Rare photo shows Billy the Kid and the man who shot him, experts say

(USA TODAY) -- A flea market find could be one of the most historic photos of Wild West outlaw Billy the Kid, because of who is pictured with him.

The photo, purchased for $10 in North Carolina, shows what historians believe is Billy the Kid and Patrick Garrett. Garrett later became sheriff of Lincoln County, New Mexico, and shot Kid in 1881. 

North Carolina attorney Frank Abrams first came across the tintype photo in Asheville in 2011. Abrams bought the photo and hung it on his wall for several years until a 2015 TV program made him question if Garrett was in his photo. 

After consulting with Robert Stahl, a retired professor emeritus at Arizona State University and Billy the Kid history buff, and various forensic experts, he's convinced he has two famous faces from the Old West in his photo. 

"If I had known it was one of the most famous photos in history, I would have charged more for the room," Abrams told the BBC.

A Los Angeles forensic video expert said facial recognition software showed the men are most likely Garrett and Billy the Kid and a handwriting expert in Texas said a signature on the photo matched other documents by Garrett. 

The photo, the only known image of Kid and Garrett together, is likely worth millions. A tintype photo of the Kid discovered in 2015 had an estimated worth of $5 million.

"One day it may end up at an auction house somewhere. We'll see what happens," Abrams told the AP. "Right now, that is not the first thing on my mind. I've always been somebody who's interested in history and background."

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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