Another newspaper stated " The killing of 'Billy the Kid' has created a sensation in San Francisco. He was probably the most noted desperado on the Pacific coast...In appearance Billy was one of the mildest persons imaginable. His soft blue eye was so attractive that those who saw him for the first time looked upon him as a victim of circumstances..." with much, much more, including the events of his killing career & noting: "...It was his boast that he had killed one man for every year of his life. He had not quite done that, but it is certain that he killed 19 men in the 21 years of his worse than worthless life...". The article ends with: "...His killing is regarded by the citizens of California & Arizona as one of the most fortunate events which has occurred for years."

 

Tombstone at Billy the Kid's grave, Fort Sumner, New Mexico.Sheriff Pat Garrett responded to rumors that McCarty was lurking in the vicinity of Fort Sumner almost three months after his escape. Garrett and two deputies set out on July 14, 1881, to question one of the town's residents, a friend of McCarty's named Pete Maxwell (son of the land baron Lucien Maxwell). Close to midnight, as Garrett and Maxwell sat talking in Maxwell's darkened bedroom, McCarty unexpectedly entered the room.There are at least two versions of what happened next. One version suggests that as the Kid entered, he failed to recognize Garrett in the poor light. McCarty drew his pistol and backed away, asking "¿Quién es? ¿Quién es?" (Spanish for "Who is it? Who is it?"). Recognizing McCarty's voice, Garrett drew his own pistol and fired twice, the first bullet striking McCarty in the chest just above his heart; McCarty fell to the floor and gasped for a minute and died.

 In a second version, McCarty entered carrying a knife, evidently headed to a kitchen area. He noticed someone in the darkness, and uttered the words, "¿Quién es? ¿Quién es?" at which point he was shot and killed. Although the popularity of the first story persists, and portrays Garrett in a better light, some historians contend that the second version is probably the accurate one.A markedly different theory, in which Garrett and his posse set a trap for McCarty, has also been suggested. Most recently explored in the 2004 Discovery Channel documentary, Billy the Kid: Unmasked, this version says that Garrett went to the bedroom of Pedro Maxwell's sister, Paulita, and bound and gagged her in her bed. When McCarty arrived, Garrett was waiting behind Paulita's bed and shot the Kid.

 

 

 

 

website statistics

 

privacy