Tuesday, October 24th, 2006

Billy’s DNA

Part of the myth of Billy the Kid is that he “somehow” escaped being killed by Pat Garrett in 1881 and lived out his life quietly and (mostly) honestly.

Not very likely.

One of the supposed Billy’s is a John Miller, who died March 12, 1937 at the Pioneers’ Retirement Home in Prescott, Arizona. It is said he never claimed publicly (except when drunk) to be Billy, but his friends identified him as such.

Here are Billy (left) and John.

On May 19, 2005, Tom Sullivan, former sheriff of Lincoln County, New Mexico, and Steve Sederwall, former mayor of Capitan, New Mexico, exhumed Tom Miller’s body from the cemetery at the Pioneers’ Home.

Miller’s grave was unmarked. When they dug it up, they found 2 skeletons. The second one was William Hudspeth, a cattleman who died 3 days before Miller.

They were given permission to dig up Miller’s grave by the former superintendent of the Pioneers’ Home, but not to remove the remains, which they did. Sullivan and Sederwall took the remains to get a DNA sample and to separate Miller’s remains from Hudspeth’s.

Arizona authorities had threatened to charge Sullivan and Sederwall with grave robbing, but announced today that the two would not be charged.

The results of the DNA tests are not known at this time.

See also:
Billy the Kid’s Grave
Did Billy the Kid Stay at La Posta in Mesilla?
Mesilla Museum Display
Billy the Kid Display – Mesilla
Saving the Pat Garrett Marker
Old Mesilla Courthouse
Billy the Kid

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