Billy the Kid promotes New Mexico online


LINCOLN, N.M. – The New Mexico Tourism Department is paying homage to Billy the Kid with a Web site dedicated to his life, troubles and adventures.

Wild West aficionados usually travel to the Southern New Mexico town of Lincoln to celebrate the annual Old Lincoln Days and the Billy the Kid Pageant during Aug. 7-9. The Web site is designed especially for people who can’t make the trip.

The Web site,, also has links to maps and tours of Billy the Kid territory.

State Tourism Secretary Michael Cerletti said the site is “a travel experience unlike any other in New Mexico.”

Visitors will be able to retrace the steps of the famous outlaw and of Pat Garrett, the sheriff credited with shooting him.

Billy the Kid, whose real name was Henry McCarty, also had the alias of William H. Bonney. He created quite a history for himself, particularly in Mesilla, where he stood trial in April 1881 for the killing of Lincoln County Sheriff William Brady.

Billy the Kid, 21, was jailed in Mesilla, and his trial was held in a building that still stands at 2385 Calle de Guadalupe. The building is now the Billy The Kid Gift Shop.

On April 9, 1881, Billy the Kid was found guilty of murder, and four days later, he was sentenced to death by hanging by Judge Warren Bristol. He was taken back to Lincoln County.

But he eluded execution by shooting two of Sheriff Garrett’s deputies on April 28, 1881, after being returned to the Lincoln County jail.

Billy the Kid escaped, but Garrett caught up with him, and Billy was shot and killed on July 14, 1881, near Fort Sumner.