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Billy the Kid: An Autobiography: The Story of Brushy Bill Roberts
In 1882 a notorious outlaw by the name of Jesse Evans, a childhood friend of Billy the Kid and a participant in the Lincoln County War, walked out of jail after serving a sentence for killing a Texas ranger. Jesse walked out of prison a free man and disappeared, never to be heard from again. Never, that is, until 1949 when Jesse came out of hiding after almost 60 years to claim an inheritance left to him by his brother.
In the course of proving his identity to a court Jesse told some amazing stories of his time when he was an outlaw but his biggest revelation of all was that his good friend Billy the Kid was still alive. Jesse led a young lawyer named William Morrison to an old man named not William H. Bonney but William H. “Brushy Bill” Roberts who after some consideration finally agreed to come forward and reveal himself as Billy the Kid. He agreed to this on one condition. This condition was that the lawyer help him obtain the pardon he was promised by the Governor but never received so he could die a free man.
You see, Billy the Kid was still wanted for murder and was condemned to hang. To come forward and reveal himself was to risk being arrested and put to death. This was a risk that Brushy Bill Roberts was willing to take. He sat down with Mr. Morrison and told his story.
This book contains that story. It is the one true autobiography of Billy the Kid. A story that aside from some definite highlights and adventures that one would expect from the Kid, was remarkable normal and focused on his skill breaking horses as much or as more as his skill as a gunslinger. Billy the Kid was, in fact, just a gifted young cowhand who found himself juxtaposed against corrupt officials and lawmen at what became a key moment in American History.
Before one dismisses Mr. Roberts it should be considered that 5 living acquaintances of Billy the Kid, aside from Mr. Evans who revealed him, were willing to sign legal affidavits that Brushy Bill Roberts was the man they knew as Billy the Kid. Further, new photographic evidences shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that they were the same man. The story of Brushy Bill Roberts became the inspiration for the opening scene in hit movie “Young Guns II” starring Emilio Estevez as Billy the Kid. Also Consider that Pat Garrett was denied his reward for killing the kid for many months, and that only a special act of the legislature allowed him to finally receive it. Consider further that a contemporary newspaper reported, after seeing the body of the kid, that the Kid had tanned his skin and grown a beard to disguise himself as a Mexican which fits perfectly the local history that Pat Garrett killed the wrong man. All of this and more is contained in this book. Thanks to Mr. Morrison each of us can now pull up a chair, sit down across from Billy the Kid, and listen as he shares his story.
FAQ REGARDING THE STORY OF BRUSHY BILL ROBERTS
WHO WAS BRUSHY BILL ROBERTS?
To many in the small town of Hico, TX, Brushy Bill Roberts was simply a local frontier character. By the time he came to Hico, Brushy Bill was more than seventy years old. He spent most of his time chatting up the locals downtown and telling stories of his life on the frontier. From time to time, he would share with some that he “had a secret”, but he never revealed to anyone that he was the notorious outlaw Billy the Kid until he was discovered by researcher William V. Morrison in 1949.
WAS BRUSHY BILL ROBERTS REALLY BILLY THE KID?
Opinions vary on whether Brushy Bill Roberts was Billy the Kid. On the one hand, he sure did know quite a bit about the life of “the Kid”, including many things that historians of his time did not know and that were only proven to be true many years later. Further, William V. Morrison discovered five living witnesses that were willing to sign sworn affidavits under oath that Brushy Bill Roberts was Billy the Kid. The problem until recently has been the difficulty in proving many of Brushy Bill’s claims. Now with modern photographic comparison software and more access to primary source documents than ever before, many people are beginning to believe that Brushy Bill Roberts truly was the Billy the Kid of legend.
WASN’T BRUSHY BILL ROBERTS PROVEN TO BE A FRAUD YEARS AGO BY DNA EVIDENCE?
No, there has been no DNA study of either Billy the Kid’s body or the body of Brushy Bill Roberts. For one, the actual grave site of the Kid has been lost to history and there is no body. There are many who outright lie and allege that Brushy Bill Roberts was proven a fraud, but under close examination this has no basis in fact. In reality, the basis that Pat Garrett killed the Kid boils down to the fact that he and his cohorts said so, and that Bill the Kid never revealed himself publicly to dispute Garrett’s claims, at least not until 1950.
WHO WAS OLIVER PLEASANT ROBERTS?
Oliver P. Roberts was a cousin of Brushy Bill Roberts. According to Brushy, Oliver left home at an early age and was killed on the trail. Brushy Bill was working as a law enforcement officer at the time and discovered his cousin’s body. When he went to return the man’s belongings to his mother, she took him for her son and he claims he went along with the deception and kept the identity. Its important to remember that Oliver P. Roberts was a farmer and not an adventurer. Brushy Bill Roberts had numerous gun and knife scars on his body that indicated a life of combat fighting that were inconsistent with the life of a simple farmer. In addition, there is evidence in the historical record that seems to support the claims of Brushy Bill Roberts that he took on his cousin’s identity around 1910.
DOESN’T THE BIRTH DATE OF OLIVER P. ROBERTS PROVE THAT BRUSHY BILL ROBERTS WASN’T BILLY THE KID?
No. No one is claiming that Oliver P. Roberts was Billy the Kid. Oliver was a real person that was born in 1879. Brushy Bill Roberts simply assumed Oliver’s identity. Therefore, Oliver’s birth date would have no bearing whatsoever on Brushy Bill’s claims.
WHAT NEW EVIDENCE IS PROVIDED IN BILLY THE KID: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY TO SUPPORT THE CLAIMS OF BRUSHY BILL ROBERTS?
Author Daniel A. Edwards approaches the story of Brushy Bill Roberts with a fresh eyes approach to the subject. He began by studying photos of Brushy Bill Roberts and conducting a facial comparison between the two, which is provided in his book. He then researched the more mundane aspects of Brushy Bill Roberts’ story and found numerous corroborations to his account in the historical record. Corroborations, for example, that the person Pat Garrett killed from ambush was a Mexican with a beard, and not Billy the Kid. Edwards finds a trail of aliases and notable wild west characters that appear and disappear from history at precisely the times and places that Brushy Bill Roberts claims to have been, and doing the things that he claimed to do. What’s more, there are striking similarities in the aliases used, and in one case multiple photos that match Brushy Bill Roberts. This research is ground breaking and adds significantly more light to the subject.
ARE YOU SAYING PAT GARRETT WAS A LIAR?
Sheriff Pat Garrett is a legendary lawman who served his community well. He was fearless and professional, and always treated the Kid well, even in captivity. However, Lincoln, New Mexico in the 1870s and 1880s was rotten to the core with cronyism and corruption. President Ulysses S. Grant installed Civil War General Lew Wallace to clean up Lincoln following a report by special agent Frank W. Angel. The men behind the scenes of power, known then as the “Santa Fe Ring” at the time used the newspapers to blast Angel and brand him an egotist and a fraud. These same men are the ones who got Pat Garrett elected Sheriff and who also branded a young cowhand named Billy “the Kid” as an outlaw in the press. Author Daniel A. Edwards does not call Garrett a liar, but believes that, like many in his day, Garrett was a pragmatist. He had previously shot two men without warning in his attempt to get Billy the Kid (Tom O’Folliard and Charlie Bowdrie). According to Brushy Bill Roberts, in Ft. Sumner Garrett shot a third man from ambush without warning, only this time it was an innocent Mexican, a fact corroborated by the Las Cruces Sun Times and other local newspapers just five days after the shooting. Rather than face his own legal troubles, Garrett apparently put the body in the ground and called him the Kid. The reader can make up their own mind on this matter, but according to Brushy Bill Roberts, “Garrett would rather climb up a tree and tell a lie than stand on the ground and tell the truth.”
MORE INFORMATION AT: www.brushybillroberts.com
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