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Wednesday, January 06, 2021
The Sordid Truth Behind The Killing of The Kid
January 6, 2020
Here's something that's been eating at me for a long time.
The Sordid Truth Behind The Killing of the Kid
I have been researching and studying the life of Billy the Kid for at least four decades and I've just finished my third—and final—book on his short and violent life. I believe it's finally time to tell the truth about one of the biggest lies in the entire saga and that is the contorted and ridiculous Pat Garrett version of how the Kid died. In my opinion, it's a total lie. I don't believe Billy was walking in his stocking feet across the parade ground to get some beef. I don't believe he was armed with a Colt Thunderer.
"I'm not afraid to die like a man fighting, but I would not like to be killed like a dog unarmed."
—Billy the Kid
To be blunt, I believe the Kid was shot down like a dog.
Why the goofy and unbelievable subterfuge?
Garrett knew he had some 'splain'in' to do. He knew it was cold-blooded and, on some level, he did what he had to do in order to get the job done. Plus, he felt an obligation to protect the Maxwell name from scandal (Pete's sister was 15!) But, it doesn't change the fact that the Kid had zero chance to defend himself. He had been caught with his pants down and he took a bullet in the heart.
In the end, it was inevitable that one of the lawmen with Garrett that night would confide to a mining partner the brutal truth about how Garrett got the Kid, and it wasn't pretty.
And, in the end, Garrett got what was coming to him.