atm-logoWas Billy the Kid’s girlfriend pregnant at the time he was killed?

Paul Cullor
Prescott, Arizona

Some experts think so. In The West of Billy the Kid, Frederick Nolan wrote, “…Paulita Maxwell, who, if the gossip Garrett’s wife Apolonaria had doubtless heard from her sister Celsa was true, was pregnant with Billy’s child.”

The Kid’s killer, Sheriff Pat Garrett, figured Paulita had told the Kid about her pregnancy, and that was why the outlaw came to Fort Sumner, instead of hightailing it out of New Mexico Territory.

Lincoln County historian Drew Gomber says, “Paulita had a daughter, but the date of her birth has always been in doubt, and she died at about 16. Whether or not Paulita had Billy’s kid, I don’t know, but I do believe she was pregnant at the time of the Kid’s death.”


Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian. His latest book is Wyatt Earp: Showdown at Tombstone.  If you have a question, write: Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or e-mail him at

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