109) Ollie “Brushy Bill” Roberts

Courtesy of Wikipedia

109) Ollie Roberts

He wasn't Billy the Kid (But he'd like you to think he was)

Born: 31 December 1868, Buffalo Gap, Texas, United States of America (Or 1879, information is in dispute)

Died: 27 December 1950, Hico, Texas, United States of America

Near the end of his life he claimed to be Henry Antrim—the real Billy the Kid, and many people today believe his story.

Unfortunately, most forensic evidence discounts his story as being false.

For My English 102 class, I was assigned writing a research paper on a mystery from history. I decided to write about Billy the Kid, and the longstanding myth that he had survived the fateful shooting that night in 1881. Before I started researching, I had a hope in my heart that he had escaped, but I now believe without a shadow of a doubt that he was shot down and murdered by a cowardly son of a…well, you know. Luckily for Henry, Dick got what was coming to him in the end.

If you’d like to read my research paper I'll include a copy of it (edited to remove my identity and my teacher's) down below.

Badges Earned:

Find a Grave Marked

Located in My Personal Library:

Billy the Kid: The Endless Ride by Michael Wallis

To Hell and Back on a Fast Horse: Billy the Kid, Pat Garrett, and the Epic Chase to Justice in the Old West by Mark Lee Gardner


Those Cited in My Essay Below



Maybe He Didn’t Die in His Stockings After All

The Death and Life of Billy the Kid

 Two shots rang out in the black of midnight. The sheriff and the man he had spent the last few minutes questioning, a man by the name of Pete Maxwell, fled the small bedroom and onto the porch, where two of the sheriff’s deputies stood waiting. Glancing back through the window by candlelight, the four gathered men saw the slight and slim body of whom many assumed was the infamous outlaw Billy the Kid, but controversy reigned about this night from the very beginning, for it’s been reported John W Poe, one of Garrett’s men, immediately spoke up and said, “Pat, I believe you have killed the wrong man,” (Burns 284). It did not matter that Garrett immediately replied, “I’m sure it was the Kid. For I knew his voice and could not have been mistaken.” No sir, from that moment on, Billy the Kid left behind the life of a mere mortal man and entered the pages of legend, whether living or not is yet to be determined.

 There are three main theories people believe when it comes to the end of the Kid’s life. Theory One is the one most accredited historians stick to, at the age of twenty-one, Billy the Kid thought he was entering the safety of a friend’s room to ask who some strangers were out on the porch and instead was shot and killed by Pat Garrett. Theory Two is that Billy was never actually in Pete’s room that night at all, and instead went on to live to a ripe old age of ninety before dying under the alias of Brushy Bill in Hico, Texas. Theory Three is the most obscure one of all, that Billy and Pat Garrett were actually working together the whole time; Garrett would pretend to shoot the Kid in exchange for Billy disappearing into history, the two of them splitting any rewards fifty/fifty. The Fourth Theory is not actually a separate theory at all; but could interlock with Theory Two or Three. This Theory states that instead of killing Billy the Kid, the man Garrett shot down in that little bedroom on 14 July 1881 was actually a man by the name of Billy Barlow. Before we get into the nitty gritty details, some background information about the man who came to be called Billy the Kid needs to be established first.

 Not a lot is really known about Billy the Kid. Historians, for the most part, now agree his given name at birth was Henry McCarty, and his biological father was either never in the picture (possibly dying in the War Between the States) or died when Henry and his brother Joseph were relatively young. Not even Henry’s exact year of birth can be confirmed! What we do know is his mother was named Catherine, and she was definitely not your average immigrant from Ireland in the latter portion of the 19th Century, as witnessed in Michael Wallis’s The Endless Ride, “On July 21, 1870, less than a month after arriving in Wichita, she was one of 124 citizens who signed a petition that was presented to Probate Judge Reuben Riggs calling for the incorporation of the town. Catherine was the only woman to sign the document that helped make Wichita an official municipality,” (22). Catherine was a strong figure in Henry’s life, and though she died in 1874 when young Henry was just fourteen, he would carry her strength and memories in him for the rest of his life. By this point, Henry’s name had changed to Henry Antrim, reflecting his stepfather, William Antrim. After Catherine passed away in Silver City, New Mexico Territory, William and Henry both set their sights on Arizona Territory. However, they did not remain together.

 Henry’s name changed once again; “By late Summer of 1876…Henry had picked up the nickname the Kid, and often was called Kid Antrim,” (Wallis 105). During this turbulent time, the real story of “Billy the Kid” began, because on 17 August 1877, Henry committed his first, documented confirmed kill, at the age of sixteen. This was not a kill out of violence or anger, simply self-preservation, an accidental shooting in a bar fight gone wrong, but Henry’s time in Arizona would come to an end as he fled back into New Mexico Territory. Henry’s life may have gone on without another mention in history, if not for getting himself hired on for John Tunstall’s ranch. To really get into these details, one needs to spend some time researching the Lincoln County War. But to oversimplify, Henry was a part of a group working for Tunstall and McSween, while the others were known as the Murphy faction, both vying for control of the booming cattle business in the area. Henry’s side lost, but not until after he and a group of five other “Regulators” as they were called, shot Sheriff William Brady and several of his men. It should be noted that, “Among the more than fifty individuals indicted for crimes in the Lincoln County War, only the kid was ever convicted,” (Wallis 242).

 To cut down a long story again, Henry, by now going by the name William H Bonney, was tried and convicted, and sentenced to death by hanging in the town of Lincoln, with Pat Garrett doing the hanging. This did not sit well with Billy, and so he promptly escaped the jail where he was held…after killing the two guards who were holding him. After his escape from Lincoln, Billy holed himself up in Fort Sumner, and a few weeks later, on the 14th of July 1881, Pat Garrett rode into town, and shot someone history has long since claimed was Billy the Kid, at the young age of just twenty-one, dressed in his socks and a sombrero. But was this really Bill the Kid?

 Theory One: If Billy did really die that night, where is the proof? Besides the already stated, that the majority of credible historians believe Billy did die that night, there is more proof to back it up. For one thing, as Paulita Maxwell, later Mrs. Jaramillo, said to Walter Noble Burns on Pat Garrett, “As far as anybody knew at that time, his only qualification for the office (of sheriff) was his intimate friendship with the Kid and his men,” (197). After Billy escaped prison in Lincoln, he openly declared to the world he would not go quietly into the night, and the only way to stop him would be to kill him. In fact, there is a quote from Pat Garrett stating, “Now I’ve got to kill the Kid or die trying,” (Burns 265). Paulita, whom it should be known was more likely than not Billy’s longtime girlfriend, also said in that same interview, “But if the Kid had an inkling of the danger he was in, Garrett probably would have been the one to die,” (198). If Billy was not killed that night in 1881, where did he disappear to afterwards? He stepped off the page of history and disappeared.

 Other background details point to the Kid dying that night too. For one thing, witnesses later stated that not even six people were left in town the day of the Kid’s funeral (Burns 288). There is firm documentation that people openly grieved his death at the funeral (Sharp). It has also been noted his death was covered in over thirteen newspapers, spread across not just the US but all the way to London (Gardner 177). Many, many of the Kid’s associates held firm in their belief that the Kid had died that night, including Paulita Maxwell, and Billy’s brother Joseph aka Josie Antrim. The morning after the shooting, a coroner’s jury ruled Billy’s death a justifiable homicide and cleared Garrett of any wrongdoing (Wallace 250). If it was not the Kid’s body lying on that wooden bench, in broad daylight, his associates in Fort Sumner would have spoken up. After all, Billy had spent as much time as possible there for three years, since 1878, and it was fair to say everyone in town knew him.

 Or maybe they chose not to speak up to protect him. Perhaps the people in town loved Billy enough they were more than willing to go along with the lie that Billy was dead so that he could go on and live his life in peace. Everyone there that night noted Juanita had no reaction upon seeing Billy dead on her brother’s floor, in her own house. But the same could not be said for the Maxwell family servant, who started screaming and went into a fit of hysterics, cursing Garrett for killing Billy. Why would she be so upset if it was not Billy dead on the floor?

 For several decades the rumors were just that, rumors. That is, until 1948, when paralegal William Morrison first heard the name Brushy Bill Roberts. And boy did old

 Brushy have a story to tell, bringing us to Theory Two: He claimed to be the real Billy the Kid. That he was never in Pete Maxwell’s bedroom that night at all, and after news came out about the Kid being dead, Roberts simply assumed another alias and moved on. He claimed to have ridden with Pancho Villa (Sharp) and other adventurous exploits too. And he had some evidence to back his claims, and even more of that evidence has come out since Brushy died in 1950.

 For one thing, five people who knew the Kid confirmed Brushy and Billy could be the same person and were confident enough to sign affidavits testifying the same (Moreno). It has also been noted that Brushy and Billy seemingly had all of the same scars (Smithfield). According the Open Access Articles on Brushy Bill Roberts, Brushy also had the ability to speak Spanish as fluently as a native, something that Billy was also able to do. Once technology became readily available, photographs of Brushy were compared to the two known photographs of Billy the Kid. And while the first preliminary results were less than helpful (of the 152 people entered into the system, Brushy was listed as forty-second in line in recognition to Billy the Kid), the test was updated and repeated a year later, and this time the test was able to assume “a significant level of statistical validity” that Brushy and Billy were one and the same. In fact, the photograph of Brushy at the age of ninety provided a ninety-three percent match.

 Brushy was also concerned with the minute details instead of the bigger picture and seemed to have an answer for everything. When his story first broke, the only thing Brushy wanted was a pardon from the Governor of New Mexico, which had been promised to Billy the Kid but never delivered on by Territorial Governor Lew Wallace after the Lincoln County War’s conclusion. Then Governor of New Mexico, Governor Mabry, did in fact allow a meeting between himself and Brushy Bill to discuss these matters. However, by the time they met, Brushy had seemingly suffered a stroke, and could not even remember Pat Garrett’s name (Brushy). Also according to those same open access articles, Mabry refused to grant a pardon. When asked to see if a comparison could be made between himself and Catherine Antrim, to prove Catherine was his mother, Brushy Bill stated Catherine was not Billy the Kid’s mother, but rather an aunt by marriage, and so a DNA test would be useless. Brushy also demonstrated he was able to slip out of handcuffs and other Billy the Kid tricks. In 1990, forty years after Brushy’s death, he received more attention by becoming a part of Young Guns II, as well as an episode on the NBC special Unsolved Mysteries, and a 2011 episode of Brad Meltzer’s Decoded on the History Channel.

 However, with all this supporting evidence to back Brushy’s claim, comes evidence to discount it. First of all, a lot of Roberts’s family did not believe him. Roberts “Brushy Bill claimed to have been born on December 31, 1859, by the name of William Henry Roberts in Buffalo Gap, Texas. Members of his family “calculate” that he was actually born in about 1868, while United States Census records indicate Roberts was born in 1879,” (Brushy). If either the 1868 or 1879 dates are true, then that automatically disqualifies Brushy as being Billy, because Billy was born around 1859 to 1860 in order to have been twenty-one when he died in July 1881. He also could not convince his half-sister, Martha V Roberts. She was born in 1873, and knew for a fact Brushy, whose real name was most likely Ollie, was her brother and not a cousin as he liked to claim. She told of him coming to her house wearing boots and a cowboy hat, telling everyone he had a secret, but she never believed him for a second (Brushy). It was also said that Brushy was illiterate, a stark contrast to the well-written Kid, who’s handwriting survives in the letters he wrote Governor Wallace from prison asking for a pardon. Another fact that works against Roberts’s story is that he used to tell people he was a member of the James gang, before coming up with the Billy the Kid story (Brushy). So, which was it? We may never know the real truth, and any other information Brushy held within died on 27 December 1950, after suffering a heart attack while walking a package his wife wanted to mail to the post office (Brushy).

 Two final notes on this theory; while it does have some holes, the people of Hico, Texas have completely embraced Brushy Bill as Billy the Kid, and if you travel there today you will find the Billy the Kid museum, a statue downtown, a beautiful arch over Brushy Bill’s grave, and even a standee in the Chamber of Commerce (Moreno). In 2003, the sheriffs of Lincoln and De Baca County, New Mexico, along with the mayor of Capitan, tried to push for exhumation orders for Catherine Antrim, who’s grave is in Silver City, and also Billy the Kid’s purported grave in the Old Fort Sumner Cemetery, Fort Sumner, New Mexico. The petition was thrown out of court in September 2004. The two main problems were A) neither gravesite for Catherine or Billy were ever confirmed, and B) as stated in the Open Access Article from which this information comes, “Likely any remains have decomposed completely and there is a negligible chance of positively identifying any remains if any are found.”

 Theory Three: Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett were in cahoots from the beginning and would collect the ample rewards offered by Billy breaking jail after Garrett pretended to shoot him. This one will take a bit to unpack, so bear with the author here. Contemporary figures from the time have confirmed that Pat and Billy were not strangers. They had both been around Fort Sumner in the same time and had attended social dances and other functions together. However, how close of a relationship they actually had has not been determined thus far. So, what is the supporting evidence? This theory centers around money, and lots of it. The Territory was actually offering $500 for the capture or killing of the Kid, and Garrett always intended to collect. What easier way to do that then to fake killing the Kid to get it? As Mark Gardner points out though, in his To Hell on a Fast Horse, things did not go quite as planned after Billy’s death. “[Acting Governor] Ritch…assured Garrett and his supporters that he was willing to pay the reward and was glad to do so. But he needed some time to go over the Territory’s records and confirm the reward offer…The attorney general advised Ritch that the reward notice appeared to be a personal offer of the former governor, as there was no record in either the governor’s office or the secretary’s office that Wallace had offered the reward as an executive act,” (Gardner 179). Basically, the government of New Mexico territory did not have to pay up at all, too bad, so sad. But because all this happened after the supposed killing of Billy, that would not have to do with the pact between Garrett and him to split the cash. Garrett was not one to go for broke though, and so he had his friend Jimmy Dolan go out and collect on the streets from the everyday citizens of New Mexico instead. By the end of this venture, Garrett had rounded up around $2150, with another promised $1000 at least on the way (Gardner 179).

 More evidence comes from that, within a week of “killing” Billy, Garrett was threatening to resign as sheriff (Gardner 185). He had only become sheriff in the first place to capture Billy. Now that his work was done, what more could he want from the job? However, like previous motivations, Garrett was inclined to stay in his role because of the money he was making, and he ended up sticking out his term (Gardner 186). But why would Billy agree to work with Garrett? Garrett was responsible for killing Billy’s best friend (Tom O’Folliard), and Garrett had caught Billy at Stinking Springs (a low point in the Kid’s life), thereby embarrassing him to the whole world. Was Billy really that motivated by money too? The best way to sum up Billy’s temperament came from Gardner, “He was a kid too often used and abused by older men and authority figures. He was a kid who was frequently impetuous and made errors in judgement,” (184). Would one of these errors in judgement being working with Garrett?

 More clues come from Billy’s now famous escape from the Lincoln County prison. After being sentenced to hang there, Billy had been kept locked up away from the other prisoners, with one guard posted on him at all times. The day of the escape, Garrett just happened to be out of town, rounding up supplies for the gallows Billy was set to hang from. The exact how Billy escaped is a point of contention too. For many years, people assumed he took Deputy Bell’s gun and shot the man, but new evidence has come to light suggesting Bell’s gun was still holstered on his hip when he died, meaning Billy procured the gun from somewhere…or someone, else. A special investigator by the name of Sederwall, “Even went as far as to speculate that the weapon might very well have been left for him by Garrett himself,” (Lowth). It is also strange that Garrett would be the one to leave town to gather supplies, when Billy, who was practically Public Enemy Number One at that point, had already made various escapes from prisons over the years (Lowth).

 How did Garrett even know to find the Kid in Fort Sumner? Well, supposedly one of the Kid’s many girlfriends at the time was a woman named Celsa, who happened to be Garrett’s sister-in-law. And while nobody else has seemed to point this fact out in this conclusion, it cannot be denied as false. On the night the shooting at the Maxwell house went down, Billy had supposedly been staying with Celsa, who lived across the street. Around midnight, someone came up with the idea of making some food for Billy. Celsa told him about the new rack of meat hanging off Pete’s porch. So, Billy took a butcher knife and his six shooter, and walked across the street in his stockings, where Garrett shot him.

 And what about that quote from John Poe the night Billy “died”? Poe, when thinking on the subject later on, was reportedly known to think he “Was never able to understand why Billy had hesitated and not killed him that night when he came upon

 Poe and McKinley outside of Maxwell’s residence,” (Gardner 175). He went further, claiming that Garrett himself seemed uncertain of whether or not he had actually shot and killed Billy (Lowth). According to the website UFO Insight, “Billy’s body was put on “display” following his killing, but only close friends were asked to identify it (Lowth). This point has been argued by many authors and investigators, and it is the kind of detail that conspiracy theorists thrive on.” If that is true, then did Billy’s friends lie and say it was him, so he could escape into the night with the cash scot-free? Again, it is possible, but it is also possible they actually did identify a real dead Billy.

 The main way to disprove this theory are quotes from contemporaries at the time, speaking on the relationship between Garrett and Bonny. Sallie Chisum, niece of John Chisum the famous cattle baron, who had met and spoke with Billy for long periods of time while he was alive, had quite a bit to say about the situation when interviewed by Walter Noble Burns for his Saga of Billy the Kid, including, “I heard men offer to bet that if the two (meaning Garrett and the Kid) ever met, Billy would kill him,” and “There was good mixed with the bad in Billy the Kid and bad mixed with the good in Pat Garrett.” She also said, specially about Billy, “When he was an enemy, he was an enemy, but when he was a friend, he was a friend,” (16). If Billy hated Garrett that much, would he really agree to work with Garrett to split some money? Unlike other outlaws of the time, Billy never seemed to be in it for the money. The James gang robbed banks and trains, Billy stole cattle. And when he wasn’t stealing cattle, he actually worked an honest living for a variety of cattle folk, including John Chisum and Pete Maxwell, the man whose bedroom the Kid would later die in. When asked, Pete Maxwell supposedly said Billy told him, “If I live long enough to kill Pat Garrett…I’ll be satisfied,” (Burns 61). Garrett, meanwhile, was quoted as saying, “Don’t take any chances. As soon as you sight [Billy], start shootin’,” (Burns 266). Would two people who held this much animosity against each other put things aside for money? You decide.

 Theory Four: Billy quit his life of crime and lived out his life to a ripe old age. Surprisingly, the proof for this theory is that there is none, and the proof against it is the same way. Basically, there is no concrete facts or evidence for this one either way. Which is exactly what a person who wanted to leave everything behind would want you to think, right? The two details this author would like to leave are these ones. Supposedly, before Catherine Antrim died, she told her young son that if he ever took up a life of crime, “you’ll hang before you’re 21,” (Wallis 77). If Catherine did say these pearls of wisdom to her son, and after he escaped from the Lincoln County jail, maybe he heeded her word and quit it all to save himself. Or maybe if his mother’s word was not strong enough, it was that of his lovely longtime girlfriend Paulita Maxwell. After Billy and his friends were captured by Pat Garrett at Stinking Springs, Billy was allowed to say goodbye to Paulita. Witnesses said the kiss their shared was long and forlorn. But another rumor popped up around this time too. According to Celsa, who’s sister was Apolinaria, who was the wife of Pat Garrett, Paulita was pregnant with Billy’s child. And according to Billy the Kid biographer Frederick Nolan, “This was the reason the Kid had gone to Sumner, this the reason he was still there,” (Wallis 246). And while it is true no such child ever came to be, meaning the rumor was just that, a rumor, maybe thinking he had the chance to be a father made the Kid want to live on a full life. The maybes could fill hundreds of books, but these two are the most important ones, at least to this author, to give this theory any credence.

 And then we have Theory Five: The Billy Barlow situation. Fact, on the night of July 14th, the man who came to the Maxwell porch holding a butcher knife and a gun spoke solely in Spanish to Poe and McKinley, and most likely only spoke Spanish once inside Pete’s room. If the man was in fact Billy, who did to be fair speak fluent Spanish, why would he have though, upon noting the two men on the porch were white, and he spoke English most often with Pete Maxwell (Lowth)? From alleged descendants of Billy the Kid to Brushy Bill, all of them claimed it was not Billy killed that night by Garrett but an innocent Mexican man passed off as Billy instead. The most likely victim of this shooting, Billy Barlow (Lowth). It is said Billy Barlow was a half-Mexican man simply in the wrong place at the wrong time (Lowth). Also pointed to as suspicious is the fact no photographs were taken of the Kid’s body to prove it actually was who Garrett claimed it was. Garrett was usually meticulous and organized to a fault, how could he have forgotten something so majorly important? Was it because by then the now famous image of the Kid had started to circulate, so people would know the two bodies did not match?

 In truth, there is no genealogical proof of this Billy Barlow ever existing. Do not be fooled, there was a Billy Barlow, the only problem was he was born in 1870 in Canada and happened to be an amateur ice hockey player. Not really the kind of half-Mexican passed off as Billy the Kid researchers were looking for. If Billy Barlow was passed off as the Kid, the world may not ever know for certain. One would think the answer could be surmised fairly easily through genetic testing, but as referenced earlier in this paper, that will not be so easy.

 For one thing, both Catherine Antrim and William Bonney’s original gravesites have been lost. According to the Open Access Articles on Brushy Bill Roberts, the Silver City Cemetery where Catherine was buried was sold in 1882. The new owner was supposed to (read—required but apparently not enforced) to relocate the bodies outside of the city limits. However, there is no historical record of whether he actually moved the bodies or just the headstones. Also, Catherine’s headstone was placed years after she died, and by that point people kind of just guessed where to put it. Then comes the problem with the Old Fort Sumner Cemetery, or, as Walter Burns described it, “Billy the Kid lies buried in what it is easy to fancy is the dreariest little cemetery in the world,” and that was in 1926! Also, in the Open Access Articles are notes on this cemetery. Apparently in 1904, the Great Pecos River Flood swept through and exposed most of the bodies in the cemetery, which had to be reburied. Because of the flood most of them were scattered around and completely unidentified. By 1904, the body in the Billy the Kid grave would have been lying there for twenty-three years, and with no embalming techniques employed, it is easy to see why this would be a problem. After the flood, Billy’s original headstone was also lost, and so the gravesite itself was without a marker for the next twenty-eight years. By that point, the old-timers who remembered where Billy had been buried had either died or moved on, so in 1932, when the new headstone was erected, the people placed it where they guessed the grave was, but nobody knew for certain, making all hopes of genetic testing nearly impossible. The only probable hope would be to dig up everybody that was unidentifiable and test them all, and even then, the bodies would be so old, you would be lucky at best to find anything worthwhile.

 So, to sum up, there are five theories: Billy died in 1881, Billy lived on to become Brushy Bill and died in 1950, Billy and Garrett split the reward money and Billy disappeared from history, Billy faded into obscurity and was never heard from again, and Billy Barlow was actually killed and not Billy. As you can see, the five theories all intertwine back onto one another as well as standing separate. For instance, Billy could have taken the reward money and still faded from history—and Billy Barlow could have been the fall guy they used. The mystery may never truly be solved, and while that is sad to think about, it also helps keep the legacy of Billy the Kid alive. Billy was a larger than life figure, both before and after he died. As Sallie Chisum put it, “But he had many enemies who cordially hated him; which was easy to understand because whatever he set out to do, he did “in spite of hell and high water,” as he used to say, and if a man or two got hurt or killed, it didn’t make any difference to him,” (Burns 18).

 But with the bad came the good, and as many others rightly noted, Billy the Kid really was still just a kid when he died or disappeared. He did things irrationally, without thinking them through most of the time. He was hotheaded, but not quick tempered like many believe. Garrett himself reportedly said, “he was not quarrelsome; he never hunted trouble,” (Burns 303).

 The fact of the matter is, as much as we think we know about Billy the Kid, none of us really do. The first true, proven historical documentation we even have of his existence appeared, not the year he was born, or the year after. No, it comes from 1 March 1873, when little boys Henry and Josie McCarty attended the marriage of their mother Catherine to William Antrim, after Catherine and he had been a couple for eight years. Henry, later Billy, would have been around twelve or thirteen years old at the time. That first fight, where Henry killed a man? His name was Cahill, went by Windy. This guy was big to Billy’s small and wiry. They got into a fight over something stupid, started insulting each other, fell through the saloon doors and out onto the ground. Witnesses later said they heard Henry asking for Cahill to let him up, Cahill was hurting him. But Cahill refused. So, Henry dug out his gun, and whether on purpose or accident, shot him. Henry jumped up on a horse and dashed off into the night. “About a week after the fatal shooting of Cahill, a mounted traveler leading [the horse], minus saddle and bridle, showed up at McDowell’s store. The stranger explained that the Kid had asked him to return the horse to its owner,” (Wallis 119).

 These are the real facts behind the outlaw banner everyone has heard about. Whether or not Billy the Kid was killed by Pat Garrett that night in 1881 or he lived on to be an old man whom everyone called Brushy, all that really matters is Billy was a polarizing, sympathetic figure, who could have easily escaped the pages of history if he had done like his mother wanted and kept to the law. But because he chose a different path, American history was changed forever, and children across the world brought out their cap guns and started playing Indians and Outlaws. And not just children, “After Bonnie and Clyde were shot to death…a book was found…resting in the backseat of their blood spattered car—The Saga of Billy the Kid,” (Gardner 249).

Works Cited

"Brushy Bill Roberts." OMICS International, 2014, research.omicsgroup.org/index.php/Brushy_Bill_Roberts. Accessed 26 Sept. 2018.

Burns, Walter Noble. The Saga of Billy the Kid. 2014 ed., Skyhorse Publishing, 1925.

Gardner, Mark Lee. To Hell on a Fast Horse. New York, William Morrow, 2010.

Lowth, Marcus. "Controversies, Cover-Ups and Conspiracies Surrounding Billy the Kid." UFO Insight, 28 July 2018, www.ufoinsight.com/controversies-cover-ups-conspiracies-surrounding-billy-kid/.  Accessed 2 Oct. 2018.

Moreno, Eric. "The Old Man Who Claimed to Be Billy the Kid." Atlas Obscura, 30 Mar. 2017, www.atlasobscura.com/articles/billy-the-kid-survived-hico-texas. Accessed 26 Sept. 2018.

Sharp, Jay W. "The Night Pat Garrett (Probably) Shot Billy the Kid." DesertUSAwww.desertusa.com/desert-people/billy-the-kid2.html. Accessed 2 Oct. 2018.

Smithfield, Brad. "Brushy Bill Roberts: The Man Who Claimed to Be Billy the Kid, Had All the Same Scars as Billy the Kid." The Vintage News, 27 Aug. 2016, www.thevintagenews.com/2016/08/27/ brushy-bill-roberts-the-man-who-claimed-to-be-billy-the-kid-he-had-all-the-same-scars-as-billy/. Accessed 26 Sept. 2018.

Wallis, Michael. Billy the Kid the Endless Ride. New York, WW Norton & Company, 2007.