Billy The Kid Stories You've Never Heard Before

By | November 13, 2019

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Actor Derek Chariton played Billy the Kid in the AMC series "The American West." (

Youthful Old West outlaw Billy the Kid would be celebrating his 160th birthday today, November 23, if he had not been killed at the tender age of 21 (and, you know, if old age wasn't fatal). Billy the Kid was a thief, murderer, and overall delinquent, but today, we would say he was the unfortunate result of a terrible upbringing. Let's look at the incredible life and premature death of this desperate young man who earned a place in the wild lore of the America West

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Is this the only known photograph of Billy the Kid? (

The Rarely Photographed Billy The Kid

Photography was in its infancy during Billy the Kid's day, so it is not surprising that he was only photographed a few times. For a long time, historians knew of only one photograph of the young outlaw. It's called the Dedrick ferrotype because it belonged to a friend of Billy's named Dan Dedrick, who passed it down through his family like an ancestral heirloom. In the image, which was probably taken in late 1879 or early 1880, Billy is holding a Winchester rifle and wearing a cowboy hat, a bandana, and a vest. Although the photo was reproduced numerous times, the original plate was auctioned in 2011 for $2.3 million.