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.
Brushy Bill Roberts (August 26, 1879 – December 27, 1950; claimed date of birth December 31, 1859) also known as William Henry Roberts, Ollie Partridge William Roberts, Ollie N. Roberts or Ollie L. Roberts, attracted attention by claiming to be the western outlaw William H. Bonney, also known as Billy the Kid.
The dramatic aspects of William Bonney's short life and violent death still appealed to popular taste, as they had in the heyday of the dime novels, but eventually an idealized image of Billy the Kid, as one who defends the underdog and fights against social injustice, came to the fore.
- Walter Noble Burns
May 14, 2020 · But over the years, some of the murky details surrounding the death of Billy—whose real name probably was Henry McCarty, though he later went by the alias William Bonney—have proven to be fertile...
Died: July 14, 1881 Fort Sumner, New Mexico American criminal and murderer William H. Bonney, known as Billy the Kid, was the youngest and most famous example of a gun-fighter from the American West.
- 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.
- 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.
Billy the Kid was born Henry McCarty or William H. Bonney to Patrick and Catherine McCarty in New York City. His actual date of birth has been in contention. Some claim he was born on September 17, 1859, with others attributing to the date as November 23, 1859.
Dec 04, 2019 · A newly unearthed photo of Billy the Kid is expected to make one family fabulously wealthy. There may be no more infamous symbol of the American West in the 19th century than Billy the Kid. He went by William H. Bonney, although he was born Henry McCarty in New York to Irish immigrants.
He worked in Arizona doing odd jobs until 1877 when he killed his first man. This occurred when an ongoing feud with a blacksmith named Frank P. Cahill fatally ended when the Kid shot the much larger antagonist. He was arrested and broke out of jail and fled to Mesilla, New Mexico and began to use the alias William H. Bonney.