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Biotech Science

Billy the Kid Faces The Law... Again 274

Jason Raddin writes " has an interesting story about a new showdown in the Old West. It seems as if Billy the Kid can still cause problems for the law-men of New Mexico, even as he rests in his grave. Several small New Mexico towns claim to possess the "true" grave of Billy the Kid (a.k.a. William H. Bonney, Henry McCarty, Kid Antrim). Two sheriffs in Capitan, New Mexico have proposed that this mystery be solved using modern DNA testing. The proposal was made in June to exhume the remains of Bonney's mother and the two reported graves of Bonney. This has spurred a hot legal debate raising an interesting question: which is more important, tourist dollars or the truth?"
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Billy the Kid Faces The Law... Again

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  • Re:What about... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Highrollr ( 625006 ) on Wednesday November 12, 2003 @11:06PM (#7460792)
    According to some passage I read while studying for the LSAT, relatives of the deceased have rights to the bodies and anything buried with them, provided they can show proof.
  • This is not (Score:2, Informative)

    by xgamer04 ( 248962 ) <> on Wednesday November 12, 2003 @11:21PM (#7460897)
    a biotech issue. It is a moral issue. I wouldn't want people digging up my great-grandmother, and I don't think Billy would like it either.
  • by agutier ( 471583 ) on Thursday November 13, 2003 @01:38AM (#7461651)

    IHT Article []

    Why? Because it may reveal that one Sheriff Garrett was really a murderer, covering his crime with wild claims. This would serve justice to his victim. The effort will be made to verify the claims of Brushy Bill Roberts of Texas who died at the age of 90 claiming to be the muderous outlaw. If this man is Billy the Kid, is it so distasteful to disturb his grave, seeing as how he sent so many people to their graves? To exhume the man who claimed to be Billy The Kid would dispoil the grave of an killer or a fraud claiming to be an killer. Besides, if Roberts is the Kid, I'm sure he'd gladly oblige anyone who clould prove his claim. If not, then to disturb his rest would merely be an exercise in situational irony.

    But, my goodness, that poor lady!

  • by ianscot ( 591483 ) on Thursday November 13, 2003 @09:56AM (#7463403)
    which is more important, tourist dollars or the truth?"

    Our country is littered with "historical" markers that bear only the faintest resemblances to the events they supposedly commemorate. These Billy the Kid graves are just a tiny spur of that iceberg. History is in the thrall of local chambers of commerce. Think they want to tell a story that isn't favorable to their area?

    The number of museums to Custer that are out there is an okay example of when it's just innocent squabbling, not a total whitewash. There are collections of Custer memorabilia scattered from Michigan to North Dakota (and of course Montana), and they're all bitterly opposed to giving up a scrap from his leather belt. It's a matter of tourism and civic pride. Want to see the definitive Custer exhibit? Get ready to spend a summer.

    That's when it isn't the obviously censored version. James Loewen wrote a decent, fun little book, "Lies Across History," about those. Monuments to Confederate dead in Montana -- not a state, not even a territory, during the Civil War. References to "battles" all over the place, when they weren't battles at all: the Mormons ambush and slaughter a huge wagon train of settlers, but the monument calls it a battle with the federal government. And so on.

    So your answer is: Tourist Dollars.

Think of it! With VLSI we can pack 100 ENIACs in 1 sq. cm.!