A sheriff’s failed attempt to turn Billy the Kid’s life around.
Harvey Whitehill was the sheriff of Grant County, New Mexico Territory, at the time that Billy the Kid lived there (in the town of Silver City). The two liked each other, and Whitehill became concerned when the Kid started associating with bad characters. Billy was found holding some stolen property in September 1875. Whitehill put the Kid in jail, hoping the experience would scare the boy straight. It didn’t work; Billy escaped and headed to Arizona Territory. The Silver City newspaper covered his jail escape—the first time the Kid is mentioned in the media.