Sunday, January 2, 2011
"Billy the Kid" aka William Bonney, But Really William Henry McCarty, Remains A Convicted Killer and Outlaw in New Mexico
The "Kid" keeps his tarnished image, well.....tarnished
Somewhere, New Mexico
Jan. 2, 2011
In one of his final non-acts as outgoing governor of New Mexico, Bill Richardson declined to grant a pardon to the notorious young gunslinger, who was alleged to have killed anywhere from 9 to 21 men in his short, violent career as an outlaw. Billy was small and scruffy, possessed a quick draw and a quicker temper and had shot dead at least one sheriff and two sheriff's deputies before being gun downed himself by Sheriff Pat Garrett, in 1891, in what was almost an accidental shooting. It took place in a darkened room and the sheriff wasn't certain who he was shooting until the body was examined.
Billy was left on his own at a tender young age (his widowed mother died of consumption after moving Billy to New Mexico with her, and his step-father refused to take him in) in the wild and violent West and fell in with cattle rustlers and petty thieves.
The "Kid" who was 21 when he died, was romanticized by some as a modern version of Robin Hood, robbing the rich and giving to the poor. But there is scant evidence to support this claim. In the final analysis Billy was a 19th century cop killer.