Henry McCarty (1859 – July 14, 1881), also known as William H. Bonney, and known popularly as Billy the Kid, was an American Old West gunfighter who participated in New Mexico's Lincoln County War. He is known to have killed eight men. Before he started using the alias "William Bonney", McCarty's first arrest was for stealing food in late 1875, and within five months he was arrested for stealing clothing and firearms. Two days later, he escaped from jail and fled from New Mexico Territory into the neighboring Arizona Territory, making him both an outlaw and a federal fugitive. After murdering a blacksmith during an altercation in August 1877, Bonney became a wanted man in Arizona Territory and returned to New Mexico, where he joined a group of cattle rustlers. He became a well-known figure in the region when he joined the Regulators and took part in the Lincoln County War. In April 1878, the Regulators killed three men, including Lincoln County Sheriff William J. Brady and one of his deputies. Bonney and two other Regulators were later charged with killing all three men. Bonney's notoriety grew in December 1880 when the Las Vegas Gazette in Las Vegas, New Mexico, and The Sun in New York City carried stories about his crimes. Sheriff Pat Garrett captured Bonney later that month.
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