Henry McCarty, better known as Billy the Kid, was your real deal, Old Western cowboy in 19th century America. He was part of a gang called ‘Lincoln County Regulators’ and looked pretty swish in a black sombrero. He was a notorious participator in the ‘Lincoln County War’ and was outlawed after the four-day gunfight for apparently killing up to twenty-one men.
Until now, there has only been one confirmed photograph of the infamous gunman. However, in 2010, a California man named Randy Guijarro discovered a second picture in an antique shop that he suspected was of the legendary cowboy. The 4-by-5 inch photo, which Guijarro purchased for only $2, shows Billy the Kid playing a friendly game of croquet with family, friends and other members of the ‘Lincoln County Regulators’ gang in 1878.
Guijarro's discovery shows a completely different representation of the cowboy than the first photo which shows him formally posing with a holstered Colt pistol. David McCarthy, a senior numistatist at Kagin’s, shared his excitement about the image saying; "[Billy the Kid] wasn't shooting people all the time. He had friends he cared about. He had women he chased. [The photograph] opens up the idea about the humanity of a character.”
Guijarro spent a year working with experts on the image before he brought it to Kagin’s Inc., a company specializing in Western Americana. The firm not only confirmed his suspicions that the photo was of Billy the Kid, but also managed to confirm the image’s location. Don Kagin, the president of Kagin’s, said; "[We] nailed exactly not only the terrain, but the building [in the image]." The firm found that the building in the image was a 15-minute walk from the home of Billy the Kid's mentor, John Tunstall. The photograph has now been appraised and insured for $5 million and a documentary of the discovery will be aired on The National Geographic Channel tomorrow.