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Billy the Kid

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Billy the Kid
Highway 380
Lincoln, New Mexico 88338

Henry McCarty had several aliases, such as William H. Bonney. The most famous alias though, was Billy the Kid. Nobody really knows Billy the Kidís birth date or birthplace. He was said to have been born on November 23, 1859. His birthplace was said to either be New York or Indiana.

Billy the Kid grew up with his mother when his father died when he was young. He and his mother, Catherine, moved to Santa Fe where Catherine married a man named William Antrim. Unfortunately, she had caught Tuberculosis and died the following year.

When Catherine died, the family was living in Silver City, where William worked as a miner. The Kid and his step-father had never gotten along. At the time, the Kid was 15. He and a friend, as a prank, stole laundry from a Chinese Laundromat. They were caught and arrested. The Kid, not wanting to face his step-father, left town.

Billy the Kid moved to Lincoln County in 1877. He eventually found work as a cattle rancher working for L.G. Murphy and J.J. Dolan, who had a monopoly on the cattle and merchant trade. Murphy and Dolan had only one competitor, Alexander A. McSween and John H. Tunstall. Tunstall, a lawyer, became the father-figure the Kid never had.

Tunstall and Dolan got in a legal dispute and Tunstall was shot and killed. When the kid heard this, he was out to avenge Tunstallís death. The Lincoln County War began.

Tunstallís foreman, Dick Brewer, formed a posse called the regulators. Billy the Kid joined them. The first victims to the regulators were Sheriff William Brandy and his deputy on April 1st after being ambushed by six of the regulators. Brandy had been hired by Dolan to ambush Tunstall.

A little while later Governor Lew Wallace put a $500 reward on Billy the Kidís head. This attracted several bounty hunters.

This brought Sheriff Pat Garrett into the picture. On December 21, 1880, Garrett had the Kid and his gang trapped in an abandoned house near Stinking Springs, New Mexico. The gang surrendered after running out of food, water, and ammo, and was taken to Santa Fe. Billy the Kid was sentenced to hang.

While the Kid was waiting to hang he was jailed at the Lincoln County Courthouse. He managed to get his hands on the deputy's gun and forced him to unlock the door. In the process of escaping he shot and killed Deputy Sheriff James Bell.

This sent Pat Garrett back on the hunt for him. After catching word that Billy the Kid was staying with a friend, Garrett rode to Maxwell Ranch, where the Kid was supposedly staying. There are several versions as to how Billy the Kid died.

One of the versions was that Billy the Kid went into the kitchen of the ranch, and was ambushed by Garrett. Another is that Garrett waited for Billy the Kid in Maxwellís bedroom and shot the Kid. There is also the theory that Billy the Kid was never killed by Garrett. Either way, nobody truly knows how Billy the Kid died.

Written by Kathrine Franklin

   


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