​Billy the Kid’s 2,000 Pound Tombstone Vandalized In New Mexico

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July 8, 2012

Somebody went and vandalized Billy The Kid’s tombstone, which is a 2,000-pound gravestone, and while they were at it, they stole three antique rifles and a shotgun from the old Fort Sumner Museum in New Mexico.

The thieves also vandalized other gravestones in the cemetery. 

De Baca County authorities said that the criminals were still at large and that there is a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest.

Billy the Kid, born William Henry McCarty, Jr. in 1859, became a famed outlaw in the Wild West who according to legend killed 21 people, although it is generally believed that he actually killed between four and nine people. 

He was a central figure in a violent, Irish-English land war in New Mexico, and was beloved by Mexican-American ranchers who felt discriminated against by racist white bankers and land thieves.

The Kid’s end came only after he refused to abandon his Mexican-American teen girlfriend.

Most likely born in New York City, he came to New Mexico with his mother while searching for a better economic future.

It was in Silver City, N.M., that a young Billy the Kid learned Spanish and Mexican dances as he mingled easily among the territory’s large Mexican-American population when others from the East Coast didn’t even bother, according to Paul Hutton, a University of New Mexico American West historian, who appears in the new film.

When his mother died of tuberculosis when he was 15, Billy the Kid was left an orphan and raised largely by Mexican-American ranchers and sheepherders.

This helped the Kid later when he was on the run from the law and was given shelter by poor Mexican-Americans ranchers he befriended, Hutton said.