His mythical exploits and jail escapes made this son of Irish immigrants one of the nation's most famous Old West outlaws. Yet fewer know that the man widely known as Billy the Kid was a central figure in a violent, Irish-English land war in New Mexico, and was beloved by Mexican-American ranchers who felt discriminated against by racist white bankers and land thieves. And the Kid's end came only after he refused to abandon his Mexican-American teen girlfriend.
Despite hundreds of stories covering his life, the PBS series American Experience will air a new documentary in January. Filmmaker John Maggio said this documentary will focus less on Billy the Kid the legend and more on Billy the Kid the human being.