Is This Billy The Kid? $2 Junk-Shop Find Could Be A $5 Million Treasure
He may have been a legendary outlaw in the Old West, but Billy the Kid apparently enjoyed playing croquet.
A newly uncovered photo bought for $2 by collector Randy Guijarro at a secondhand store in Fresno, California, could be worth millions as authenticators believe it is only the second confirmed image of the famed outlaw.
“It’s the holy grail of not just western photography. It’s the holy grail of photography,” Jeff Aiello, executive director of the documentary “Billy the Kid: New Evidence,” told the San Francisco Chronicle. “It is the rarest photograph in the world and it was found in a Fresno junk shop.”
The image appears to show The Kid and his gang, The Regulators, playing croquet at a wedding in Lincoln County, New Mexico, late in the summer of 1878, according to Kagin’s, the numismatic company that authenticated it:
The man identified as Billy the Kid is standing fourth from the left, leaning on a croquet mallet and wearing a top hat, and someone appears to be pointing at him:
The Kid strikes a similar pose in the only other known image, leaning on his rifle instead of a mallet and wearing what might be the same hat. This image was bought in 2011 by billionaire William Koch for $2.3 million:
The new image has already been insured for $5 million.
Images that purport to show Billy the Kid make headlines from time to time, including one found just last year. All come with doubts over their authenticity, and experts at Kagin’s say they had doubts about this one as well.