Billy the Kid.

A few years ago while hitchhiking in New Mexico I was lucky enough to be taken for a tour through the historical Lincoln town, famous for were Billy the Kid and the Regulators fought against Murphy and Dolan’s Posse during the Lincoln County War.

The gentleman named Bruce who picked me up, drove us towards Lincoln via the Billy the Kid scenic highway, a beautiful winding road lined with tall trees and countryside. Our first stop was at El Torrean, a defensive tower built in the 1850s, later used by Murphy’s sharpshooters in the Lincoln County War.

We next checked out the county jail were Billy was held prisoner before famously killing two guards and breaking out. Finally continuing on to have a look at a few more of the town’s historical buildings. The pictures were taken on my pink digital Kodak camera. (This was shortly before smartphones became very popular.)

Nowdays a peaceful tourist attraction, back in the Wild West era, Lincoln’s main street was reportedly known as the most dangerous street in the USA. In 1878, Billy the Kid along with other farm hands and town citizens set up Wild West gang The Regulators, to avenge the murder of English cattle farmer and store owner John Henry Turnstall, killed by the town Sheriff Brady and his Posse, acting on behalf of rival store owners Murphy and Dolan. Prior to Turnstall’s arrival Murphy and Dolan had controlled the economy of Lincoln town.

The ensuing battle between the Regulators and Murphy and Dolans posse became the Lincoln County war lasting for almost two years, during which Billy the Kid shot and killed Sheriff Brady. Billy the Kid was captured during a final standoff when the McSween house he and other Regulators were holed up in was set alight and they were captured escaping.

Billy the Kid was sentenced to death for the shooting of Sheriff Brady but managed to escape from jail after killing two guards, deputies James Bell and Robert Olinger. In 1891 at the age of 21, he was captured and shot dead by Sheriff Pat Garrett in Fort Sumner, New Mexico.

It was quite an uncanny coincidence that a couple days later in my trip, while hitching in Arizona, I came across a young hitchhiker who bore a very similar resemblance to Billy the Kid. We hung out for a couple days, hitching back to California togethor. The only photo I have off of the young man, who told me his name was Adam, is a picture of his backside, but to this day I still remember clearly the striking similarity.


Source of information:

Murder Ignites Lincoln County War. November 16, 2009. Retrieved from:


7 thoughts on “Billy the Kid.

  1. Wow! What an adventure. Hitchhiking with Billy the Kid’s doppelganger! I really enjoyed reading the story and learning something about the history of the Wild West!

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