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Real or FakeStudies in Authentication$
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Joe Nickell

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780813125343

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813125343.001.0001

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An Outlaw’s Scribblings

An Outlaw’s Scribblings

(p.80) Chapter 5 An Outlaw’s Scribblings
Real or Fake

Joe Nickell

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter examines the authenticity of a jail notebook containing the purported writings of legendary outlaw Billy the Kid and his nemesis Pat Garrett. Conflicting stories as to provenance represents grounds for suspicion, but they do not by themselves constitute proof of theft or forgery. Another controversy involved an album containing alleged writing by Billy, Garrett, and others, as well as a framed page with a letter signed “WH Bonney.” Taken together, the various findings with regard to provenance, ink, and handwriting show unmistakably forgery — and a rather unskilful forgery at that.

Keywords:   Billy the Kid, outlaw, Pat Garrett, provenance, WH Bonney, forgery

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