The mood turned from joy to horror, when a white truck barreled through a pedestrian-filled closed street. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! 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 ground for alternative theories. On the night of July 14, 1966, eight student nurses are brutally murdered by Richard Speck at their group residence in Chicago, Illinois. Beginning in the 11th century, Christians in Jerusalem were increasingly persecuted by the city’s Islamic rulers, more, Parisian revolutionaries and mutinous troops storm and dismantle the Bastille, a royal fortress and prison that had come to symbolize the tyranny of the Bourbon monarchs. Billy the Kid, pictured on a wanted poster. We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. “Who’s that?” he asked, in Spanish. The three men concealed themselves, as a man in a broad-brimmed hat, a dark vest, shirt and pants walked past them. Leaving the two deputies on the porch, Garrett slipped into the darkened house and quickly found the room where Maxwell was in bed. © 2020 A&E Television Networks, LLC. Even though a widely-accepted account says the outlaw was shot by Sheriff Pat Garrett in New Mexico, murky details have led to other theories. Billy the Kid realized that someone besides Maxwell was there in the darkness, and raised his pistol within a foot of Garrett’s chest. Instead of depicting an epic gunfight out of a dime novel, Garrett makes his shooting of the outlaw seem like an incredibly lucky break. How Billy the Kid Really Died William Henry McCarty Jr., aka Billy the Kid, born in 1859, was killed in an ambush by Sheriff Pat Garrett in Fort Sumner, New Mexico, in 1881. But that still isn’t likely to dispel the rumors. Sign up now to learn about This Day in History straight from your inbox. He went by the name William Henry Roberts, but most folks just called him Brushy Bill. Though they didn’t realize it, the man was Billy the Kid, who was headed for the house with the intention of carving for himself a piece of beef. Billy’s retaliatory attack left Brady and Deputy George Hindman dead. Pat F. Garrett, the famous sheriff of Lincoln County, New Mexico who shot Billy the Kid. Garrett quickly drew his revolver and fired two shots. For 69 years one man kept a … The 1882 biography The Authentic Life of Billy the Kid, Noted Desperado of the Southwest, Whose Deeds of Daring and Blood Made His Name a Terror in New Mexico, Arizona and Northern Mexico, which was written by Garrett, his killer, contains what seems to be the most credible account of the fatal confrontation, according to Motavalli. At least, that’s the most widely-accepted version of events. If he hadn’t hesitated, Garrett might have been the one lying dead on the floor. Following his indictment for the murder of Sheriff Brady, Billy the Kid was the most wanted man in the West. Garrett mounted yet another posse to bring in the Kid. "When the deputy United States Marshal that was with Pat Garrett … On July 14th, 1881 at the very young age of 21, Billy the Kid was gunned down by Sheriff Pat Garrett in the streets of Fort Sumner. The other, a resident of Hico, Texas named Ollie “Brushy Bill” Roberts, actually managed to get a meeting with the governor of New Mexico in 1950, in which he unsuccessfully sought a pardon for Billy’s murders. In the end, 86 were dead, including 10 more, During the First Crusade, Christian knights from Europe capture Jerusalem after seven weeks of siege and begin massacring the city’s Muslim and Jewish population. WATCH: 'Shootouts in the Wild West' on HISTORY Vault. When Garrett and the deputies examined Billy the Kid’s gun, they found that he had five cartridges and one shell in the chamber, with the hammer resting on it. Garrett began questioning him, and Maxwell admitted that the outlaw had been around, though he wasn’t sure where he was at the moment. As the story goes, Billy—just 21 years old, but already a murderer who had escaped from jail and killed two guards in the process—made the mistake of walking into a darkened bedroom, where Lincoln County Sheriff Pat Garrett was questioning Maxwell. Weird & Wacky, Copyright © 2020 HowStuffWorks, a division of InfoSpace Holdings, LLC, a System1 Company. Hico's Billy the Kid Museum speculates that Billy moved to Texasin 1883, two years after his supposed death in New Mexico. HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate. 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. On July 14, 2016, thousands gathered along the seafront of Nice, France to celebrate Bastille Day—the country's independence holiday. What We Learned From the Deadliest Nightclub Fire in U.S. History, How the Mason-Dixon Line Unwittingly Became the Divider Between the North and the South, Ulysses S. Grant Was One of the Greatest Military Generals in U.S. History, Information about the device's operating system, Information about other identifiers assigned to the device, The IP address from which the device accesses a client's website or mobile application, Information about the user's activity on that device, including web pages and mobile apps visited or used, Information about the geographic location of the device when it accesses a website or mobile application. All Rights Reserved. Back on April 1, 1878, Billy the Kid ambushed Sheriff William Brady and one deputy in Lincoln, New Mexico, after ranch owner John Tunstall had been murdered. “Who is it, Pete?” Garrett whispered to Maxwell. As a result, “it’s impossible to tell which of the bodies in the cemetery are his,” Motavalli says. Details of his early life are sketchy, and much of what was written about him just before and after his death was what Motavalli calls “scurrilous literature”—sensationalized newspaper accounts and quickie books churned out by publishing houses. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you’ve provided to them or that they’ve collected from your use of their services. Speck threatened the women with both a gun and a knife, tying each of them up while robbing their townhouse. Some have claimed that Garrett shot the wrong man and Billy escaped. (His few possessions reportedly included a pistol with 21 notches on the grip, the same as the number of killings that some accounts attribute to Billy. “They didn’t do a lot of actual research when they did these biographies,” Motavalli says. Twice a week we compile our most fascinating features and deliver them straight to you. After all, similar stories have arisen after the deaths of other people who captured the public imagination, from Elvis Presley to Adolf Hitler. His mother’s second husband, Gerald Ford, adopted the young boy and gave him his name. To add to the confusion, the actual facts about Billy the Kid haven’t been easy to come by. That fact points to the likelihood that Billy the Kid was indeed killed that night in Fort Sumner, in the manner that Garrett described. Although he kept his word about the testimony, he began to distrust the promise that he would be released and so he escaped. William Henry McCarty Jr., aka Billy the Kid, born in 1859, was killed in an ambush by Sheriff Pat Garrett in Fort Sumner, New Mexico, in 1881. The United States, for its part, was delighted to see a wedge being driven between the two communist superpowers. Author: Just then, a figure appeared in the door, carrying a gun and a butcher knife, and asked in Spanish who was there. “A struggle or two, a little strangling sound as he gasped for breath, and The Kid was with his many victims.”. The next day, according to Garrett, a Coroner’s Jury held an inquest, determined that the dead man was Billy the Kid, and ruled that Garrett’s killing of him had been a justifiable homicide. “Things like this typically start out as bar stories,” Motavalli says. “He never spoke,” Garrett recalled. “One medical gentleman has persuaded credulous idiots that he has all the bones strung upon wires,” Garrett wrote with distain. No legal charges were brought against him since the killing was ruled a justifiable homicide. The third of eight children, Aaron was a star football player, third baseman more, On July 14, 1913, Gerald R. Ford is born Leslie Lynch King, Jr. in Omaha, Nebraska. As Dale L. Walker details in his book Legends and Lies: Great Mysteries of the American West, one prospective Billy was John Miller, a farmer and horse trainer who lived in a small village in New Mexico near the Arizona border and died in 1937. Instead of hiding the body, “Garrett’s intention was to let people see whom he had shot and to let those who desired pay their final respects to this much–liked young man,” Stahl noted. Although only 18 years old at the time, Billy had now committed as many as 17 murders. Both Garrett and Billy were armed, but Garrett shot first, killing Billy. Some believed he was college educated, and his sense of more. Legend has it that Billy managed to get a hold of Grant’s gun prior to the fight and made sure that an empty chamber was up first in the man’s revolver. How Did Billy the Kid Die? But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! Romanticized in both life and death, John Ringo was supposedly a Shakespeare-quoting gentleman whose wit was as quick as his gun. The judge sentenced Billy the Kid to hang until “you are dead, dead, dead.” Billy reportedly responded, “And you can go to hell, hell, hell.” Two weeks before his scheduled execution, Billy escaped, killing two guards in the process. Then they heard voices in Spanish—a language that Billy the Kid spoke as well as English and the Gaelic of his parents’ native country, Ireland. Even though a widely-accepted account says the outlaw was shot by Sheriff Pat Garrett in New Mexico, murky details have led to other theories. He also compiled a detailed list of the witnesses who saw the outlaw’s body after his death and before his burial. Sheriff Brady and his men, who had been affiliated with rival ranchers, were involved with the gang that killed Tunstall on February 18. In more, On July 14, 1798, one of the most egregious breaches of the U.S. Constitution in history becomes federal law when Congress passes the Sedition Act, endangering liberty in the fragile new nation. “It was the first time, during all his life of peril, that he ever lost his presence of mind, or failed to shoot first,” Garrett wrote. HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate. While Billy was gone, Garrett waited in the dark in his bedroom. Western outlaw Billy the Kid met his demise at about 12:30 a.m. on July 14, 1881, when he went to his friend Pete Maxwell’s home in Fort Sumner, New Mexico in search of a slice of beef for a late-night snack. Legendary Sheriff Pat Garrett finally brought Billy the Kid in to stand trial.

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