The infamous Sheriff who, (supposedly), shot Billy The Kid was himself shot and killed near Las Cruces.

It's one of the most popular ... and contested ... tales from the old west. Once good friends, Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid wound up on opposite sides of the law.

This relationship, most peeps believe, ended in a fatal showdown between the two at Fort Sumner. Garrett, hiding in the dark of Billy's room, shot "the kid" when he entered.

I say "most" believe and use words like "supposedly" because there are many theories that dispute the official story and some believe that Billy wasn't really killed that night.

The scene in the movie Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid in which Garrett dies is historically inaccurate but it's what Bob Dylan wrote "Knockin' On Heavens Door" for. A song which would later become a hit for Guns 'N Roses.

Pat Garrett eventually acquired a ranch outside Las Cruces, toward what is now White Sands Missile Range. I've been told the ruins of the ranch are still out there but, good luck getting permission to go look at them.

Anyway, in that movie, Garrett dies in a shootout with his wife by his side.

In reality, he was traveling between Las Cruces and his ranch when he was shot in the back by another member of his party. To this day, who shot him remains a mystery.


Garrett is buried in the Masonic cemetery in Las Cruces, 760 S. Compress Rd.

I've been there a couple of times, once in the middle of the night, which was a little on the creepy side. A storm was coming in too, so there was thunder, lightning, etc. .

The headstone usually has toy sheriff's badges and/or toy pistols left on it by visitors.

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