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Started by Agaliarept on May 3, 2016 2:33:46 PM
Billy the Kid

I came across this page a long time ago. It shows evidence of someone who was possibly Billy the Kid.

I know from other forums and sites I've been to that the idea that John Miller is Billy the Kid is widely frowned upon.

I only have this site to go on but it seems quite a good claim.

Can anyone recommend any other good reading on the subject?

Agaliarept - 03 May 2016 14:34:49 (#1 of 39)

Evidence for John Miller as Billy the Kid

  • John Miller closely resembled Billy the Kid physically, having similar sloping shoulders, buck-teeth, out-turned thumbs, heavy brow, small hands, big ears, blue eyes, and numerous bullet wounds on his body.
  • He also resembled him in other characteristics, such as being fluent in Spanish, incredibly dexterous with pistols and rifles, having a penchant for making friends of just about everyone he knew, having a quick-temper and equally quick sense of humor, and being very generous.
  • According to his friends, Miller knew a tremendous amount about the life of Billy the Kid and the events of the Lincoln County War.
  • Miller reportedly was always on guard, acting like a man being hunted by the law. He seldom discussed his past openly, indicating he was hiding something.
  • Also according to his friends, Miller was an honest and trustworthy individual, not the type to lie. Therefore, when he confided in a select few that he was truly Billy the Kid, he was believed without question.
  • Miller was known to have a good rapport with cattle and horse thieves, which possibly stemmed from his time as Billy the Kid.
  • So far, no record of John Miller has been discovered before Aug. 8, 1881, less than a month after Billy the Kid was allegedly killed by Pat Garrett.

Evidence against John Miller as Billy the Kid

  • John Miller never told his story officially and the vast majority of his claim is based around second-hand information and speculation from those who knew him.
  • In a 1900 census report, Miller stated he was born in 1857. In a 1910 report, he claimed he was born in 1852. On the memorial plaque at the Pioneer Home Cemetery where Miller is buried, his birthdate is listed as 1850. All three of these dates would make Miller older than Billy the Kid. Although it's possible Miller would lie about his age to throw off potential pursuers, it's not likely he would make himself older, but younger, since the Kid was known to look far younger than he actually was.
  • Miller himself told several friends he only knew Billy the Kid, having worked as a ranchhand for the Chisum brothers.
  • Miller owned a .45 pistol with an extra-long barrel that he claimed he used as Billy the Kid. However, Billy was known to use .44s with normal sized barrels, or the smaller .41s. Furthermore, Miller's pistol had several notches on it, which he claimed were for the men he killed. Billy did not have such notches on his pistols, and it's doubtful that any other gunfighter did either.

Agaliarept - 03 May 2016 14:37:33 (#2 of 39)

I can also only find info online of the DNA test done on one of Mr The Kid's relatives where the results were seized and never released.

Will this one ever be 'solved'?

HouseOfLametta - 03 May 2016 15:05:19 (#3 of 39)

Well no, probably.

Here's the most recently discovered photo, Billy central.

One of the confounders here is that the Legend Of The West was being written as it happened. Just as its a shock to see Billy there looking nothing like our image from the westerns, it is a shock to realise that Bat Masterson, Tombstone Deputy and confederate of the Earps was Sky Masterson in the Damon Runyon stories after he moved to New York.

Any of these who survived were able to walk seamlessly from a heroic medieval world of legend, into a modern, technological world where they were already mythologised and the reality was already lost.

If you'd been knocking around Lincoln County in the 1870s, or close enough, wouldn't you give it a spin? There'd be a good few drinks in that.

If you'd been a teenage murderer, would you ever be careless enough to allow someone to prove it in your old age? It's nice to hint, but nooses chafe.

HouseOfLametta - 03 May 2016 15:08:29 (#4 of 39)

(He is playing croquet, by the way)

thisonehasalittlehat - 03 May 2016 15:08:32 (#5 of 39)

Young Guns II made this point in it's opening scene.

HouseOfLametta - 03 May 2016 15:09:39 (#6 of 39)

Well then, I see it's been covered.

Agaliarept - 03 May 2016 15:12:41 (#7 of 39)

(He is playing croquet, by the way)

Yeah I saw the stories when this photo was confirmed.

Young Guns II made this point in it's opening scene.

Odd that they chose Brushy Bill though when he's so easily disregarded.

thisonehasalittlehat - 03 May 2016 15:15:22 (#8 of 39)

This is the bit with an old billy the kid juxtaposed with (reletively) contemporary america and the shock realisation of quite how recent the history was:

HouseOfLametta - 03 May 2016 15:16:29 (#9 of 39)

Apropos of nothing, a friend of mine got to do some "Wild West Archeaology" at the scene of a payroll robbery in Colorado in the 1880s.

Much of it was done by locating bullets with a metal detector and recreating fields of fire and so on.

The detector went mad for a signal under what remained of the floor of a wooden shelter, pretty much unrecognisable.

When they pulled the floor up they found a skeleton with a schofield revolver, Spanish silver belt buckle and Mexican boots curled up around two flattened bullets.

Agaliarept - 03 May 2016 15:18:02 (#10 of 39)

This is the bit with an old billy the kid juxtaposed

It isn't Billy! But I get your point. That scene was always quite powerful.

A lot of those 'old west' stories have that. One of Wyatt Earp's pall bearers was Tom Mix. (according to the popular film)

Odd to think of film stars and old cowboys crossing times.

That's amazing HOL!

thisonehasalittlehat - 03 May 2016 15:19:22 (#11 of 39)

I think the film is implying he is Billy from memory although I've not watched it since I was 15!

Agaliarept - 03 May 2016 15:20:22 (#12 of 39)

I think the film is implying he is Billy

Yeah that's true. I think that is Emilio Estevez under all the make up.

Not sure if Brushy Bill was disproved after the film or not.

HouseOfLametta - 03 May 2016 15:21:51 (#13 of 39)

Isn't there quite reasonable evidence that Butch Cassidy (poss Sundance) ended up working at Ford (poss Chevrolet) in Detroit (poss South Bend)?

Agaliarept - 03 May 2016 15:26:39 (#14 of 39)

Isn't there quite reasonable evidence

I actually hadn't even heard of that! How did they escape the Bolivian army? Or is the claim that that was entirely fabricated?

thisonehasalittlehat - 03 May 2016 15:54:14 (#15 of 39)

Didn't they jump off a cliff?

Agaliarept - 03 May 2016 15:55:11 (#16 of 39)

That was an earlier scene.

thisonehasalittlehat - 03 May 2016 15:57:44 (#17 of 39)

Oh. Never seen it.

Agaliarept - 03 May 2016 15:59:17 (#18 of 39)

Here you go:

I always think in this film how much Redford looks like Bradley Pitts.

staticgirl - 03 May 2016 16:05:32 (#19 of 39)

#9 flipping great story HoL!

Yammoto - 03 May 2016 16:41:49 (#20 of 39)

Just reminded me of this which popped up on my FB at the w-e:
c/Wyatt-earp-1923-lg.jpg home in LA.

How many grew old and retired?!

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