Wednesday, October 12, 2011



A few hours ago I saw the movie Pat Garrett and Billy the kid --starring James Coburn at Pat and Kris Kristofferson as the kid. The movie sustains what everybody wants to believe, that Pat Garrett killed Billy the Kid.

The truth is that Pat shot someone else by mistake and he covered up everything , despite almost all knowing that something was amiss. He did NOT collect the 500 dollar bounty, his deputy Poe and his own daughter said that Billy is still alive -- for both were partners and rode together not too far away in the past.

The video below shows the track sung by Bob Dylan in the classic western movie PAT GARRETT AND BILLY THE KID , directed by genius director Sam Peckinpah.

Deputy Sheriff Colin Baker played by veteran actor Slim Pickens is mortally wounded while assisting Sheriff Pat Garrett in a shootout. Baker knows he is dying and he stumbles away from the shoot out and begins the slow walk towards the sunset, to a stream.  His wife sees him take his final steps and lets out a mournful wail.

This walk describing the feelings of a dying sheriff , is set to the strains of Bob Dylan's famous classic song-- Knockin' on heavens door.

The video below gives the lyrics--but it is sung by Guns and Roses. An enduring song for the ages.

Director Sam Peckinpah, made a classic movie. He was an alcoholic and had a king sized ego.

Why not?  He was good!.

He clashed constantly during the making of the movie with James Aubrey, the powerful head of MGM, who wanted to micro-manage and cut down costs, giving him unskilled local staff from Mexico.  As a result the movie finished 3 weeks behind schedule and overshot the budget.

The vindictive Aubrey, who had no artistic imagination, ruined the editing , cut off 18 full minutes of crucial scenes, which made Peckinpah sue MGM and demand that his name be removed from the movie credits.

Aubrey with a monster sized ego, was the type of hard nosed number crunching guy who would tell an artist or a musician "harder, faster". This clash of personalities caused Aubrey to score brownie points , rape the movie, and it bombed at the box office. No wonder Aubrey's nick name was " the smiling cobra".  Straight talkin' Lucille Ball used to refer to him as a SOB every time.

15 years later, in 1988 Turner Home Entertainment on popular demand re-edited the whole movie, the way Sam Peckinpah would have wanted it, and the result was a classic masterpiece. This included the sequence where an aged Pat Garrett was ambushed and killed-and as we hear this gunfire, the movie flashes back to Billy the Kid--all with the soulful strains of Bob Dylan's twang..

Here is the true story--

Pat Garrett worked as a cowboy and buffalo hunter before becoming a Sheriff. The kid was his partner rider as a cowpoke. He had a reputation as a hot-tempered man, and in 1877 he killed a friend in a drunken brawl, but was acquitted on grounds of self-defense. Garrett then came to Roswell, New Mexico, where he was elected sheriff of Lincoln County in 1880.

Motivated by either a love of justice or the $500 bounty on Billy the Kid, Garrett tracked down two of the Kid's cohorts, Charles Bowdre and Tom O'Folliard, and killed them in Stinking Springs, New Mexico. Then he cornered and arrested Billy the Kid, and brought him to trial on charges of murder. After a speedy trial, the eminent outlaw was ordered to hang, but escaped from jail instead, killing two guards in the process.
It was rumoured that Pat Garrett had deliberately kept a gun for the Kid to escape in the toilet. Garrett was conveniently away from Lincoln on county business when the Kid made his escape. Rather than chase after the fugitive, Garrett kept to his ranch mending fences and attending to his cattle. In July, the Sheriff received word that the Kid was hiding out at the abandoned Fort Sumner about 140 miles west of Lincoln. Rounding up two of his deputies, John Poe and Thomas McKinney, Garrett set off in pursuit of the Kid

So pretty soon Garrett set out after his former friend. Using a mutual acquaintance to arrange a meeting on 14 July 1881, Garrett crouched in a dark room waiting for the outlaw's arrival. As soon as the door opened, Garrett shot Billy the Kid dead without a word. The truth is he shot someone else by mistake and got him buried in haste without following accepted and lawful police procedures, in between his fallen companions Tom O Folliard and Charlie Bowdre. A single tombastone was used for all 3 , with a one word epitaph "pals" engraved in it. 
Some hailed him as a hero for ending a famous criminal's life, but others called him a coward for the manner in which he lured and killed the fugitive, who was a dear friend before . Amid these whispers and aspersions, Garrett soon left his job as sheriff.

After a few years as a lawman in another county, Garrett was appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt to supervise the El Paso office of the Customs Department. Known as a gambler, heavy drinker and supremely arrogant , he  did not last long in this job either. He then quit law enforcement, and lived on a ranch with his wife and nine children, where he was generally unpopular among the locals.

Unable to make the ranch a profitable concern, he leased it to one Wayne Brazel. Soon, however, Garrett decided that he did not approve of the way Brazel was running the ranch, with goats instead of cows, which would lower its value-- and began pressuring Brazel to leave the premises. On 29 February 1908, in a heated discussion, Garrett is said to have told Brazel he would get him off the ranch, "one way or another".

Garrett then turned his back to his tenant, unzipped his pants and began to take a leak, and he was shot twice and killed. Brazel claimed self-defense, the trial lasted one day, and the jury already having pre-conceived notions that Pat was a bad man , deliberated for less than half an hour before finding him not guilty. A huge barbecue was held at another nearby ranch, to celebrate the verdict.

Everyone knew that Pat Garret had warned old buddy outlaw Billy to stay away from him, lest he kills him in the discharge of his duties--but the kid ignored him.

The kid died at the age of 21, and is was rumoured that he killed 21 men--one for every day of his life. But the kid was loved by one and all , as he was really not a bad guy, the circumstances forced him to kill. 

Billy worked as a ranch hand for John Tunstall a leader of one faction seeking control of the county. Tunstall befriended the Kid acting in many ways as a surrogate father. Tunstall's ambush and murder in 1878 by a sheriff's posse set the Kid off on a path of revenge. His first victims were the sheriff and his deputy, killed from ambush on the streets of Lincoln.

So--as per lore, on the fateful night of July 14, the Sheriff and his two deputies approached the dusty old Fort now converted to living quarters. The residents were sympathetic to the Kid and the lawmen could extract little information. Garrett decided to seek out an old friend, Peter Maxwell, who might tell him the Kid's whereabouts. As chance would have it, the Kid stumbled right into the Sheriff's hands—or was it so?.

Then in 1950, a 91 year old man Brushy Bill popped up and said that he was the real Billy the kid. He had witnessed the shooting of his friend who was buried as the Kid, by Pat Garrett. They were about to have dinner and his friend went to a nearby house where a freshly killed steer was hung to remove some beef to be cooked. Pat Garrett was waiting in ambush in this house.

This old man showed all his 26 bullet wounds and several knife wound scars on his body, which exactly coincided with records of the Kid. And he also had the two front rabbit teeth of the Kid. He could make his hands smaller than his wrists and remove handcuffs, the way the Kid used to do. All he wanted was a pardon as promised long ago.

See the video below.--the events are reconstructed by actors.

In 1949, William Morrison a paralegal located a man in Central Texas named Ollie P. Roberts (nicknamed "Brushy Bill"), who claimed to be Billy the Kid and challenged the popular account of the Kid as shot to death by ex-outlaw buddy, Sheriff Pat Garrett.

When it came to the events of the night of July 14, 1881, Brushy said that a man named Billy Barlow was killed by Pat Garrett. Barlow, he said, was partially Mexican, had a beard. Brushy had fled Fort Sumner and hidden in Mexico with a tribe of Yaqui Indians for two years, before he returned to the U.S. 

Morrison managed to meet with old friends of Billy -Severo Gallegos, Martile Able, Jose Montoya, and Bill and Sam Jones. The first three all signed legal affidavits attesting to the fact that Brushy Bill and Billy the Kid were one and the same and the Jones brothers, although they did not sign affidavits (claiming they didn’t want to get involved in legal tangles and publicity ) also stated their agreement with this.  

For the pardon on Nov. 15, 1950. Thomas J. Mabry, governor of New Mexico, agreed to a private hearing with Morrison and Brushy, along with one or two historians of Mabry‘s choosing, to be held on Nov. 29.  When Brushy and Morrison arrived at Mabry’s mansion, they were shocked to see a crowd with several photographers , reporters, armed policemen and hostile Oscar and Jarvis Garrett (Pat’s sons) .

Badly frightened, Brushy suffered a small stroke, and when the questioning began, he failed miserably even to remember Pat Garrett’s name. He completely forgot basic information about himself , and, when he was asked a serious question regarding the past of Billy the Kid, he forgot that as well.

Stating he felt ill, he was eventually taken to another room to lie down. Shortly thereafter, Gov. Mabry made an announcement that he was not going to pardon Brushy, because he did not believe him to be Billy the Kid. A few days later Brushy Bill died of a heart attack.

This old man with 26 bullet hole scars on his body, and several knife wounds , which matched that of the Kid, knew he was dying and he wanted a clean sheet with his lord, on the day of judgement.

There was no other tangible reason why he would claim to be Billy—common sense dictates. DNA tests have been ruled out as it seems the graveyard of Billy the Kid was awash with flood waters and then all tombstones were lazily reconstructed after two decades.

Well this mystery keeps the “ Billy the Kid “ tourism industry alive. Too much money is at stake.



  1. As early as 1940, the BBC (Radio London) transmitted a daily series of coded messages to allow the

    Allies based in England to communicate with the Resistance in France, to ask them to plot various

    sabotages and, most importantly, to prepare for the upcoming landing in Normandy.

    these personal messages, broadcast on the BBC, were also used to confirm the good faith of agents,

    to validate financial transactions etc

    as you have said earlier our govt should ban foreign radio services in view of threats to national security.

    are our intelligence services so naive to such threats.

    nelson singh

  2. Captain which Pulses are good for Health ?.


  3. Capt. Ajit VadakayilOctober 14, 2016 at 10:02 AM



    Mama take this badge from me
    I can't use it anymore
    It's getting dark too dark to see
    Feels like I'm knockin' on heaven's door

    Knock-knock-knockin' on heaven's door
    Knock-knock-knockin' on heaven's door
    Knock-knock-knockin' on heaven's door
    Knock-knock-knockin' on heaven's door

    Mama put my guns in the ground
    I can't shoot them anymore
    That cold black cloud is comin' down
    Feels like I'm knockin' on heaven's door

    Knock-knock-knockin' on heaven's door
    Knock-knock-knockin' on heaven's door
    Knock-knock-knockin' on heaven's door
    Knock-knock-knockin' on heaven's door


    Knock-knock-knockin' on heaven's door