Billy The Kid rides again

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An interesting article caught my eye tonight:

Billy the Kid gets a lawyer – 122 years after shootout, attorney to gather information for a pardon

Well, like any good Generation X’er, of COURSE I saw Young Guns I & II. They rocked! What was unknown to me, until this article, that there’s been this heated debate down in New Mexico since the summer to exhume his remains (as well as his mother’s) for DNA testing to determine if he was indeed William H. Bonney and gunned down by Pat Garrett as legend claims.

Among the many people vehemently opposed to this is the Billy The Kid Historic Preservation Society.

We all love a good “anti-hero”. We love it even more when they get away and thumb their nose at society and go to that la-la land where we sent Elvis, Bruce Lee, Jim Morrison and every other legend when we can’t accept their deaths.

You know, I love a good conspiracy theory as much as the next guy. And I have to admit I was originally curious about the findings myself… but the society makes a solid argument. It’s nothing more than a whole big publicity stunt by the governor, and several other elected officials… most likely to boost tourism in the same way people still come to Graceland to gawk at Elvis’ misspelled tombstone (couldn’t just be a brilliant marketing strategy… or even a simple fuck-up, could it?).

Certainly this isn’t necessary to issue him a pardon (one he was promised by then-governor Lew Wallace in 1879, which Wallace reneged on the deal), and I doubt Billy the Kid has much use for it now. So why dick the public around with a taxpayer’s-expense-sideshow-extravaganza?

A great site to learn more about Billy the Kid is About Billy the Kid by Ms. Marcelle Brothers. I was also unaware that the silly argument of Brushy Bill Roberts being the real Billy the Kid was still raging… (remember the old man, also played by Emilio Estevez, in Young Guns II?). It was debunked in the court hearings in 1950. His accounts were inconsistent, and leaning more toward the legends passed around than the facts. So, like duh… okay?

The site is a chock full of amazing and detailed info which separates the Hollywood legends FROM the historical accounts….

… to which I have to say, he is STILL one cool motherfucker in my books. 8)
I hope they let him rest in peace.

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5 replies on “Billy The Kid rides again”

  1. I grew up in New Mexico and actually went to band camp a few years at WNMU in Silver City. (Gawd, I’m such a dork!) Anyway, Billy the Kid is huge in the area, so even if this is “solved” with the DNA testing, there will always be some people who refuse to believe it. So, if they’re really trying to solve the mystery “once and for all”, they’re wasting their time and money.

    If it’s to rejuvenate the tourism industry, then I can’t really see anything wrong with it since, according to the article, they aren’t using state funds. New Mexico is one of the poorest states in the country and anything they can do to increase revenues is a good thing. Now if they ARE using state funds, then their priorities are really screwed up. I have a sis-in-law and several little cousins going to school in New Mexico and the state can’t even afford a set of books for all the students to use. The students have to find the time to photocopy their assignments FROM their one classroom copy of the textbook either daily or weekly. If they have money sitting around, they might want to consider investing it in their schools.

  2. Very insightful… and I have to agree the money can be put to better use (well a decent new tourism campaign, for starters as well as better-funded schools.).

    I gotta say, after reading the ENTIRE Billy the Kid site, I came off with a mindblowing new respect for him.

    Basically a decent person who was dealt a shitty hand early on in life, railroaded by government, and the target of vendettas by business owners in a seriously corrupt town who had the law in their back pocket…

    … to which he fought back, and a lot of his daring escapes FROM prison were just as dramatic as the movies. (I can dig that!) It was far more interesting than the “hyena-laughing after every kill” outlaw that legend portayed him as.

  3. Eric, I have to tell you, since I’ve been so busy working on my projects, I really didn’t have time to write, or read — others’ blogs. But there were two that I absolutely had to keep up with and yours was one of them. This post and all the other delectible treats you choose to share with your readers is the reason why I couldn’t resist catching up every so often, going back till I hit familiar territory. Thank you.
    Aw shit. I didn’t mean to call it a blog. I know it’s not a blog. I don’t know what it is, but I know it’s not a blog, so… don’t shoot me, okay? 🙂

  4. Aw, that’s ok Kate… you know I still love ya! People commonly mistake this for a blog, and I have no idea why….

    I’m just tickled pink and flattered that someone of your writing caliber enjoys what I write here in my “Stuff that I see things on the web and I log it” page. :0)

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