Billy’s Bro

Billy the Kid brother

Billy the Kid had a brother, or perhaps, a half-brother named Joe. Around 1880 he moved to Trinidad, Colorado where he made his living as a professional gambler.  There was some newspaper gossip claiming he was planning to shoot Pat Garrett for killing his half-brother, but Joe denied it and said he and Garrett had discussed the killing and parted amicably.  Joe drifted to other New Mexico towns such as Las Vegas where he prevented a shooting by convincing a man to lay down his gun. In Silver City he helped prevent a lynch mob from hanging a man. Joe lived for a time in Tombstone.  He wound up in Denver where he plied his trade as a small time gambler.  In 1928, a local reporter, Edwin Hoover interviewed Joe but wrote him off as “colorless.” Hoover probably missed out on perhaps a great story. When told Joe was Billy the Kid’s brother the reporter blew it off with a “So what?”

Joe McCarty died on November 25th, 1930, in poverty at Denver his body given to the Colorado School of Medicine. His age was given as seventy-six but he was probably ten years younger.

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