Billy the Kid: Regulator!
The above photograph of Henry McCarty, also known as William Bonney and Billy the Kid, taken in 1879, gives us insight into Billy's success as a criminal and sharpshooter. Apparently the 6-shooter weapons of the day were not good enough for Billy the Kid, so, a modified E-11 blaster rifle was his weapon of choice!
The E-11's plasma gas cartridges allowed for over 500 shots, while the power cells lasted for about 100 shots, depending on the setting. Gunslingers of the day would normally load only 5 bullets in their revolvers, giving the person weilding an E-11 an unbelievalbe advantage! Apparently, Billy the Kid modified a standard E-11 for long range shooting as shown in the photograph with the blaster bearing a shoulder support extension.
In what came to be known as the Lincoln County War, conflicts arose between ranchers and merchants in Lincoln County, New Mexico. The English cattle rancher who hired Billy in 1877, John Tunstall, was murdured and Billy and the other ranch-hands set out to avenge Tunstall's death.
Known as the Regulators, Billy the Kid and his crew showed no mercy to the guilty parties or any who got in his way. Billy was almost killed in an effort to retrieve his stolen rifle from Sheriff William J. Brady who had taken it in an earlier arrest. Historians have often pondered as to why Billy would risk his life for a simple rifle. With the find of this photograph, there is no question as to why!
Billy also wore a typical galactic blaster holster as shown in the photograph below. It is difficult to tell, but the weapon looks very similar to Han Solo's DL-44 heavy blaster pistol!
Where and how did Billy the Kid acquire such weaponry? His first run-in with the law occurred on September 24, 1875 when he was arrested for hiding a bundle of stolen clothes from a Chinese laundryman as a prank. Billy was thrown in jail but escaped out the chimney and began his life as a fugitive.
Historians often point out that Chinese immigrants did not arrive in New Mexico until 1876, adding confusion to the story. Common folklore states that this Chinese laundryman was not from China but, possibly, from a galaxy far, far away - and the bundle of laundry was simply a disguise for his 'precious goods'. It is possible that Billy came across these galactic weapons when he stole the bundle. Hiding the weapons before his arrest and re-acquiring them after his escape from jail, Billy the Kid went on to be one of the most famous criminals of all time!
Investigations into what happened to the weapons and who was the Chinaman are underway...
Submitted by: J. Lamb
Below: An illustration of an E-11 blaster rifle