I know this is an old thread but I just wanted to toss a few things out there. Besides the facts stated above and so many more... Do I think the Kid was shot bay garret? 100% NO I'm convinced 100% by science that Brushy Bill was in fact Billy the Kid. The Science is In 1990, the famous tintype of Billy the Kid, a purported photo of the Kid at age 12, a photo of Brushy at age 14, and a photo of Brushy at age 90 were analyzed in the Acton-Bovik photo study. The study used the most advanced photo comparison equipment around as well as the best scientists. The photo purported to be a 12 year old Billy the Kid was determined to not be him. The photo of 14 year old Brushy was close match to the tintype. The photo of Brushy at age 90 had a 93% match to the famous tintype. The missing seven percent can be explained due to age and dental work, so said Dr. Bovik and Dr. Acton.
Pat Garrett would've made a great 21st Century Republican in Washington, by telling a HUGE lie and shouting it repeatedly until accepted as fact to this day.
I am thoroughly convinced that the man known as Ollie "Brushy Bill" Roberts WAS the same individual in the iconic tintype image attributed to "Billy the Kid". The faces of a younger "Brushy" are an exact match—and even in old-age, the eyes are identifiable.
That would mean the 1881 myth is a yarn. I'm fascinated by Billy's post-outlaw days. He allegedly went on to have a career in law enforcement. He was also reported to be one of the brave Americans joining Teddy Roosevelt in "The Rough Riders". I cannot imagine what Ollie's life was like—watching Pat Garrett become famous over a lie while his alleged target remained quiet on-the-lamb until age 90.
History will need to be re-examined and rewritten on Billy the Kid. It's not a question of IF...it's a matter of WHEN.
Here is my Photoshop side-by-side comparison--you judge for yourself. As an artist with a keen eye for faces and details, there is no doubt, in my mind, that the individuals in both the iconic tintype and the clean-cut, moustached man are the same.
brushy's version makes the most sense in all this jumble. there are aspects to it even brushy didn't see, but the truth wills out as we are seeing..... garrett wanted to get the whole thing over with, this was instilled by the politicians who also wanted the lcw to go away forever, as the public at-large were taking a magnifying glass to their crooked activities. the point was not simply to get billy but to quiet the public's awareness of the incongruities in lincoln's dirty politics. i understand 'deputy' poe was actually detective poe of the cattlemen's assoc. who was sent along to keep an eye on garrett and give the pols a more 'authoritative' accounting. they ALL wanted btk to go away. at maxwell's, 'billy' was early and like you said above, garrett's timing was poor and he nervously let the bullet 'speak too soon'. keep in mind that if they had killed barlow or anyone else for that matter, this would be thought, especially in the press, to be expanding the lcw and adding to its body count. a political disaster. also remember they were in a less law-friendly county now, with a now-heightened immediate self-danger. and they had been riding and were tired of the chase, and they realize they had solidly let him get away and this was an embarrasment. especially with talk of mexico, garrett's 'reward' was seen to be slipping away. so poe returns to the pols somewhat less than enthusiastic over the kill. the reward money is withheld, causing garret to go on a huge publicity stump with his 'story.' when a few years have gone by and billy doesn't surface and is basically deemed 'dead' to the pols and the press, only then has garrett done his job and the reward finally comes. if you tell people the cow jumped over the moon with enough certainty and volume, people will take stock (no pun intended) and it will become fact. in their half-shaved 'logic' the more insistent brushy haters online seem to think that there had to be collusion between billy and garrett beforehand for it to happen like this. this is rubbish. (his close friends in sumner surely had a hand in the coverup after the fact tho)
Last Edit: Dec 9, 2011 14:47:19 GMT -5 by searcher64
Post by Billy the kid is my hero on Jan 15, 2012 5:32:30 GMT -5
Another reasson to suggest that Billy survived and Pat Garret lied is the alleged last actions of Billy the Kid in his story.
as the Kid entered, he failed to recognize Garrett in the poor light. McCarty drew his pistol and backed away, asking "¿Quién es? ¿Quién es?" (Spanish for "Who is it? Who is it?"). Recognizing McCarty's voice, Garrett drew his own pistol and fired twice, the first bullet striking McCarty in the chest just above his heart; McCarty fell to the floor and gasped for a minute and died.
Think about it, If Billy really was killed that night, why did he act so completely out of character? Everyone who knew the Kid remembered him for how cool and calm he was under fire, and for the way he "shot first and asked questions later." A look at the gunfights he participated in throughout his life supports this contention. Yet the man Garrett killed acted far more naive and inexperienced than the quick-thinking gunfighter Billy was. Why did he not recognize deputies Poe and McKinney for what they were? In a tight-knit community such as Sumner, two Anglo lawmen standing on the town patriarch's porch in the middle of the night would be hard to mistake for anything but what they were. Why did he back into a darkened bedroom that could present more danger than what he faced on the porch? If he felt threatened, as pulling his pistol indicates, why not flee back where he came, into the shadows, rather than allow himself to be cornered?
Throughout this whole mess, one persistent question keeps popping up: Did Garrett really kill the Kid that night? There actually is a considerable amount of evidence indicating that he did not. Much of this evidence is detailed below:
Evidence Garrett did NOT kill Billy the Kid
The most basic evidence of Billy's having survived are the numerous claims made by people who knew the Kid and said they saw him after July 14, 1881. For example, Mrs. J. H. Wood, of Seven Rivers, claimed she served Billy a dinner on July 17, 1881. Mrs. Syd Boykin, of Lincoln, also claimed Billy visited her after he was supposedly killed. Manuel Taylor, a boyhood friend of Billy's from Silver City, claimed he ran into Billy at a bullfight in Guadalajara, Mexico in 1914. Ben Harbert, of Taos, New Mexico, who also knew the Kid, claimed he saw him in Taos after July 14, 1881. Jesse Cox, a wagon driver from New Mexico, claimed he had seen and spoken to Billy numerous times after 1881.
Several of Billy's friends, who didn't actually report seeing him, also claimed they didn't believe the story of his death. Yginio Salazar, ex-Regulator and close friend of Billy's, claimed he received a letter written by the Kid, detailing how he escaped from Fort Sumner on the night of July 14. Frank Coe, another former Regulator, claimed he never believed the Kid was dead and spent a great deal of his time researching sightings and reports of the Kid's current whereabouts.
John Graham, alias John Collins, who rode with the Kid in the Rustlers and was a resident of Fort Sumner, claimed he helped dig the grave for the man Garrett killed, and that the corpse was not that of Billy the Kid.
In total, at least 26 different newspaper articles appeared after July 14 claiming the Kid survived.
On July 18, 1881, the Grant County Herald published an article entitled "Exit the Kid," written by S. M. Ashenfelter. In the article, Billy is described as having "allowed his beard to grow and has stained his skin brown to look like a Mexican." If this is true, it directly contradicts the description of Billy that was reported by J. H. Koogler of the Las Vegas Gazette six months earlier, which reported Billy as having "the traditional silky fuzz on his upper lip." If Billy still had "silky fuzz" on his upper lip in late December 1880, it would be a biological impossibility for him to have grown a beard by July 1881, as reported by Dr. J. M. Tanner in his book "Growth at Adolescence."
In 1983, Elizabeth Garrett, last surviving daughter of Pat Garrett, claimed to interviewer Paul Cain that her father did not kill Billy the Kid.
On Dec. 20, 1882, San Miguel County issued an arrest warrant for the Kid. This was again issued on Mar. 5, 1883. However, both times the warrant was returned as "not found in county."
While I have accepted that Brushy was Billy the Kid,
The questions here will probably remain unanswered forever. And maybe that's a fitting end for the life of Billy the Kid, with his exit in history being shrouded in mystery.
Post by Wayne Land on Jan 15, 2012 12:01:22 GMT -5
Great synopsis of the evidence against Billy having been killed by Garrett. Thanks for submitting that. The part about Salazar brings to mind a point that I think doesn't get enough attention. Joe Salazar, Yginio's grandson, says his family once had letters Billy had written to his granddad after 1881 and the family knows Billy wasn't killed by Garrett. He says Billy visited his grandfather after 1881. Joe still lives near Lincoln today, in the home once belonging to his grandfather. To my knowledge he has not stated whether he believes Brushy was indeed BTK, but he is emphatic that Billy didn't die in Fort Sumner.
The biggest unanswered question: Why is it most noted historians ignore such evidence as you've presented above?
Last Edit: Jan 15, 2012 12:05:03 GMT -5 by Wayne Land
Post by Billy the Kid My hero on Jan 15, 2012 12:26:25 GMT -5
Well, since history has stood resilient this long on the matter of the Kid's death, and most historians support Garrett's claim, certainly there must be significant evidence supporting their beliefs as well. They are as follows...
Evidence Garrett DID kill Billy the Kid
It may sound simple, but it cannot be understated: the greatest piece of evidence that Garrett did in fact kill the Kid is he said he did. Though his record shows he was not the most honorable of citizens, he was a career-driven lawman, and for him to make the unfounded claim of having killed the most notorious outlaw in the territory and have it later turn out to be a lie would be a crippling blow. Not only would it destroy any political aspirations he might hold, it would also imply an innocent man met his death rather than the Kid, implicating Garrett in reckless disregard of duty and an attempted cover-up. For this, he would not only be disgraced as a lawman, but quite probably be charged with his crimes and subject to their corresponding penalties.
Essentially Billy “stayed dead,” in that if he did escape, he never reappeared in a fashion noteworthy enough for the press to get wind and announce it. True, while it was in his best interest to maintain a low profile (as he had been since his escape from Lincoln in April) and put up with the charade of the public believing him dead, a man as well-known and recognized as he would not have had total control over how well his secret was kept, in that if he went near a populated area within the New Mexican borders, word would almost certainly reach the press and his ruse would be revealed. Furthermore, though it’s debatable how vain or reckless Billy truly was, it would seem odd for Billy to see the logistics in allowing Garrett, a mortal enemy and slayer of his two closest friends, to profit off his supposed death when he merely had to announce his being alive to essentially destroy his foe.
For Garrett to have lied when claiming he killed the Kid, some sort of collusion between the two would almost be a necessity. However, by this point in their relationship, the two were bitter enemies, not likely to suggest or agree to a parley with one another. Who would have been the one to propose the idea of the cover-up? Say Garrett sent word to Billy to meet him to discuss a peace of sorts, whereby Billy could go free and Garrett could get his fame and fortune. Why not then, if Billy agreed, would Garrett not use his time-tested ambush tactic and simply gun Billy down at their planned meeting? Or, say Billy came up with the plan, sending word to Garrett of his peace offering. Why would he? Garrett was not hunting him, believing he had already left the area, as he was more-or-less free to do. Furthermore, as Billy was rumored to have sworn vengeance on Garrett, if Garrett actually did consent to the meeting, it would be more likely for Billy to seize the opportunity and kill him. Even if this agreement was somehow struck, if Billy did eventually turn up alive, Garrett’s fate would only be further harmed when his role in such a deliberate cover-up was revealed. On the other hand, if Garrett’s killing of the wrong man was an honest mistake and he knew the Kid survived, Garrett would have to be in near paranoia of when the Kid would reappear, constantly wondering when the hammer was going to fall and his embarrassing error in judgment made public.
Despite their avowed antipathy for Garrett, none of Billy’s friends who were in Sumner that night and were interviewed later in life (Jesus Silva, Deluvina Maxwell, Francisco Lobato, Paco Anaya, etc.) were ever documented as saying Garrett killed the wrong man, meaning they supported the belief of Billy being killed that night. They may have tried to paint Garrett as the villain, but if they truly wanted to wreck the man, they merely had to state he killed the wrong man. Now, it could be said they were in fear of Garrett, a much more prominent citizen than themselves, but many of said interviews were conducted years after Garrett’s own death. By the same token, if Billy had survived, it cannot be dismissed that they weren't lying for Garrett, but to protect Billy.
So, did Pat Garrett really kill Billy the Kid? There is both evidence for and against it. Still, there remains several loose ends and unanswered questions that poke holes in each theory.
Post by Wayne Land on Jan 15, 2012 15:40:56 GMT -5
Those are seemingly valid points and of course there are reasons why most historians believe as they do. I don't totally agree with all the premises there however. Here's my take on those points
"Garrett said he did" - In my opinion Garrett's "word" shouldn't carry that much weight. The fact that he was career driven and a lawman, etc. is just as much reason why he had to lie about what happened. Risking the truth coming out later was a risk he had to take because the alternative was to "immediately" admit he'd killed the wrong man and have his career destroyed anyway. Possibly even be brought up on murder charges himself.
"Billy stayed dead" - Remember there was only one photo of Billy, the famous tintype and there were only a few copies in existence. In the years following 1881, there were very few people in the entire country who actually knew what Billy looked like. Only those who had met him personally. And several of them did speak out about having seen him. The press just didn't believe it. If he had come forward to "destroy his foe" he would have faced the hangman's noose. Also, in the post 1881 years, he didn't stay in one place very long and did not frequent New Mexico very much.
"Collusion" - I've heard this point made many times and I still don't see why there would have to have been any collusion. And according to Brushy's story, there was none. The killing of Barlow was an unintended event as was Billy's escape. Garrett had to deal with it quickly and his knee jerk reaction was to cover it up. The cover up worked amazingly well. Some say, "wouldn't Garrett have been worried Billy would show up alive?". Of course he was worried about that, but I don't see as he had any choice but to cover it up and hope it worked. Also, remember Brushy knew Garrett was making claims of having killed Billy. Celsa Gutierrez had told him that night of the shooting. For both him and Garrett it was a case of survival to let the mistake go.
"Billy's Friends" - were looking out to protect his secret. Even so, some of them changed their story on occasion. Deluvina Maxwell said she saw the body that night and on another occasion said she did not. Frank Lobato said he wasn't even in Fort Sumner that night and others say he was. I'm pretty sure on one occasion he even indicated he was there. Silva was the most persistent in telling his story the same way every time but part of it was an obvious lie. He said he carried Billy's body into a room "in Maxwell's house" and laid it on a table. Other accounts do not allow for that to have happened. These are only a couple of examples. As I'm sure you know, there were many such discrepancies in the statements of those involved that night. While it is common for several eyewitnesses to tell different versions of the same event, the discrepancies can usually be explained. In the case of the alleged killing of Billy, explaining the discrepancies becomes so difficult one has to wonder if the statements themselves were even partially true.
One other point here. I don't think there were very many people in Fort Sumner that night who even knew the truth of what had happened. The only ones who absolutely had to have known about the killing of the wrong man were Garrett, Poe, McKinney, Maxwell, and Silva. I believe the body was viewed by those five men (and possibly Deluvina). They then kept it hidden in Maxwell's house through most of the night while a wooden coffin was prepared. The coffin was brought to Maxwell's, the body of Barlow placed inside and the lid nailed shut. No one saw the body during the burial the next morning. They saw the coffin. I certainly can't prove that's the way it happened but I believe that is correct. Why do I believe that? Because I am totally 100% convinced Brushy was BTK and that means a great many people in Fort Sumner were fooled by the cover up. Only four or five people knew the truth. Oh, I've been told about the long list of names who were in Fort Sumner and who all believed Billy was killed. Some of them even describe the wake with the candles and having been at the burial etc. But was it a body they saw, or was it a coffin which they'd been told contained the body of BTK?
Post by Garrett and Billy brother on Feb 20, 2012 13:04:15 GMT -5
Does anyone like Wayne Land find this funny?
In Aug. 1882, Garrett encountered Joe Roberts(His offical name was Joe Antrim, but I call him roberts because that what Brushy said.) Billy's brother, at a hotel in Trindad, Colorado. Although there had been earlier reports, perhaps unfounded, that Joe was seeking vengeance on Garrett, the two retired to a private room and talked for nearly two hours. Following their meeting, the two shook hands and parted amicably. What did the two discuss in private? How was Garrett able to get this man, who allegedly wanted revenge for the death of his brother, to part with him on such friendly terms? , Billy's brother, at a hotel in Trindad, Colorado. Although there had been earlier reports, perhaps unfounded, that Joe was seeking vengeance on Garrett, the two retired to a private room and talked for nearly two hours. Following their meeting, the two shook hands and parted amicably. What did the two discuss in private? How was Garrett able to get this man, who allegedly wanted revenge for the death of his brother, to part with him on such friendly terms?
Post by billy the kid my hero on Feb 20, 2012 13:17:05 GMT -5
In Aug. 1882, Garrett encountered Joe, Billy's brother, at a hotel in Trindad, Colorado. Although there had been earlier reports, perhaps unfounded, that Joe was seeking vengeance on Garrett, the two retired to a private room and talked for nearly two hours. Following their meeting, the two shook hands and parted amicably. What did the two discuss in private? How was Garrett able to get this man, who allegedly wanted revenge for the death of his brother, to part with him on such friendly terms?