Billy the Kid once said that he killed twenty-one men—one for each year that he lived. While it’s more likely that he only killed eight or nine, this young outlaw was clearly deadly. But his brief and brutal life reveals how his tragic existence led him into a life of crime.
After growing up in poverty as an Irish immigrant in New York City and losing his father at a young age, Billy the Kid had to endure losing his mother when he was only fifteen. His stepfather walked out on him, and he was left with absolutely nothing. He turned to stealing, which started him out on a slippery slope that led him to murder after murder.
Billy the Kid has been lauded time and time again as a folk hero, even though he was a murderer. Yet, it’s easy to empathize with this young outlaw with a baby face and big blue eyes. His story is filled with jailbreaks, treachery, gangs, and bloodthirsty Old West feuds. He was vulnerable, naive, murderous, bloodthirsty, loyal, and charming, and all this made Billy the Kid the stuff of legend. But his story is entirely true…
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