There have been many debates, stories, and opinions fostered over
the years. Several men stepped forward claiming to be Billy the Kid, stating that Pat Garrett did not shoot and kill the Kid
that dark night over a hundred years ago.
In 1948, probate investigator William V. Morrison
went to Florida to clear up an inheritance dispute of a man named Joe Hines. During the interviews, it was determined that Joe
Hines was Jesse Evans, a Lincoln County War survivor and an old acquaintance of Billy the Kid. Evans told Morrison that Billy
the Kid was not shot by Garrett: the Kid was alive and living in Hamilton County, Texas, as Ollie L. "Brushy Bill" Roberts.
In June 1949, Morrison visited Brushy Bill. Brushy Bill said he was born William Henry Roberts on December 11, 1859, in Buffalo
Gap, Texas. He took the name of his cousin Ollie Roberts after his cousin died. Brushy Bill admitted that he was Billy because
he wanted to pursue the pardon Governor Wallace had promised him in 1879, and be pardoned for his crimes before he died.
On November 15, 1950. Morrison filed for the petition for the pardon promised Billy in 1879. Thomas J. Mabry, the current governor
agreed to a private hearing to be held on November 29th with Morrison, Brushy Bill, and two historians of the Governor's choosing
in attendance. The pardon was denied.
In 2003, Lincoln County, New Mexico officials
petitioned to exhume the bodies of the Kid and Brushy Bill as well as the Kid's mother Catherine Antrim for DNA testing. In
September 2004, exhumations were blocked. A flood that occurred decades ago washed away the New Mexico grave. Ollie "Brushy
Bill" Roberts is buried in Hamilton, Texas.
Without DNA there is little chance that the
truth will ever be known.
WAS BILLY THE KID SHOT IN NEW MEXICO?
There are many reasons to believe that Garrett
did not shoot and kill Billy the Kid in July, 1881. John W. Poe, a deputy U.S. Marshall and a deputy sheriff in the panhandle
of Texas was employed by the Canadian River Cattle Association to help put an end to the cattle rustling. He coordinated his efforts
with Pat Garrett. Regarding the shooting of Billy the Kid, Poe has been quoted as saying, "I had felt almost certain that someone
whom we did not want had been killed".
Dan Garrett, Pat Garrett's grandson, (see photo to
the right) said his grandfather never killed Billy the Kid. Dan visited the museum here in Hico, Texas.
Billy the Kid
114 N. Pecan Street
Hico, TX 76457
Photo of "Brushy Bill" Roberts and his wife "Lizzie"
Click video above to see Hank Wilson of the Hill Country News
interview Sue Land, CEO of Billy the Kid Museum, Hico,
WATCH VIDEO INTERVIEW
WITH SUE LAND