Cowboys & Indians

BILLY THE KID

FOR ALL THE MYTH SURROUNDING HIM, little is known for certain about legendary outlaw Billy the Kid before his first brushes with the law.

As historian Robert M. Utley tells it in his 2015 book, Wanted: The Outlaw Lives of Billy the Kid & Ned Kelly, Billy — then known as Henry McCarty or Henry Antrim — was about 15 years old when he was arrested for the first time: September 23, 1875. He had lost his mother to tuberculosis a year earlier, making him an orphan, and was known to associate with one “Sombrero Jack,” a local drunk, in Silver City, New Mexico Territory, when some clothing went missing from a laundry business.

Grant County sheriff Harvey Whitehill pegged the pair as the culprits and arrested Henry, telling the boy he could cool his heels in jail until a grand jury

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