There was apparently more to Billy the Kid than revolvers and stolen loot.
The notorious outlaw from the Wild West era is known mostly for cattle rustling and his propensity to participate in shootouts. But a new photograph just discovered at a junk sale is shedding light on another side of the legendary crook.
First off, it’s worth noting that, like most criminals, Billy the Kid was not a camera-friendly person–at all. That’s why there is only one known photo of him in existence, and it doesn’t exactly speak to his character or personality very much.
At least, that was the case until now, anyway.
Collector Randy Guijarro was recently digging through a pile of old photos at a junk sale in Fresno, California when he came across one that caught his eye.
“I was like, this guy looks like Billy the Kid,” Guijarro says in the video above. “It was the hat, the swagger, the stance.”
The big difference is there are no rifles or ill-gotten goods in this photo (which you can see in the video, above). Instead, the outlaw appears to be wielding a croquet mallet while taking part in a leisurely game. Which is probably not what most people expected to see from a man suspected of at least eight murders, right?
Those suspicions weren’t enough to stop Guijarro from buying it for the cool price of $2.
When he first brought the image in to have it appraised, companies were obviously skeptical. Kagin’s Inc, the company now handling the photo, actually went as far as to call in a facial recognition expert to look it over. And not just any facial recognition expert either; CNN reports that this guy worked for the National Security Agency and the FBI.
After poring over the image, experts were able to positively match Billy the Kid’s face, along with his hat and pinky ring. The image dates back to 1878 and shows the western legend standing with several members of his gang, known as the Regulators. The photo was taken after a wedding, according to Kagin’s Inc.
As for how much it’s worth? $5 million. Five. Million. Dollars.
Now, we’re not business experts or anything, but that’s quite the profit margin. You could almost say a deal like that should be illegal.