How Did Billy the Kid Die?

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tags: Wild West, Billy the Kid

Western outlaw Billy the Kid met his demise at about 12:30 a.m. on July 14, 1881, when he went to his friend Pete Maxwell’s home in Fort Sumner, New Mexico in search of a slice of beef for a late-night snack. 

As the story goes, Billy—just 21 years old, but already a murderer who had escaped from jail and killed two guards in the process—made the mistake of walking into a darkened bedroom, where Lincoln County Sheriff Pat Garrett was questioning Maxwell. Both Garrett and Billy were armed, but Garrett shot first, killing Billy.

At least, that’s the most widely-accepted version of events. But over the years, some of the murky details surrounding the death of Billy—whose real name probably was Henry McCarty, though he later went by the alias William Bonney—have proven to be fertile ground for alternative theories. 

Some have claimed that Garrett shot the wrong man and Billy escaped. To complicate matters further, at least two men emerged decades later who were believed by some to be Billy.

Read entire article at History.com

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