For a hundred years or so, there was only one known photograph of William Bonney, also known as Billy the Kid. Two years ago, a second one surfaced of the outlaw playing croquet at a wedding. Frank Abrams, an attorney in North Carolina, saw that story and thought about a tintype he'd purchased for $10 at a flea market a few years earlier. It showed five cowboys posing as a group. Looking through other pictures of the Old West, Abrams was shocked to see a resemblance between the man at the right end of the group and Pat Garrett, the lawman who ultimately killed Billy the Kid. That made him wonder if the man appearing second from the left might be Billy himself.
Believing that his tintype photo might show the foes in happier times, Abrams spent months consulting with forensic analysts and professors, who confirmed that the photo likely depicts Billy the Kid and Garrett, according to Kim Vallez of Albuquerque’s KQRE News. A handwriting expert in Texas also matched a signature on the image to ten known samples of Garrett’s handwriting, reports Terry Tang of the Associated Press.
The 2015 image of Billy the Kid was valued at $5 million. Experts believe that the new picture with Garrett could fetch even more money. Read about the newly-discovered photograph of Billy the Kid, and about the relationship between him and Pat Garrett at Smithsonian.