Biography & MemoirSociety & CultureCriminal & Outlaw Biography & MemoirHistorical Biography & MemoirPublic Sphere Biography & MemoirTrue Crime
Did Pat Garrett kill the wrong man in 1881 in Fort Sumner, New Mexico, or did the outlaw known as Billy the Kid live on as William Henry Roberts until 1948? W.C. Jameson analyzes the evidence, including use of new technology to produce a compelling case for Billy's survival. Heralded by Booklist as an enjoyable reexamination of a legendary piece of Americana, this book traces the life of the famous desperado and the controversy that still is debated today. Now in paperback!
"Billy the Kid: Beyond the Grave" by W.C. Jameson is fascinating reading. Whether or not you believe the conspiracy that Jameson alleges took place, the historical detail of a little known conflict (the Lincoln County War) and the many intriguing characters that participated, along with the rough American West, makes for quite a literary journey. Jameson's story centers on Bill Roberts, a man who died at 90 in Texas, who claimed to be Billy the Kid. His story is that Pat Garrett passed off a buddy of his, who he shot by mistake, as the Kid in order to collect the bounty that was on the Kid's head and advance his own political career. Such a tactic would have been much easier in 1881, when very few people knew exactly what Billy the Kid looked like - - most went on legend or newspaper drawings. Jameson presents a very detailed outline of why Roberts could have been the notorious outlaw - - as an earlier reviewer pointed out, there is no smoking gun here, no "a-ha!" solution, but there is some solid background. Was Bill Roberts the Wild West gunslinger, who managed a narrow escape from the law? Or was he a confused, publicity seeking old man? This book will probably not convince those devout historians who believe without a doubt that Pat Garrett sent Billy the Kid into the hereafter in 1881 in New Mexico. For those who may know little about the Kid, or who are open minded about a possible conspiracy, it will be an exciting read. The book itself is not too long, just over 100 pages, and has a nice section of photographs. Definitely recommended for history buffs!read more