Western outlaw Billy the Kid (1859 - 1881) was born Henry McCarty in New York City. He moved to New Mexico with his parents in 1874, and began his life of crime three years later when he a shot a man in an argument. As a fugitive, he took part in a variety of skirmishes until April 1881, when he was captured, convicted and sentenced to be hung. Learn the rest of the story at today's picks.
Webmistress Marcelle Brothers has been a Billy the Kid afficionado for fifteen years. Her passion lead her to create this website and co-find the Billy the Kid Historic Preservation Society. Visit for several Billy the Kid biographies (short and long versions), a filmography, maps, photos, and a lively discussion board. The Fact vs. Myth section provides a good overview of some of the "hogwash written about Billy the Kid." History vs. Young Guns dissects the popular Emilio Estevez movies, and explains which parts were not historically accurate.
This illustrated three-page article about Billy the Kid asks more questions than it answers, but I consider that a good thing. When you think of the old Wild West, what legendary outlaw comes to mind? What was the Wild West really like? Who was Billy the Kid? You can also explore other characters from the Gilded Age of American history (1878-1889) including Walt Whitman, Thomas Edison and Susan B. Anthony.
Turn on your speakers to enjoy this multimedia biography of "celebrity outlaw" Billy the Kid. It can be navigated by the timeline at the top, or by clicking on the left and right pistols. Be sure to mouse around each episode, because additional surprises (such as songs and newspaper clippings) are hidden there. At the bottom of the screen, you'll find links to Letters (correspondence between Billy and Governor Lew Wallace) and Bios (people who affected Billy's life.)
According to popular legend, Billy the Kid killed twenty-one people before his twenty-first birthday. "While doubt lingers over how many times he drew a bead on a man, there is no doubt that young Henry McCarty -- alias William H. Bonney, alias Billy the Kid charged to action like a wolverine to fresh blood." For high school students (and grownups) this CourtTV examination of Billy the Kid's life and legend is lively, but lengthy.
Scribe, the Lady Outlaw (also known as Susan M. Schulz-Jelley) offers up "some of the most infamous outlaws of the Wild West, including the likes of Billy the Kid and Jesse James." Best clicks are the first person accounts and interviews with dozens of people who actually met Billy the Kid (and uncovered from the Federal Writers Project of the Library of Congress.) Before you go, here's navigation tip: click on the pistol next to each article or site link. Even though the site names are underlined, they are not hotlinked.