A rare photo of legendary outlaw Billy the Kid, purchased for less than a subway ride, could now fetch $5 million.
The outlaw, whose real name was William Henry McCarty Jr., was playing croquet with his gang of Lincoln County Regulators in late summer 1878 when this 4-by-5-inch tintype image was captured, according to Americana company Kagin’s, which is negotiating the sale of the photo.
The picture was purchased by collector Randy Guijarro for $2 as part of a miscellaneous lot at a Fresno junk shop in 2010, according to Kagin’s and the National Geographic Channel.
The image’s backstory will be the subject of a Nat Geo Channel special Sunday at 9 p.m., “Billy the Kid: New Evidence,” narrated by Kevin Costner.
“When we first saw the photograph, we were understandably skeptical — an original Billy the Kid photo is the Holy Grail of Western Americana,” said Kagin’s numismatist David McCarthy.