A photo has has been found that shows outlaw legend Billy the Kid as a clean cut young man.
The image is a stark contrast to the only known authenticated photo of the Kid, whose real name was Henry McCarty.
That photo, which until now has been the only verified picture of the outlaw and was sold in 2011 to billionaire William Koch, shows the Kid leaning against his rifle, a little worse for wear, with a cocky attitude.
“I think he went out, had some booze, partied with some saloon girls and just got wild,” said forensic artist Lois Gibson of the gunslinging image.
Gibson, who identified the famous photo of a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square at the end of World War II, says that the new photo is indeed Billy the Kid. She told the Houston Chronicle that close up analysis of the image reveals his tell tale crooked teeth and a similarity in stature.
"I see the progression of his personality, he looks really shy in this (new) photo, he looks like he had a transformation.”
Born to Irish immigrants in New York, McCarty traveled West to New Mexico in the late 1800s and became a wanted outlaw. The governor of New Mexico put a $5,000 bounty on his head and he was shot dead in 1881.
The owner of the new photo is Ray John de Aragon, a well known Billy the Kid collector.
"My great grandmother knew him, she was a medicine woman who treated Billy, those stories were handed down to me," said de Aragon.
He claims his father knew one of the Kid’s friends and the photo was passed down to him.
It's an “old family picture of Billy the Kid,” he says.
However, the Daily Mail reports that experts are suspicious of the new photo’s origins, as de Aragon has brought out pictures before, claiming they show the outlaw.
"He comes up with these photos periodically, it's sort of amazing," said Paul Hutton, professor of history at the University of New Mexico.
He says a positive identification by someone such as Gibson may carry some weight.
"If she's the real deal and she says it then obviously that gives it a credibility it wouldn't have otherwise," Hutton said, "I don't dismiss what (de Aragon) comes up with out of hand, it's just there's such a market for these photos."
If the photo is genuine, it could be worth several thousand dollars in an auction.
* Originally published in Sept 2014.