Randy Guijarro, from Fresno, California, a telecommunications technician, was perusing his local vintage store when he came across a box of pictures. He did not think the box was significant but he decided it was worth the low price of two dollars.
Studying the photos at home, he realizes that there was something special about the photos. After reviewing the photos under a microscope, he recognized Henry McCarty. They were actually incredibly rare photos of Billy the Kid, the infamous Wild West outlaw. In one of the photos, he is seen as the man leaning on a croquet mallet, along with members of his gang, the Regulators, playing the sport in New Mexico in 1878.
Bill the Kid, was born as Henry McCarty, was an outlaw in the Wild West during 1865 to 1895. He was recorded to have killed 8 people but according to his followers the real numbers are much higher. He served as a soldier in the Lincoln County War, but he was only known for being a brutal gang leader in New Mexico. He was killed at only 21-years old.
Guijarro immediately took the photo to an expert, Jeff Aiello, a man who is working on a documentary about Bill the Kid. He immediately confirmed the identity of the known outlaw.
The photo was the only second authenticated photograph of the outlaw. It has been authenticated by a photography expert and a facial recognition expert who has reportedly done work for the National Security Agency and the FBI. The photo is now worth a staggering $5 million.
Guijarro has been a life-long collector of coins, sports cards, comic books and other memorabilia, often teaming up with his wife, who likes old photographs.
“I hope this prompts others out there to look into trunks and attics because there are so many lost treasures out there,” Randy Guijarro told the Guardian.