Brushy Bill Roberts
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Rare Billy the Kid Photo Purchased for $2 in Junk-Store Is Worth $5 Million

Famed outlaw Billy the Kid may have escaped his own hanging, but we now have him on camera—twice.

What was previously thought to be the only photo of Billy the Kid was purchased by business magnate William Koch in 2011. In that photo, the legendary outlaw posed with his rifle; he is purported to have killed 21 men, one for each year of his life.


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Read More: Did Billy the Kid Really Die in a Shootout? He May Have Actually Lived to 90

As it turns out, the image pictured above isn't the only photo of Billy the Kid. In 2010, a couple unknowingly purchased a photo of the outlaw for $2 at a junk store in Fresno, Calif, but it wasn't until recently that the image was verified by Kagin's Inc., a rare coin dealer. The photo is valued at $5 million. 

The new image shows a 17-year-old Billy the Kid playing croquet during the late summer of 1878 in Lincoln County, N.M. Kid is leaning against a croquet mallet, similar to how he leaned against his rifle in the first photo. 

"It is the rarest photograph in the world," Jeff Aiello told the San Francisco Chronicle. "It's the holy grail of not just western photography. It's the holy grail of photography."

The infamous Old West outlaw was first arrested at 16. At the age of 18, he shot and killed a man during an altercation at an army camp in Arizona. At 21, he was killed — shot by sheriff Pat Garrett. However, a Texas man named "Brushy" Bill Roberts claimed to be the real Billy the Kid. Brushy Bill lived out a peaceful life in the central Texas town of Hico until he suffered a heart attack while walking to the post office in 1950 at the age of 90.

Next: 8 Most Infamous Texas Outlaws