The Return of Billy the Kid … Photo 3

15 Dec

– windstruck

So here is the last of the 3 recently tintype images if Billy the Kid:
the Justin Shaw tintype.
Which in several ways is remarkable. 

Firstly let me say that it’s absolutely incredible
that even ONE photo image of Billy the Kid would be discovered!
But 3!!! – within a few years of each other!
Rather incredible.

Secondly – in each instance, the finder DID NOT initially
KNOW what he had acquired!
– often for a considerable amount of time. 

In other words, these images may never have come to light.
One has to wonder what else may be out there??

Purchased on EBAY!!??? Really!!!???
This thing just gets more incredible as you go along. 

Perhaps the most interesting thing about Shaw’s image
is that although 
he cannot establish provinence/authenticity,
his image is the best quality of 
all existing images of The Kid.
I’ve gotta figure that somebody will still offer him pretty
big nickel for it. 

The image raises lots of questions:
When? Why? was it taken?
Was the Kid applying for a job at Pinkerton’s? (joke).
Making application for a pardon? (possible).
and who is that other guy? I’m sure he’s not
just a bystander who jumped into the pic. 

Mystery’s that may never be answered.
– about probably 
the most enigmatic character in Western History:

May he never rest in peace.  

12 Responses to “The Return of Billy the Kid … Photo 3”

  1. Marilyn Armstrong December 15, 2017 at 10:34 pm #

    There have been discoveries of piles of these glass images. The have found a huge number of them of Abraham Lincoln, who was an enthusiastic photo subject. Apparently having your picture taken was a very cool thing to do. What is surprising is that so many of the glass negatives survived. They are transferring the pictures into digital form so they will survive There were a lot of pictures taken of many, many people, and apparently there were also quite a lot of photographers in the old west.


  2. jcalberta December 16, 2017 at 1:36 am #

    It’s understandable that Lincoln would have lots of pics for sure. But the Kid?
    Yeah, it’s surprising that so many images have survived. Hope there’s more.


  3. Don Ostertag December 17, 2017 at 5:05 pm #

    These were so cool. Thanks for posting them JC


    • jcalberta December 17, 2017 at 6:36 pm #

      Thanks a lot Don! I’ve since discovered that there’s at least 2 other pics that have been brought forward. I’ll have to check them out.
      Have a Great Christmas!


  4. Justin Shaw February 1, 2018 at 8:01 am #

    It would’ve been worth a hefty nickel, but unfortunately it was stolen from me back in 2013. The only photos that (legally) survive with attachment to the Upstate Billy the Kid are 2: 8X10 1,800 dpi photocopies of the original tintype. 1 belonging to me & the other gifted to a friend. The tintype itself either found its way to the black market, or the garbage, when the thief realized the implications of stealing a famous 1 of a kind item. Grand Larceny. It’s been an absolutely devastating experience… Thank you for your support though 🙂


    • jcalberta February 1, 2018 at 3:46 pm #

      Very sorry to hear about that Justin. I believe that photo must still exist though. Possibly sold privately. Only an idiot would throw it away. It is grand larceny for sure. Very rare stuff. I hope you get some justice some day.


    • Andrew McCarty October 24, 2018 at 12:44 pm #

      I’m positive that is henry mccarty. my name is Andrew mccarty and the guy believed to be Henry’s father is directly related to me through my family tree. also your picture looks like me while the original reminds me personally of my brother. family moved to New York then to Indiana then Iowa where there is still a family farm. my line moved to Minnesota after that


      • jcalberta October 24, 2018 at 7:46 pm #

        I surely feel the images are authentic. Yes. I’m sure the McCarty family tree can verify that. Thanks.


      • btkupstate December 6, 2018 at 2:09 am #

        Interesting! I wonder if we can establish a genealogical link between you Andrew, and Joseph and Catherine (Stevens) McCarty of Mitchell/Marion Township, Indiana…
        If you think that my Mystery in the Upstate image is good, wait til you see my newest discovery.
        Chapter: Lincoln County Warriors
        This will blow your mind!


    • Jeff June 5, 2020 at 3:21 pm #

      What about the photo/painting of McCarty on


  5. Mary Frances Simmonsl August 4, 2019 at 2:52 am #

    My name is Mary Frances Kelly
    My Great Great Grandmother was Mary Ann McCarty.. Her father my Great Great Great Grandfather was the first BlackSmith to come to Coryell County Gatesville Texas. His name was Daniel Thomas McCarty. She also had a brother my Great Great Uncle named Daniel. I believe he was a Jr. Grandma MaryAnn married William KELLY in Big Daniels home and they moved to Jonesboro Texas Coryell County. Where they had 12 children. And 5 survived long lives. My Great Great Grandfather David Reese Kelly and My Grandpa Virgel Isaac Kelly. But I don’t know who Big Daniels wife was? Just that he remarried after MaryAnn was born. That she remembered being on a boat that sank near Galveston Texas.And lost her trunk of belongings. The Kelly’s came out of the the Old Original 300 Settlers with Stephen F.Austin. And all had relatives in the deep South.Where they would go back and visit. Eventually my Great Great Uncle William Louis Kelly stayed and opened a mattress factory in Robstown. My Big Grandpa David Reece Kelly and My Grandpa went to help. They had family in Presidio, Refugio, and My Uncle and Dad where born in Harlingen. They eventually came back home. Where they ended up in Waco Texas.MCLENNAN County not far from Jonesboro. We have a Family CEMETERY across from the old Homestead of William and MaryAnn McCarty Kelly. My Grandpa told me stories that he heard from the family about Billy The Kid. I asked him was he really killed?? My Grandpa was a quite and honest Man.And would tell you if it was bull!! He looked at me with a grin ( like he knew something that was supposed to be a secret!!) Then stood up and said….HeckNo!! To dang contrary!! I asked him if he ever met him. He said yep! Still with that grin. He’s up yonder close to Jonesboro.Papa did some work for him now and then.I asked him what he looked liked? He laughed and said just and ordinary man. Not a big feller bout the same size as your Great Great Grandfather- William Kelly was about 5″7. Course he was a Grown man by then. Had bullet scars all over him. He’d done settled down and had himself family and small place like my Grandpa.And I think he raised some ponies.(That’s what my Grandpa ALWAYS called horses.) Then my Grandpa said You’d be amazed how many outlaws supposedly dead WERE still roaming around after supposedly been shot and killed. They just finally got away from it all and lived full lives. Jesse James lived right over yonder in a little white house. Nicest man you could meet!! We did some mattress and upholstery work for him. He’d stop by and talk to Papa every now in then. Reckon they just got tired of running and the law got tired of chasing.


    • jcalberta August 4, 2019 at 11:08 am #

      When I initially heard that The Kid might have survived I didn’t give it much credence. But as time went on, it started to make more and more sense. Knowing that Garrett and Billy were once friends they could have fixed the whole thing quite easily. Wouldn’t have been the first time such things were done.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: