Dear Pat Garret,
It’s me Billy, I used to call you a friend, better yet a Pal, but you shot me in the dark, unarmed. That’s right I am writing from beyond the grave to let you know I understand why you chose blood money for the price on my head. Hiding behind a badge didn’t make you right, and it sure doesn’t justify John Tunstall or Alex Mcsween’s murder. You see the Regulators and I had but one purpose and that was to expose the Sante Fe Ring, and Murphy’s bunch to President Hayes, and prove to him the corruption in government in Lincoln County, that was all. The men who took a Bullet from myself or one of the Regulators deserved it, they needed to be killed for killing John Tunstall in cold Blood. You tried once to arrest me for killing Buck Shot Roberts, one of the men we had a warrant for murdering John, He fired first so it was in self defense, and most all of the killings the Regulators were responsible for were in the same manner, so as a man who sold out to the Ring of corruption in government, how does it feel to know you killed a man that was really trying to do right by John Tunstall and Alex Mcsween. The problem with you and all of Murphy’s Men, Sheriff Pippin, and Sheriff Brady, blood money seemed better than finding the truth in the Lincoln County War, I didn’t draw first blood, I only finished it, Murphy dying should have ended it, but governor Lew Wallace was just as corrupt. I was only ever convicted of killing Sheriff Brady, but he needed killing to Pat, just as well as anyone else that was being bought by Murphy and Dolan’s outfit. The District Attorney should have pardoned me as they promised in the first place, I put most of them in a grave, and the rest I testified against, and in return I got a gallows built for myself.
You see Pat, Chavez, Doc, and the others knew what it meant to be pals, we might have killed a lot of men but we had a code, a code that John taught us, ethics we lived by, until we were killed by you, someone who once called us a friend. we didn’t sell out on friendship Pat, why did you? We kept our promise, PALS, which was much stronger than any government, or any ring of corruption. We believed it had to be stopped, but the corruption in our government thought it be better to kill the men trying to expose it than to imprison the men that should have been paying for their debts, their murder, and their corruption. Instead the government backed them up, and helped them come after the Regulators. You may have your concience, but they sold you as soon as they paid you, which leaves you nothing more than a coward. Call it what you will, but in the days of the Billy the Kid and the Regulators we were judge and jury and most men just needed killing, and they reaped the whirlwind, as you will one day yourself. You know what they say about you Pat Garrett…..You killed men like you killed buffalo’s, but at least you didn’t ambush the buffalo’s in the dark.
William H. Bonney