Almost as mysterious as his life, is Billy's death
The exact location of The Kid's grave in the graveyard
isn't known. His original tombstone was made of wood, and a
flood washed away the wooden tombstone
s not long after
Billy's death, and the current grave
site is merely an
estimate. Like most artists, Billy's fame skyrocketed
after his death
No two books will ever agree 100% on the facts, but as best
I am able to put together, the following is true:
- He was shot dead at Fort Sumner, New Mexico by Pat
- The date was probably July 14th, 1881.
- No one actually saw him get shot, it was too
dark. The actions of the entire final gunfight (which
lasted all of two shots) was based on sound.
- Billy the Kid's last sentance was in Spanish, which
he was fluent in.
- Billy's "PALS" headstone has been stolen twice, the
first time back in 1950. It stayed missing for 26 years,
before it was found in Granbury, TX (a town once filled
with aging outlaws whose deaths were faked). Then it got
swiped again in 1981, recovered a week later in Huntington
- The first theft of the headstone nearly turned Fort
Sumner into a ghost town, as it was the only reason
people would ever visit the place. Without that tourist
meal ticket, there was very little new income.
- Billy's real corpse could be anywhere in New Mexico.
Since the flood washed away his tombstone, and the body's
location was unknown, the flood could have washed the body
quite a ways as well. Additionally, Fort Sumner was
abandoned and largely uninhabited, the body could have been
dragged off by carrion feeders after this. Additionally there is a tale of bandits that actually stole the corpse (though the reason varies in each tale) It is entirely possible
that his mortal remains are nothing more than a few chips
of bleached bone somewhere near Taos, NM.
- Anyone who tells you they know the whole truth of Billy
the Kid's death is either lying through their teeth, or are
misinformed by someone else who was lying or misinformed.
Not even Pat Garrett (the man who shot Billy) really knows
anything more than what is in his journal.
(excerpt from the The Authentic Life of
Billy the Kid by Pat Garrett)
"He came directly towards me. Before he reached the
bed, I whispered: 'Who is it, Pete?' but received no reply
for a moment. It struck me that it might be Pete's
brother-in-law, Manuel Abreu, who had seen Poe and
McKinney, and wanted to know their business. The intruder
came close to me, leaned both hands on the bed, his right
hand almost touching my knee, and asked, in a low tone:
-'Who are they Pete?' -at the same instant Maxwell
whispered to me. 'That's him!' Simultaneously the Kid must
have seen, or felt, the presence of a third person at the
head of the bed. He raised quickly his pistol, a
self-cocker, within a foot of my breast. Retreating
rapidly across the room he cried: 'Quien es? Quien es?'
'Who's that? Who's that?') All this occurred in a moment.
Quickly as possible I drew my revolver and fired, threw
my body aside, and fired again. The second shot was
useless; the Kid fell dead. He never spoke. A struggle or
two, a little strangling sound as he gasped for breath, and
the Kid was with his many victims."