Billy The Kid – Wild West Outlaw (Crime Documentary)
William H. Bonney (born William Henry McCarty, Jr. c. November 23, 1859 – c. July 14, 1881), better known as Billy the Kid and also known as Henry Antrim, was a 19th-century American gunman who participated in the Lincoln County War and became a frontier outlaw in the American Old West. According to legend, he killed 21 men, but it is generally believed that he killed between four and nine. He killed his first man in 1877, being from his established though uncertain birthdate then age 17, although he could have been as young as 15.
McCarty (or Bonney, the name he used at the height of his notoriety) was 5’8″ (173 cm) tall with blue eyes, blond hair or dirty blond hair, and a smooth complexion. He was said to be friendly and personable at times, and as lithe as a cat. Contemporaries described him as a “neat” dresser who favored an “unadorned Mexican sombrero”. These qualities, along with his cunning and celebrated skill with firearms, contributed to his paradoxical image as both a notorious outlaw and a folk hero.
Relatively unknown during most of his lifetime, Billy was catapulted into legend in 1881 when New Mexico’s governor, Lew Wallace, placed a price on his head. In addition, the Las Vegas Gazette (Las Vegas, New Mexico) and the New York Sun carried stories about his exploits. Other newspapers followed suit. After his death, several biographies were written that portrayed the Kid in varying lights.