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  1. #1
    Good Enough Ilovevh's Avatar
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    05.20.18 @ 03:21 AM
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    Default pardon for Billy the Kid

    SANTA FE, N.M. – The showdown between Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid has fascinated the American public for nearly 130 years with its classic, Old West storyline of the frontier lawman hunting down the notorious gunslinger.

    As it turns out, the feud isn't completely over.

    New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is considering granting a posthumous pardon to Billy the Kid, angering descendants of Garrett who call it an insult to recognize such a violent outlaw.

    Three of the late lawman's grandchildren sent a letter to Richardson this week that asked him not to pardon the outlaw, saying such an act would represent an "inexcusable defamation" of Garrett.

    "If Billy the Kid was living amongst us now, would you issue a pardon for someone who made his living as a thief and, more egregiously, who killed four law enforcement officers and numerous others?" the Garrett family wrote.

    The issue has resurfaced because Richardson asked a New Mexico columnist earlier this year to check with historians to measure their support for issuing a pardon. The governor plans to meet with Garrett family members next week to discuss the issue.

    Billy the Kid, his hunter, his hideout, his mom's grave: Click photo to see more

    Garrett shot Billy the Kid down on July 14, 1881. Garrett tracked him after the outlaw escaped from the Lincoln County jail in a famous gunbattle that left two deputies dead.

    The Kid's status as an Old West folk hero grew as countless books, films and songs were written about the gunslinger and his exploits. According to legend, he killed 21 people, one for each year of his life, but the New Mexico Tourism Department puts the total closer to nine.

    The pardon dispute is the latest in a long-running fight over whether Garrett shot the real Kid or someone else and then lied about it. Some history buffs claim Billy the Kid didn't die in the shootout with Garrett and landed in Texas, where he went by "Brushy Bill" Roberts and died of a heart attack at age 90 in 1950.

    Richardson joined the tussle in 2003 by supporting a plan by then-Lincoln County Sheriff Tom Sullivan to reinvestigate the century-old case.

    The governor said he was willing to consider a pardon for the Kid — something the outlaw hoped for but never received from New Mexico territorial Gov. Lew Wallace.

    "Governor Richardson has always said that he would consider making good on Governor Wallace's promise to Billy the Kid for a pardon," Richardson spokeswoman Alarie Ray-Garcia said Thursday. "He is aware of the Garrett family's concerns and will be meeting with them next week."

    Susan Floyd Garrett of Santa Fe is one of the grandchildren who signed the letter to Richardson. She said the family decided to speak out because a pardon represents a "defamation of character" to their grandfather. She described the Kid as a "gangster."

    "Everybody wants to mythologize Billy the Kid," she said.

    Garrett and her brother, Jarvis Patrick Garrett, met Thursday with descendants of another key figure in the Kid's story — John Henry Tunstall, a rancher whose murder in 1878 triggered a bloody feud known as the Lincoln County War. Billy the Kid, also known as William Bonney, worked as a ranch hand for Tunstall.

    Hilary Tunstall-Behrens of London, a great-nephew of Tunstall, said he's not backing a modern-day pardon for the Kid.

    "I wouldn't join the cause," said Tunstall-Behrens, 83. "There is so much strong feelings."

    Gale Cooper, an amateur historian who lives near Albuquerque, said a pardon by Richardson would be the "culmination of the hoax that contended Pat Garrett was a nefarious killer and Billy was not buried in his grave."

    Cooper has written a book, "MegaHoax," to debunk claims that Garrett killed someone other than the Kid.

    After serving as Lincoln County sheriff, Garrett's career soured. He ran unsuccessfully for higher political office, served as a customs collector, but ran into financial problems as a rancher.

    He was shot and killed in 1908 in a dispute over his land

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  2. #2
    Master Bluesman Elwood P.'s Avatar
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    05.20.18 @ 09:12 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilovevh View Post
    Some history buffs claim Billy the Kid didn't die in the shootout with Garrett and landed in Texas, where he went by "Brushy Bill" Roberts and died of a heart attack at age 90 in 1950.
    My Dad had that book about Brushy Bill Roberts, I read it years ago. It was very interesting. I don't know if he was Billy but he must have hung out either with him or around the same area. Young Guns II was loosely based on his story.
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  3. #3
    Atomic Punk Bad to the Bone's Avatar
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    05.05.18 @ 04:30 AM
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    there is a ton of controversy as to wether Pat Garret killed the real billy anyway. I honestly believe he didn't. there are to many shady details about it. Either way he shot and killed the guy in the dark like a coward. He never had anyone officially look at the body and hurried through a real fast burial.

    there are 2 people who have been thought to be the actual Kid, one was bushy bill and there was another-can't remember his name right now.

    young guns 1 was closer to the actual storyline of the regulators, not 100% accurate but it was decent. Young guns 2....not so much.

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    05.20.18 @ 04:18 AM
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    Doesn't New Mexico have bigger issues to deal with?

    Outside of a handful of people, whatever the decision is it will have zero impact on the state he is in charge of.

    Why waste his time with this?
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  5. #5
    Atomic Punk TheresOnlyOneWay's Avatar
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    05.20.18 @ 07:40 AM
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  6. #6
    Gird your loins Daisy Hill's Avatar
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    05.19.18 @ 08:14 AM
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    not to derail this from the YGI vs YGII vs Tombstone debate (and frankly The Shootist blows them all out of the water anyway) but why would the Garrett family think that finally giving Billy the Kid the pardon he was promised would be an insult to Pat isn't as tho the pardon is being discussed in terms of reparation for the Kid's's just making good on a government promise long after the Kid kept his part of the deal.

    anyway if the Gov is looking to make right on promises he might want to take a look at the brutal removal of the Yavapai and Apache from New Mexico lands ceeded to them by treaty and their subsequent decades long internment/exile

    ...just sayin...

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  7. #7
    Atomic Punk Wruff_ajax's Avatar
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    05.20.18 @ 08:08 AM
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    Wasn't the Kid promised amnesty which was later withdrawn after he'd already held up his end of the bargain??
    Maybe he should be pardoned. So what about Garrett's family not wanting it now. Garrett shot an unsuspecting Billy in the dark didn't he? And they were friends man.
    Sounds like Sheriff Brady had it coming in the first place anyway.

    Last edited by billy007; 08.05.10 at 05:22 AM.

  8. #8
    Eruption C5A1B5O0's Avatar
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    04.24.17 @ 10:10 PM
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  9. #9
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    05.18.18 @ 03:21 AM
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    Let the Gov pardon Billy. Who cares what Garrett's family says. People say Pat shot Billy in the back, that's pretty damn cowardly I would think.
    Last edited by billy007; 08.04.10 at 05:14 PM.
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