Most people know that Pat Garrett, the sheriff of Lincoln County, New Mexico and one-time friend of William Bonney, aka, Billy the Kid, shot and killed the kid at Fort Sumner. That occurred on July 14, 1881.
But far fewer people, myself included until recently, realize that Garrett himself was shot and killed 27 years later, on a lonely road outside Las Cruces, N. M. A man named Wayne Brazel, who leased part of Garrett’s ranch and who had a ongoing dispute with Garrett, confessed to the killing, claiming self-defense. He was tried for murder but not convicted.
Garret was essentially broke by then, and was trying desperately to sell his ranch.
There are some historical customs that say Leap Day — the extra day added to the calendar at the end of February every four years — is a lucky day. But that didn’t prove to be the case for Pat garrett.