There are more myths about Billy than you can shake a stick at and the biggest one is he killed twenty-one men. In reality, Billy killed Frank “Windy” Cahill in self-defense; Joe Grant also in self-defense. During his escape from the Lincoln County jail he gunned down James Bell and Bob Olinger.
He was among several Regulators doing the shooting in the killings of five more, Billy Morton, Frank Baker, William McCloskey, Sheriff Wm. Brady, and George Hindman.
He was accused by the Dolan crowd of killing a deputy named Jim Carlyle, who was likely shot accidentally by his fellow possemen.
Legend has him blamed for killing Andy “Buckshot” Roberts at the Blazers Mill shootout. Actually Charlie Bowdre was indicted for that one. Charlie Crawford and Bob Beckwith during the siege at the McSween house. Fernando Herrera shot Crawford and Beckwith was probably hit by a stray bullet. No evidence that Billy had anything to do with it. Morris Bernstein, clerk at the Mescalero Agency, was actually gunned down by Atanacio Martinez. So, by his lonesome Billy killed four men. Billy was a cattle rustler and a horse thief. He never robbed a train or a bank yet he is the most famous of the Old West outlaws. That might have never happened if he’d kept the name Henry McCarty.