Pat Garrett, Billy the Kid, unknown, unknown, Charlie Bowdre
As another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.
America in a number of instances is the damnedest place on the planet in creating legendary criminals where poverty and law abiding citizens only resided before.
In recent history, there is LaVoy Finicum, who was on the right side of the Constitution, but the wrong side of those who owned the police state. In effect in many ways, William Bonny, also known as Billy the Kid, was another southwestern citizen, who found himself on the wrong side of the police state.
William Bonny was born Henry McCarty in New York City.
If one studies the below photo of Billy the Kid playing croquet, he is surrounded by women and children as no one deems on what appears this Sunday outing in any fear of William Bonny, as that was his character.
This is a synopsis of Billy the Kid, so you can comprehend this "killer" was not a killer, but made one by the government.
Bonney was born in New York and after his father died, his mother moved him and his brother to Indiana, where she took up with a man named William Antrim. They would move to Kansas, and then moved to New Mexico, where the couple would be married.
Henry McCarty would begin using the name Joseph Antrim at this time, and the start of the problems in his life was when his mother died in 1874 from tuberculosis.
He was 14 and put out of the house and worked for room and board at a hotel. In 1875 he was caught stealing food. Ten days later with an accomplice he robbed a Chinese laundry and took two pistols. He was caught and jailed, but escaped two days later.
The great felon was a poor orphan who was stealing food and clothing as he was rebelling against being a child slave.
Bonney would find his step father, take up residence with him, but was soon thrown out, to which he stole again clothes and firearms from his step father. This would sever their ties.
He would find work in southeast Arizona as a ranch hand and turned to gambling. He would be employed by the notable Henry Hooker on his ranch and while there started stealing horses from soldiers with John Mackie.
He was first called Kid Antrim at this time in being of slight build and boyish complexion.
It was at this time that a bully named Windy Cahill started bothering Bonney, and at a saloon Cahill called Bonney a "pimp" and in turn Bonney called Cahill a "son of a bitch". Cahill knocked Bonney to the floor and they struggled for Bonney's revolver. The Kid shot Cahill and he died the next day.
Bonney fled but returned two days later and was arrested and put into the guardhouse. He escaped again, but as a witness stated, "Billy had no choice. He had to use his equalizer".
Billy the Kid's first killing was in self defense against a bully who was going to murder him.
Bonney stole a horse and lit out for New Mexico again, where Apaches stole his horse and he had to walk for help, he almost starved to death and died of exposure, but was nursed to health by the wife of John Jones who was a Seven Rivers Warrior gang member.
At this point Bonney joined a band of rustlers who were raiding the ranch of the legendary John Chisum.
It was 1877 and this was the first time the Kid began using the name William Bonney.
He worked of John Tunstall who was a rancher and businessman in Lincoln County, and a range war was erupting as 3 Irishmen led by Lawrence Murphy who controlled the government beef contract.
Tunstall had a business partner named Alexander McSween who owed the Irishmen 8000 dollars. In this, the sheriff William Brady moved to seize 40,000 dollars of Tunstall's property, and went with a posse to raid Tunstall's cattle. Tunstall arrived to meet them and was murdered by the posse. One member shot Tunstall from his horse and another took Tunstall's gun and executed him with a shot to the back of the head.
After Tunstall was killed, Bonney and Dick Brewer swore affidavits against Brady and those in his posse, and obtained murder warrants from Lincoln County justice of the peace John B. Wilson. On February 20, 1878, while attempting to arrest Brady, the sheriff and his deputies happened on and arrested Bonney and two other men riding with him. Deputy U.S. Marshal Rob Widenmann, a friend of Bonney, along with a detachment of soldiers, captured Sheriff Brady's jail guards, put them behind bars, and released Bonney and Brewer.
William Bonney was on the side of the law at this time, against moneyed interests, and joined the Lincoln County Regulars, the Minutemen of New Mexico. They captured the murderers of Tunstall and the murderers were shot while trying to escape, in frontier justice.
In a later gun battle with Sheriff Brady, who was killed, warrants were sworn out against William Bonney for the murder of three men.
William Bonney was in the right, was protecting citizen's rights, but he did not control the mechanism of law while his enemies did, for this he was made a criminal.
A literal war erupted between the two armed forces in Lincoln where McSween was murdered. The military sided with the corrupt rulers of Lincoln and in the carnage of burning down McSween's home, Bonney escaped.
A blanket amnesty was issued by the governor, but it did not cover William Bonney, Bonney in turn contacted the governor and stated that in exchange for amnesty he would testify against the real murderers.
The Governor assured him of amnesty if Bonney would give himself up, which Bonney did, where he was taken into custody.
It was not long before Bonney concluded he had been set up and betrayed. He escaped from jail in 1879.
William Bonney was again law abiding, when a Joe Grant announced he was going to murder William Bonney at Hargrove's Saloon.
According to other contemporary sources, Bonney had been warned that Grant intended to kill him. He walked up to Grant, told him he admired his revolver, and asked to examine it. Grant handed it over. Before returning the pistol, which Bonney noticed contained only three cartridges, he positioned the cylinder so the next hammer fall would land on an empty chamber. Grant suddenly pointed his pistol at Bonney's face and pulled the trigger. When Grant's pistol failed to fire, Bonney drew his own weapon, and shot Grant in the head. A reporter for the Las Vegas Optic quoted Bonney as saying the encounter "was a game of two and I got there first."
In tracing this, William Bonney had only acted within the law or in self defense in any of these killings, and yet he was being tracked as a murderer.
A posse later in 1880 cornered Bonney at Jim Greathouse's ranch who was a friend of Bonney, in a prisoner exchange of Greathouse for the deputy sheriff, Carlyle attempted to escape and was shot.
The event ended in a stand off and Bonney and his comrades rode off.
Following at Fort Sumner, a posse led by Pat Garrett was waiting in ambush, and opening fire, only killed Tom O'Folliard, the rest of the group escaped.
Garrett captured the group at Stinking Springs. Bonney appealed for clemency three times to the new governor, but was ignored, and was sentenced to hang.
Following his sentencing, Bonney was moved to Lincoln, where he was held under guard on the top floor of the town courthouse. On the evening of April 28, 1881, while Garrett was in White Oaks collecting taxes, Deputy Bob Olinger took five other prisoners across the street for a meal. This left the other deputy, James Bell, alone at the jail with Bonney, who requested to be taken outside to use the outhouse behind the courthouse. On the way back to the jail, Bonney, who was walking ahead of Bell up the stairs to his cell, hid around a blind corner, slipped out of his handcuffs, and surprised Bell, beating him with the loose end of the cuffs. During the ensuing scuffle, Bonney was able to grab Bell's revolver, and fatally shot him in the back as the deputy made for the stairs to get away.
While Bonney's legs were still shackled, he was able to get into Garrett's office, where he took a loaded shotgun left behind by Olinger. Waiting at the upstairs window for Olinger to respond to the gunshot that killed Bell, Bonney called out to the deputy, "Look up, old boy, and see what you get." When Olinger looked up, Bonney shot and killed him. After about an hour, Bonney was able to free himself from the leg irons with an axe.] He obtained a horse and rode out of town. Some stories say that he was singing as he left Lincoln.
Bonney at this point had been sentenced to death for defending himself. In his judgment he was fighting against the very people who were trying to murder him.
With a 500 dollar bounty on his head, Pat Garrett was tracking the Kid again, and while waiting in the home of a friend of Bonney's a Pete Maxwell, in the dark, Garrett shot Bonney dead as Bonney asked in Spanish who was there.
It was quite lucrative for Pat Garrett in killing William Bonney. He had 7000 dollars raised by the locals for the reward, and later did have the legislature pay the 500 dollar bounty that the governor refused to pay. He would later go on to have a ghost novel written about William Bonney which was published.
Pat Garrett as an old man
In the first photo at the start of this story of Billy the Kid, the person on the far right is believed to be Charlie Bowdre. He was killed later with Billy the Kid by the Garrett posse in a gun fight.
Charlie Bowdre, comrade of William Bonny
Killed in gun battle with Pat Garrett's posse
This is the story of William Bonney, an orphan, in poverty, trying to steal food and clothes to live. He worked as a ranch hand, shifted to easier money in stealing government horses and rancher's cattle.
When taken into confidence he was loyal and trustworthy. He avenged the deaths of those who were good to him and fought in the citizen's militia against a corrupt regime.
When that regime betrayed him, and named him a murderer, and sentenced him to death, he once again took up arms to defend his life against the same corruption. He literally was murdered for money, with the money coming from the corrupt oligarch system which was New Mexico.
I had not ever invested the time to know who Billy the Kid was or research his life. The closest was the movie by John Wayne in Chisum, which touched on much of the above named people. There never would have been a Billy the Kid if he had not been misused. If his American side had one in Lincoln County, he would have probably been appointed Marshal and legally gunning down the opposition Wyatt Earp did to great fame.
He appears to be a Mother's son, and was a bright individual who probably would have been elected to political office. Instead we have this tragedy which is still playing out in America and the world where the established regime criminalizes those and deprives them of their rights.
Americans simply do better than this, as William Wallace the Scott deserved better than what he got from the English in the same conflict of a corrupt regime and betrayal.
There has always been rumors that Billy the Kid like Jesse James never really died. This account from a noted outlaw breed named Jesse Evans is a new twist on this mystery as Evans disappeared after serving a prison sentence and reappeared in Florida under an alias.
Evans was arrested, tried and sentenced to prison. However, he escaped while on work detail one day, but was recaptured a few months later. Sent to Huntsville Prison, he was released in 1882 and was never seen or heard from again. Where he went and what happened to him is a mystery.
Mystery solved?In 1948, probate investigator William V. Morrison was sent from St. Louis, Missouri to Florida to investigate the case of an elderly man attempting to claim his recently deceased brother's land. The deceased man had been Jesse Evans' brother. The man's name was Joe Hines, but during Morrison's interview of Hines, the latter allegedly revealed that he was really Jesse Evans and discussed his part in the Lincoln County War, and his association with Billy the Kid. He revealed that of those involved in that range war, three, including himself, remained alive; the other two were Jim McDaniels (an Evans Gang member) and Billy the Kid. Hines claimed that Billy the Kid was going by the name of Ollie P. Roberts, living in Hico, Texas. With some coaxing, Roberts did talk to Morrison, but eventually his story was discredited by almost all historians. Hines won his case, and was granted his brother's land in Florida. It has been asserted that Hines in fact had been Jesse Evans, but no one has been able to explain why, if Roberts was not Billy the Kid, Hines/Evans pointed Morrison in his direction. Morrison also attempted to track down former Evans Gang member Jim McDaniels, locating him in Round Rock, Texas. McDaniels, along with Severo Gallegos, Martile Able, Jose Montoya, and Bill and Sam Jones, all of whom had known Billy the Kid, signed affidavits claiming to verify that Roberts was in fact Billy the Kid.
Henry McCarty as Brushy Bill Roberts in Texas as an old man