As far as Old West History goes, no other person or story had a more profound impact on me as a writer than Billy the Kid.
When I was fifteen years old, my parents took me on a three-week summer RV trip to New Mexico, Colorado and Utah.
While in New Mexico we spent three days touring Fort Sumner and Lincoln to include the Lincoln County Courthouse and Jail from which Billy broke out of in 1881 (the bullet hole from where he shot Deputy J.W. Bell is still in the wall).
I think the jail scene from Sam Peckinpah’s Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973) nails it:
I have read over half a dozen books about Billy the Kid and his demise at the hands of Pat Garrett, his long time friend and although it is fanciful to entertain the notion that Pat allowed Billy to escape that night (as proffered in the recent western Old Henry) the historical record is clear: Billy the Kid was shot down like a dog in the middle of the night by a man he loved and trusted.
If you have not seen Old Henry yet, check it out and read my review HERE.