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Sunday, 23 September 2012

Billy The Kid

William H. "Billy the Kid" Bonney (1859-1881) was born William Henry McCarty, Jr on November 23, 1859. Some scholars claim he was born in Brooklyn, New York, though no records that prove that he ever lived there have ever been uncovered.

Bonney’s mother was Catherine McCarty but his father is unknown. She is believed to have immigrated to New York from Ireland during the time of the Great Famine. Bonney moved west with his family to Indiana and then New Mexico.

Bonney was 5'8" (173 cm) tall with blue eyes, a smooth complexion, and prominent front teeth. He was said to be friendly and personable at times.

Portrait of American gunman Billy the Kid (1859–1881). 

He was arrested for the first time for stealing a basket of laundry on September 23, 1875, six days after his 16th birthday.

Bonney killed his first victim at age 18. According to legend, the outlaw killed 21 people, one for each year of his life. But the New Mexico Tourism Department puts the total closer to nine.

He was sentenced to death for murdering a sheriff, but escaped from the Lincoln County, New Mexico jail house on April 28, 1881, killing two deputies on guard.

Billy The Kid avoided capture until July 14, 1881 when he was ambushed and killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett, despite being promised clemency by then Governor Lew Wallace for testifying in a murder case.

A campaign led by Albuquerque attorney Randi McGinn in 2010 to give Billy a posthumous pardon failed after Governor Bill Richardson decided it was not warranted. The pardon was considered to be a follow-through on the purported promise made by Wallace in 1879  in return for evidence. But Governor Bill Richardson said that the notorious outlaw would not be forgiven.

A tintype purchased in 2010 for US$2.00 at a memorabilia shop in Fresno, California, appears to show Bonney and members of the Regulators playing croquet in NJew Mexico in 1878.  In early October 2015, Kagin's, Inc., a numismatic authentication firm, determined the image to be authentic after a number of experts examined it for over a year.

Detail from a larger photo alleged to show Bonney (left) playing croquet

Source Wikipedia

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