This Photo May Be 2nd Ever of Billy the Kid

Historian believes he's found rare glimpse of infamous gunslinger

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 30, 2013 7:16 AM CDT

(Newser) – A New Mexico historian thinks he's found a photo that he can positively identify as depicting Billy the Kid—which would be a pretty big deal, given that, if verified, it would be just the second known photo of the infamous outlaw. There have been many purported photos of the Kid, aka William Henry McCarty Jr., William Bonney, and Henry Antrim, but historians only generally agree on one, an image of Billy in well-worn attire leaning on his rifle. Billy gave that photo to his friend Dan Dedrick.

Now historian Frank Parrish says an anonymous New Mexico man has come forward with a photo of two men looking far more clean cut. Parrish can positively identify the one on the left as Dedrick, so he's convinced the one on the right is Billy, he tells the Las Cruces Sun-News. Identifying Dedrick, he says, "is the 'clincher' in this image, elevating a near-certain image to a clearly and obvious picture of the Kid." The photo was once part of the estate of Pat Garrett, the sheriff who killed Billy. But Parrish knows there will be doubters, and says forensic analysis of the image is pending. (The previously verified photo of Billy sold for a pretty penny in 2011.)

The man on the right might be the infamous Billy the Kid.   (Las Cruces Sun-News)
This ferrotype is the other known photo of Billy the Kid, believed to have been taken in 1879 or 1880.   (AP Photo/Lincoln County Heritage Trust Archive, File)
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It's finally a good image of the Kid that reveals a young man as people who remembered him described him—not as the famous bucktoothed Billy we know so well. - Frank Parrish

It could be. The earlobes look different, but that could be affected by the hat he's wearing in the well-known image. As many things are telling me 'yes' as 'no.' - Bob Diven, an artist who's studied the confirmed image extensively for various projects

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