April 22, 2004 Bonus Blog
I got a call at around noon from Sheriff Gary Graves of DeBaca County, New Mexico. He told me they’ve got a “huge bru-ha-ha goin’ on” in Fort Sumner. He has been living in his office four days now, sleeping on a cot.
“The board of county commissioners went after me with a petition asking for my resignation,” Gary told me on a cell phone from his office.
Specifically, the county commissioners want the sheriff to cease and desist on what they see as “this crazy digging up Billy the Kid project.”
I heard an electric shaver in the background and asked Gary why are they fighting it so hard? “We’re still after the truth and they’re so afraid that if we don’t find Billy the Kid it’ll ruin the economy and DeBaca county will dry up and blow away.”
The sheriff believes no matter what they find, it will increase interest in the area and he said. as proof, that tourist numbers are already up 45% over last year and he attributes this to the interest in digging up the Kid to see if he’s really there, or in a grave in Hico, Texas.
I thanked the sheriff for the call and asked if he was worried they might use force to get him out. Graves was quiet for a moment, then said, “I will defend this office to my dying breath.”
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