Friday, October 9, 2009

Billy the Kid's DNA investigation & Three Chicken Little Towns

     Six years ago Lincoln County Sheriff Tom Sullivan, Captian Mayor Steve Sederwall, and De Baca County Sheriff Gary Graves initiated a new investigation into the death of Billy the Kid.
     The original plan was to exhume the bodies of Billy the Kid and Catherine Antrim, his mother, and use modern-day DNA techniques to prove if the body laid to rest in Fort Sumner was, in fact, the young outlaw.
     In the half dozen subsequent years they have encountered one stonewalling attempt after another. Government officials, agency heads, and private interests have fought hard to halt the continued efforts of Sullivan and Sederwall (Graves has apparently stepped away, there has been little mention of him since), who have turned the investigation into a private affair supported with their own money.
     Even when the two tried a different angle, by way of discrediting the unproven claims of Ollie P. "Brushy Bill" Roberts and John Miller, both professing to be the Kid, the powers that be have done their best to prevent it. Although Sullivan and Sederwall performed an end-around play in Prescott, Arizona, and was able to bypass the government red tape by getting the okay to exhume John Miller through private ownership of private lands.
     I must confess a certain amount of curiosity as to why the findings of that exhumation and testing by celebrated forensic pathologist Dr. Henry Lee have not come to light. I made a couple attempts to contact the Los Angeles office, but have been rebuffed, and the latest online search have discovered that a lawsuit has been filed to have the evidence turned over, but I have been unable to find an outcome at this time.
     Likewise, Sullivan and Sederwall are still stonewalled by the three remaining cities of interest to this case: Fort Sumner and Silver City in New Mexico, and Hico, Texas.
     If this was simply a case of proving or disproving the legend surrounding the controversial death of Billy the Kid it would be little more than a disappointment. But the fact remains that three towns are bringing in big bucks year after year in tourist trade by claiming to be the final resting place of the real Billy the Kid. Which means at least two of those towns; Prescott, Fort Sumner, or Hico; and their government officials are condoning and conspiring to fleece honest tourists with lies. --- Makes you proud to be an American, doesn't it?
     The following poem shows my distaste over the situation.

(afraid of Billy the Kid's DNA)

They say the old west was rough and tumble,
it was hard but it was fair,
if you were square with yer' neighbors or strangers when lost.
An' there still were fine folks
who would stand for the truth at all cost.
Lately, however, we see in the west
a different take on the truth in modern-day.
Like the three chicken little towns
afraid of three little letters,
the letters D-N-A.
Now fer' all hermits,
an' any others who might live under a rock or out in space
an' may not have heard over the last several years
how a particular situation,
regarding a not-so-secret investigation,
has gone in an' out of the courts an' news.
It appears Tom Sullivan an' Steve Sederwall
had them a notion
so they put forth a motion
to once an' fer' all
learn the truth.
Now these feller's have dotted their I's
an' crossed their T's
an' tried ta' be upright an' fair.
But each efforts been stalled,
each motions been squashed
by those claimin' authority in the three one-horse towns
who'd rather not have the truth --- but dare.
Ya' see the whole thing surrounds William Bonney,
the infamous Billy the Kid.
Cuz' the tale still holds too much mystery,
not enough facts, an' abundance of fiction,
the myths run free while reality hid.
Don't it seem a bit outta' place
in a country that claims honor an' pride
to allow three or more towns to be robbin' the tourists,
while professin' quite loud,
"This is where poor Billy died?"
Now unless Billy Bonney was a cat with nine lives,
he shouldn't have so many places of rest,
an' yet these three chicken little towns
ain't got the guts ta' O.K. the DNA test.
First is Silver City, next Fort Sumner,
both in New Mexico.
With the third town in Texas,
a puddle-jump called Hico.
Can ya'll imagine that?
What's this country comin' to when a town in Texas,
where they take pride in the Alamo,
no longer has the guts ta' fight fer' the truth?
Course, there was a fourth town,
the town of Prescott, A.Z.,
but an end-around play
by Sullivan an' Sederwall
earned an official "OK"
through private channels on private land
bypassin' the usual P.R. seekin' authority.
An' ain't it funny how the government jack-boots
claim they're actin' in the "public's interest"
when at least two out of three
have definitely
been scamming the public fer' years?
An' I dare any one of those uppity town snobs
a stickin' their noses up at the truth,
ta' prove ta' little ol' me
how they can legitimately
justify highway robbery
by claimin' lies as facts
just ta' coax the tourists back.
An' by the way,
who the hell does Trish Saunders think she's kiddin'?
The so-called spokes-filly
fer' the Billy
the Kid Historic Preservation Society,
yet takin' the side, when all is said an' done,
that'll keep provable history in the dark.
Ain't that a lark
my friends,
how folks claim they're interested in preservin' history,
but they've only got interest in preservin'
their version of it, ya' see,
the truth be damned.
Sadly it all comes down to one thing
the truth might cost them a buck,
they'd rather lose their souls
keepin' pigeons in rows
coughin' up dollars
an' chokin' off common sense here in the so-called land of the free.
Thank God I'm not one of those dummies
who have ta' be struck by a truck
ta' realize my luck,
an' how thankful I am and should be
to not have one speck of those dishonest government officials
DNA in me.

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