“Billy The Kid” Dead! July 14, 1881

After “Billy The Kid’s” escape from jail on April 28 1881, Gov. Lew Wallace re-issued a reward for his capture. Lincoln County Sheriff Pat Garrett who had once captured Billy was set on capturing him again. The night of July 14, 1881, there were rumors of “Billy The Kid” in the Fort Sumner area. Sheriff Garrett and two deputies rode out to question Billy’s close friend Pete Maxwell at his house. Billy was also dating Maxwell’s sister Paulita. Garrett who was an acquaintance of Maxwell was thinking that he might have an idea of Billy’s whereabouts. They arrived at the Maxwell house around midnight. Garrett walked right in the house and the two deputies were posted in front. Garrett walked to Maxwell’s bedroom and sat at the end of the bed where he was sleeping. As he started quietly questioning Maxwell, a person walked in the room. The person not knowing who Pete Maxwell was talking to due to the poor lighting, said “¿Quién es? ¿Quién es?” as soon as Pat Garrett heard those words; he raised his revolver and fired twice. One of the bullets hit the person in the chest as they fell to the ground gasping for air and died. Garrett had recognized that voice. It was the voice of William H. Bonney AKA “Billy The Kid”.

 

Pete Maxwell House 1885 Pete Maxwell House 1885

 

His body was taken across the street to an old carpenter’s shop where he laid out on a bench. Candles were places all around the body. Because Billy was popular among the people, and many considered him a friend, rushed to the old shop to pay him respect and say farewell to ‘The Kid”.

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