This thoroughly researched work offers a new—and refreshingly realistic—look at the famous outlaw. Having combed interviews, memoirs, and primary documents, Weddle examines the family and community that produced Billy. He also debunks a number of misconceptions and falsehoods. Billy's childhood buddies in Silver City, New Mexico, remembered a smart, ambitious youth with a strong, loving mother and a distant stepfather. Acquaintances at Camp Grant, Arizona Territory, knew a resourceful teenager versed in the lawless ways of frontier survival. Both perspectives add up to a vivid and very human story. Previously unpublished photographs round out this volume.
"Jerry Weddle, master researcher and consummate grassroots historian, has made a major contribution to Billy the Kid scholarship. This book is must reading for anyone interested in the historical Billy."—Professor Paul Andrew Hutton, Executive Director, The Western History Association