Billy the Kid, also known as William H. Bonney, was born William Henry McCarty Jr. (November 23, 1859 – July 14, 1881). He was an American frontier gunfighter, thief and murderer who participated in New Mexico’s Lincoln County War. Bonney is known to have killed eight men. After murdering a blacksmith during an altercation in 1877, Bonney became a wanted man in Arizona Territory and joined a group of cattle rustlers in New Mexico. He took part in the Lincoln County War and joined the Regulators, making him a well-known outlaw in the region. After one of many prison escapes, Bonney was ultimately shot and killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett in Fort Sumner in 1881. Over the next several decades, legends grew that Bonney had not died that night, and a number of men claimed to be him.