Billy the Kid (born Henry McCarty; September 17 or November 23, 1859 – July 14, 1881), also known by the pseudonym William H. Bonney, was an Irish-American outlaw and gunfighter of the American Old West who killed eight men before he was shot and killed at the age of 21.
Apr 14, 2021 · Billy the Kid, byname of William H. Bonney, Jr., original name Henry McCarty?, (born November 23, 1859/60, New York, New York, U.S.—died July 14, 1881, Fort Sumner, New Mexico), one of the most notorious gunfighters of the American West, reputed to have killed at least 27 men before being gunned down at about age 21.
Billy the Kid was a late 19th-century thief and gunfighter. He was reportedly killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett, who later burnished the legend of the Wild West outlaw. Who Was Billy the Kid? Little is...
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- He was orphaned as a teen. Little is known about Billy the Kid’s early days, but he was most likely born Henry McCarty in the Irish slums of New York City sometime in late 1859.
- The Kid’s first arrest came for stealing clothes from a laundry. Henry McCarty’s first run-in with the law came in 1875, when he assisted a local street tough known as “Sombrero Jack” in stealing clothing from a Chinese laundry.
- He played a prominent role in a frontier feud. Billy the Kid first earned his reputation as a gunslinger in 1878, when he participated in a bloody frontier war in Lincoln County, New Mexico.
- The Kid never robbed a train or a bank. Unlike other Old West outlaws such as Jesse James, Cole Younger or Butch Cassidy, Billy the Kid didn’t make his living as a bandit.
May 10, 1989 · Gore Vidal's historical novel is brought to life in this television production of Turner Network Television's Billy the Kid.
- William A. Graham
- Not Rated
May 14, 2020 · Western outlaw Billy the Kid met his demise at about 12:30 a.m. on July 14, 1881, when he went to his friend Pete Maxwell’s home in Fort Sumner, New Mexico in search of a slice of beef for a...
Billy the Kid (a.k.a. William Bonney) is without a doubt the most famous outlaw that has ever lived. He died at a young age but will forever be remembered. He is man of many tales and some myths. Countless books and some movies have been made after him.
- A Tale of Two Bills
- of Grave Concern
- The Legend Lives on
Hico's Billy the Kid Museum speculates that Billy moved to Texasin 1883, two years after his supposed death in New Mexico. He went by the name William Henry Roberts, but most folks just called him Brushy Bill. Sue Land, director of the Billy the Kid museum in Hico, says the best piece of evidence that Billy the Kid escaped Fort Sumner unscathed is Pat Garrett's own deputy. "When the deputy United States Marshal that was with Pat Garrett at the time rolled the body over, he looked up at Pat Garrett. It's recorded in the Marshal's office in New Mexico that he told Pat Garrett 'You've killed the wrong man,'" Land tells Wide Open Country. Land says since Garrett shot in the dark, it's likely that he mistakenly shot another man that night. The man Garrett killed reportedly had a full beard, while Billy only sported peach fuzz. Unwilling to admit his mistake, Garrett identified the young man as Billy the Kid and buried him. "He was going to bury Billy the Kid and that's what he did," Land...
The only way to solve the mystery is to perform a DNA test on the remains of Brushy Bill and the body buried in Billy the Kid's New Mexico grave. Then, scientists could match the results with a DNA sample taken from the body of Billy the Kid's mother, Catherine Antrim. In 2003, Texasand New Mexico officials attempted to do just that. There was just one problem: all the grave markers in the Fort Sumner cemetery were washed away in a 1904 flood. If the real Billy the Kid is buried in New Mexico, no one knows where the body -- or the body of his mother -- is actually located. Brushy Bill is buried 20 minutes outside of Hico in Hamilton, Texas. Brushy still gets plenty of visitors, many leaving him coins and bullet casings in honor of his outlaw status.
Though Roberts' claim takes on more twists and turns than a Texascountry road, outlaw Billy the Kid is still one of the most beloved figures of the Old West. And he's still keeping people guessing. Land says the museum receives visitors from all over the world, which is pretty fervent support for a man who is thought to have killed 21 men in his short life. "He was an outlaw and a killer, according to everything that was written about him," Land says. "(Visitors) say 'Well, we're not rooting for the killer, we're rooting for the 14-year-old kid to have made it out and had a life.'" This article was originally published in 2016.