I’ve read that Billy the Kid had a brother. What happened to him?

ask-the-marshallI’ve read that Billy the Kid had a brother. What happened to him?

Dennis Bagwell
Anaheim, California

Billy had a brother, or perhaps a half brother, named Joseph. He left Arizona about 1880 and was in Trinidad, Colorado, making his living as a professional gambler. Some newspaper gossip claimed he planned to shoot Pat Garrett for killing his half brother, but Joe denied it, saying he and Garrett had discussed the killing and parted amicably.

Joe wound up in Denver, where he plied his trade as a small-time gambler. On November 25, 1930, the 76-year-old died in poverty.

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian. His books include The Arizona Trilogy and Law of the Gun.

If you have a question, write:

Ask the Marshall

PO Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327

or e-mail him at marshall.trimble@sccmail.maricopa.edu

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