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[00:00:04]

Hey, and welcome to the short stuff, I'm Josh. And there's Chuck, and we're just this is short stuff. So let's go.

[00:00:11]

So we're talking today about the death of Billy the Kid, which I thought I learned from a Billy Joel song called The Ballad of Billy the Kid.

[00:00:20]

Seems like an appropriate place to learn a great song.

[00:00:23]

But it turns out that Billy Joel stopped at the what was to be the hanging of Billy the Kid and growing up. I thought that's how his story ended. Boy, you are misinformed, buddy. Yeah.

[00:00:36]

I mean, that song literally stops with the townfolk in their kin, like the sea came rolling in to watch the hanging of Billy the Kid. Then there's one more chorus and that's it.

[00:00:48]

You know, now that it makes me question if whether we really did start the fire, a, did you see that video of him playing the piano on the street the other day and.

[00:00:58]

Wherever he's from, no island, no, I did see a tweet that mentioned it in a link that I surmised from the headline What had happened? So, yeah, basically it was pretty neat. Someone is thrown out a piano and Billy Joel goes over there. He's playing it. He's like, he's a good piano. It's out of tune, but he's got good actions to pedals where you said someone should donate this thing. It sounds like he's like Rodney Dangerfield now.

[00:01:23]

He's not too far off.

[00:01:25]

So now it turns out that Billy the Kid, everything I know about Billy the Kid, I learned from young guns in Billy the Kid didn't die at all. He went on to live to about 100 hundred something years old in New Mexico because he escaped and his death was faked.

[00:01:42]

That's right. It was. Was that a Amelia? Was he Billy? Yes. Yes. Yeah. And man, that was a great movie to me.

[00:01:50]

Billy the Kid is Kris Kristofferson from the great, great Sam Peckinpah movie.

[00:01:55]

Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.

[00:01:57]

I never saw that one. Well, there's two versions. See if you can watch the director's cut because the other one's a mess. Oh, is that right? It's like a hurricanes episode. Yeah. And funny enough, you mentioned Hurricane Bob Dylan is in that movie. And does the soundtrack in score.

[00:02:10]

Who does he play in the movie? Let me guess. The undertaker. No, know.

[00:02:14]

Something like that. I think he's just like a stranger in town. That does a couple of things. It's not a big part. Sam Peckinpah was a Bob Dylan fan. Sure, he did tons of drugs and was an alcoholic.

[00:02:25]

Sure. But Bob Dylan fan. Yeah, man. Huh.

[00:02:31]

All right. So can we get going on this? This is a short stuff. We wasted three and a half minutes. Well, we'll just say this. Billy the Kid died. That's that. That's right.

[00:02:42]

I think we should kind of reverse this a little bit and talk a little bit about Billy the Kid first.

[00:02:46]

Yeah, I agree. Did you know he was a born New Yorker? I did, because I've I'm kind of into these old West dudes and I've researched some of them to certain degrees. And he was born William Henry McCarty Junior. And if you've heard the name William Bonney, that was a name he went by a lot. Yeah. I think you've heard William Bonney a lot more probably than McHardy.

[00:03:06]

Yeah, for sure. I actually had never heard what Henry McCarty until today.

[00:03:11]

Yeah. And he was orphaned at 14 and became one of the Lincoln County regulators. Yeah.

[00:03:17]

And so regulators will sound familiar if one. You are a young guns fan or if you're a Nate Dogg and Warren G fan. Either way, the regulators were kind of a group of hired hands for a guy and hired guns, I believe two young ones for a guy named Tunstall, I believe Ghana in Lincoln County, New Mexico, and Tunstall was killed. From what I understand, fairly unfairly. And that kind of set, Billy the Kid and his posse of regulators off on a bit of a killing spree at sort of what's known as the Lincoln County war.

[00:03:59]

That's right. And during one of those skirmishes, there was some murders that happened. And Pat Garrett, who's a sheriff in New Mexico, played by James Coburn in the Bob Dylan movie played by Bob Dylan in Young Guns.

[00:04:19]

He was I haven't seen young guns a long time. That was a big college movie for us. I need to see that again.

[00:04:24]

It was like it didn't come out when you're in college. Sure. No. Yeah, I don't think so. Look it up and I'll keep going. All right. I'm gonna have to leave corrections. So Pat Garrett formed a posse. Captured Billy. And that part of the Billy Joel song checks out. And he was sentenced to hang. They captured him at Stinking Springs, New Mexico. And while he was awaiting his execution, he was kept in a it was even a prison.

[00:04:55]

It was a room, a locked room at the Lincoln County courthouse. I found this article says two. I heard a saw there were five other prisoners. Regardless, there were other prisoners being guarded by some armed men.

[00:05:09]

One of them was an enemy of Billy's named Bob Olinger.

[00:05:13]

And at one point, he took all the rest of the guys over to a hotel across the street to eat, left Billy there under the charge of Deputy James Bell.

[00:05:23]

Man, these are some great old timey old West names, aren't they? When was a young guns out? 88. So if you if you were in college at age 17, then I'm impressed. I said it was a big movie in college.

[00:05:36]

I didn't say it came out and I asked you if it came on college.

[00:05:39]

You said, Oh yeah, I thought you mean, was it out in college as if it came out after 1996? No, I said Chuck and George listening to that, thought that that that's what I meant.

[00:05:50]

Now, it came out in high school, but we watch the heck out of it in college. Now, whatever I should have, I should it's.

[00:05:57]

So James Bell is watching Billy. Billy says, hey, got his bathroom. Can you take me out to the outhouse?

[00:06:04]

He said, I've really got to go. He's shackled. His arms and legs are shackled. Take him out. Use the bathroom on the way back in. They're going up the steps. Billy's in front. And the account I read was that he ducked around a blind corner, got his hands out, and then smashed this guy in the head with his arm irons. The guy went, what?

[00:06:27]

Billy pulled his gun from his holster. The other guy's shoulder. Yeah. Yeah. Course Billy didn't have a gun on him. No. Why would they do that? He's like, why? I think you're using that first.

[00:06:37]

You're like, well, he's in handcuffs. Just go ahead and keep his gun on him. And so he pulls the guy's gun on him. And the guy tries to run and Billy shoots him dead in the back.

[00:06:47]

And so now, roughly, we reached the end of the Billy Joel song, which I think is a good time for an ad break. What do you think? Sure. We'll be right back. Environments. It was an unimaginable crime. We couldn't believe something like that. What happened here? Eight people dead, all from the same family. It would become the largest criminal investigation in Ohio's history. County sheriffs requested state help immediately after they got word.

[00:07:29]

Nobody had a clue about, oh, who or why. And that's really scary. You're trying to piece together a puzzle that seems to not have any pieces to it. I mean, where do you go with this?

[00:07:43]

Could it be a cover up? And would another family be next? You got eight people and things like that don't usually happen in a small town. I mean, they don't usually happen anywhere. This is the PYKEN massacre. Listen to the piped in massacre on Wednesday, July twenty ninth on the I Heart radio app, Apple podcasts over ever you get your podcasts. What if you could make yourself happier every day in every aspect of your life? There is a way 90 percent of Americans say that grateful people are happier and more satisfied and they're on to something.

[00:08:24]

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[00:08:38]

Amazingly, gratitude works to improve your mood no matter what's going on in the world. So even if you're feeling a little grumpy these days, you can start changing your perspective and feeling more positive about yourself, your friends, your family and even your job and finances. I'm Janice Kaplan. Join me for The Gratitude Diaries every Monday through Friday on the I Heart radio app, Apple podcast, or ever you get your podcasts.

[00:09:11]

All right, Chuck, we're back. And Billy the Kid has just shot the deputy that's in charge of watching him. Another deputy runs back or runs back from the hotel Ellinger. OK. Olinger apparently, as he's running and he hears his name and looks up and Billy, the kid's got Olinger his own rifle on him and shoots him dead like a dog in the street. So, Billy, the kids killed two people. Now he's out of his shackles and he grabs a horse and hightails it out of town for a life on the run.

[00:09:46]

That would last about four more months. Yeah.

[00:09:50]

That's the only dispute I have with that account as it supposedly took him about an hour to get out of his leg shackles with an axe. Mm hmm.

[00:09:58]

And I guess no one just came up there when Olinger came to find a Billy actually yelled down, look up, old boy and see what you get.

[00:10:08]

Wow. And that's the last words that he heard. Wow. So Billy's on the run at this point.

[00:10:15]

And obviously, Pat Garrett has a bee in his bonnet to go get him again. Well, sure.

[00:10:23]

He's the sheriff of Lincoln County. And Billy the Kid, who's become one of the most notorious bandits in the country, has just escaped out from under his watch. So, yeah, there's a reward. Well, sure, there's a reward, too. So Pat Garrett had this history of lying in wait in ambushing people and shooting them, whether they were ready to shoot back or not, killing them very frequently. He'd done it before and he went, he'll do it again.

[00:10:51]

He went to go look for Billy the Kid. Like we said, he he made his way as an outlaw, like a double outlaw. By this point on the lam for a good four months before he was caught up with a guy, you think still in New Mexico in July of 1881. And he apparently was staying at the house or nearby the house of a friend named Peter Maxwell. And Peter Maxwell had a younger sister that Billy the Kid was sweet on.

[00:11:23]

And Peter Maxwell didn't like the Billy the Kid was sweet on her. And by sweet on her, I mean that they were having extra marital sexual relations. And Peter didn't like that because he was planning on marrying off his his sister to a rich land baron nearby. And Billy the Kid was kind of toying with that possibility. So Peter Maxwell is in this kind of mindset, allegedly, when Pat Garrett shows up. That's right.

[00:11:51]

Garrett shows up. This is it.

[00:11:54]

Well, he doesn't show up at night, but eventually night falls and. Well, actually, maybe he did show up because supposedly he he found him asleep.

[00:12:03]

Pete Maxwell, that is Garrett a very presumptuously goes into his room and sits down next to him and says, Petey, wake up, wake up.

[00:12:14]

And then he wakes up and he says, Where's that Billy the Kid? And as the story goes and we're going to poke holes at it in a second. Right. Then Billy the Kid actually walks into that room, that doggone room, and has a gun and a knife because he had just went to cut some meat off. He was hungry, I guess after some. He had postcoital hunger pains. Sure. And carved some meat off and was from a yearling, supposedly, and had just a little bit.

[00:12:44]

And he has a knife and a gun and can't really see in the dark and starts going keenness, keenness.

[00:12:50]

Spanish for who is it, who's there and Maxwell or I'm sorry, Pat Garrett supposedly recognizes the voice as Billy in the dark and shoots him dead.

[00:13:01]

Yeah. And I just want to make sure we're all on the same page here, a yearling is a young horse. He after some horse meat to eat. That's right.

[00:13:12]

So this is the death, as far as Pat Garrett said of Billy the Kid. But like we said before, Pat Garrett already kind of had developed a reputation of ambushing people, of lying in wait. Catching him off guard when they least expected it. And even in this story that he told this, this is the official line that Pat Garrett told in the biography he wrote about Billy the Kid and that that was how he died. But even that which is kind of on the edges of fare is disputed, is probably untrue, and that the the truth is probably involved even more of an ambush and more surprise and even less of Billy the Kid being able to defend himself than that.

[00:13:55]

Yeah, I think the other version is that he was actually ambushed and set up by Maxwell because he didn't like him being with Paulita, his little sister, and basically said, hey, man, it's it's all going down here. And here's your here's your chance to come over to Fort Sumner and take care of this kid once and for all. And so he did so. And a lot of people say that's how it really went down and. Yeah.

[00:14:19]

And he tipped off Pat Garrett, right? Yeah. And that he, in fact, even changed his age. Who was he was supposedly like 18 or 19 when he was shot dead and said, no, no, no. He was really 21. So I didn't have this extra judicial kill killing of some kid. He was a full grown man. It was just happenstance that he happened to walk in the room where I was sitting there with a loaded gun.

[00:14:43]

Yeah. And the other people, historians think, like probably Billy the Kid didn't walk in with a gun and a knife looking for some yearling me. He probably walked in fully unarmed. Espie expecting Pete Maxwell's sister to be waiting for him there. And instead, Pat Garrett in his gun was waiting for him there. So he probably was fully ambushed and killed. Murdered, I guess is the other way to put it. And that's probably how Billy the Kid died.

[00:15:09]

Either way, he died at the other end of Pat Garrett's gun. That much we know about.

[00:15:14]

Right. Even though there are were and have been rumors over the years that he was in cahoots with Pat Garrett and he let him escape and that he lived to be a ripe old age. There've been exhumations. There've been DNA tests over the years. Obviously, nothing's ever come back with any sort of conclusion. Young guns seem to be pretty conclusive. I got a little cherry on top, too, if you're interested. Let's hear it. You know that very famous picture of Billy the Kid, huh?

[00:15:44]

Sort of one of two, although the second one, they aren't quite sure it's him. But there's that one very, very famous ferret type, which is a picture on like a metal plate. That photo, that Ferrell type, the original plate was bought for two point three million dollars by none other than William Cook. Who is that? The Coke Brothers. Oh, yeah, I forgot. He's super into Lake Old West stuff, apparently. Yeah, I forgot about that.

[00:16:13]

Well, that's pretty interesting. Quite a quite a quite quite a cherry on top. I'm glad Alienware gets what he wants in the end.

[00:16:21]

As for Garrett, he was originally denied the five hundred dollar reward. A bunch of the cities felt bad for him and raised seven thousand dollars.

[00:16:32]

And then a year later, there was a, I think an injunction or a vote or something where he actually finally got the reward. So in today's dollars, supposedly, if that all checks out, he got about two hundred and something thousand dollars for killing Billy the Kid, is he?

[00:16:48]

He's like that barista from Starbucks who refuse service to that woman who wouldn't wear a mask. Now they're rich, right?

[00:16:56]

Hannah, I don't serve anyone coffee without a mask. Some money they give will certainly go fund me for Chuck, everybody. Well, that's it for short stuff, right, Chuck? That's right. Giddy up.

[00:17:10]

Stuff you should know is a production of heart radio's how stuff works. For more podcasts, My Heart Radio is at the radio app Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite shows.