Abrams’s Pat Garrett-Billy the Kid Ferrotype (Tintype) Authenticated!
The Experts Have Spoken!
by Robert J. Stahl
(to be published in a future Gazette)
Editor's Note: When the tintype of Billy the Kid sold at auction for $2 million there was an influx of alleged photos of Billy the Kid. The BTKOG board members made the decision not to endorse any of these photographs as authentic as we are not experts. However, we do appreciate that our members have their own views and opinions on Billy the Kid related ideas. Dr. Stahl is a member of the BTKOG and as such we believe he has the right to share his opinion and research on this controversial subject. This will allow our readers the opportunity to come to their own conclusions.
Over the last three decades, dozens of tintypes and other photos allegedly of William H. ‘Billy the Kid’ Bonney, who was killed just after midnight on July 15, 1881 by Lincoln County (NM) Sheriff Patrick F. Garrett,[i] have been brought forward as alleged authentic photos of the Kid. Presenters of these photos have argued on the same and sometimes different grounds that their photo is the real deal even though the men portrayed in them vary widely from one another and differed widely or narrowly from the only-verified photo of the Kid in physique as well as overall facial features. No one has provided solid, credible support for their claims. An examination of the photos reveal men of surprisingly different characteristics than written and oral descriptions by contemporaries of the Kid. Since the National Geographic documentary of the supposed ‘Croquet Kid’ in October, 2015, an onslaught of new alleged photos have emerged; perhaps because people were reminded that in 2011 the only known and authenticated photograph of Billy—known as the Dedrick tintype—sold at Brian Lebel’s Old West Auction for $2.3 million.
Dedrick tintype –Until now the only accepted photo of Billy the Kid
Within the last 18 months this author has received emails or letters from over three dozen people who claimed that a photo they had is of none other than the Kid. In each case their excitement was met by news that the person in their respective photos was not Billy. Nonetheless owners of these photos float these photos from one place to another hoping that someone will step forward as an expert and support their respective claims that their photo surely is of the Kid.
The truth is that there just weren’t that many photos of Billy taken.[i]
The October 2015 TV documentary featured a photo allegedly of Billy playing croquet with several members of his Regulators and perhaps Sallie Chisum. While there seemed to be a slim possibility that a few persons in the photo could be Billy’s pals, it was determined that there was only at best an 80% probability that the person thought to have been the Kid was in fact THE Kid. Virtually overnight interest in the photo among historians and collectors fell from high to extremely low to no interest. Critics claimed that image of the person thought to be the Kid was too fuzzy or unclear to render a decisive positive conclusion that the croquet player was Billy. Critics questioned many details in the photo to the point of arguing there was insufficient grounds to say the photo was even taken in New Mexico. All claimed there was insufficient proof the person was Billy to warrant spending the $5 million the photo’s owner was seeking. To this day no one has stepped forward to offer more than a few thousand dollars to own that photo.
It is with the above backdrop that we consider a tintype known as the Abrams Pat Garrett-Billy the Kid (Garrett-Kid) photo.
Discovery and Early Handling of Photos
In spring 2011, Frank Abrams, a practicing U.S. Attorney living in Arden, NC, happened to engage in one of his many pastimes, that of going to local flea markets and looking for anything that attracted his attention, in particular old cameras and photographs. One day he stopped by a booth in Fletcher, NC where old tintypes and photos were for sale. Abrams, who entertained the notion of someday in the way-off future getting a doctorate in western history, selected a tintype of five interesting looking cowboys and four other photos from a set that seemed to cover a wide gamut of persons, poses, clothes, and backgrounds. He was told the photos came from the estate of one of the Root family of New York and New Jersey. He made no effort at the time to venture a guess as to who might be in the photos, when the photos were taken, or where the photos were taken. These merely were photos of what appeared to him on that day to be interesting people.
Four years later, on October 19, 2015, Abrams saw the “croquet Billy” documentary. It tweaked his interest enough that the next day he went to his safety deposit box to examine more closely the five photos he purchased at the flea market.[i]According to Abrams and Christina, his wife, he had not looked at any of them much since they were placed in that box. To his surprise, one individual looked like Pat Garrett. He speculated that a figure with a slender frame might be the Kid. (See Photo 2) He then wondered who the other three persons were and when and under what circumstances Garrett, Kid and pals would have gotten together to pose for a photo. He also wondered who the persons were in the other photos and how it came about that these particular photos were grouped together and then wound up in North Carolina for sale at a flea market. Since then and on the advice of Robert J. Stahl, who happened that same October to be at the Charlotte Medical Center, Abrams disseminated what is called the Abrams Garrett-Kid photo as widely as possible. Subsequently, he made trips to New Mexico, Arizona, California, New York, and Connecticut to get documentation and expert feedback as to who the individuals were in the photos and how these particular photos could be grouped for sale.
The Abrams Garrett-Kid tintype image.
Note the image has been reversed as all original tintypes captured an image in reverse position to actual pose.
Photo courtesy of Frank Abrams.
The remainder of this article focuses on details supporting the authenticity of the Garrett-Kid tintype as being taken on or about August 1880, confirm the identity of four of five persons in the image and in four accompanying photos, and provide a very plausible scenario of ownership of this tintype and the accompanying photos from origin to today.
Authenticity of the Age of the Tintype
Before determining the names of individuals in his tintype, Abrams first sought to determine the authenticity of the tintype itself as one that could have been taken in the period 1878-1880 when Garrett and Kid associated with one another.
William Dunniway, respected expert in historical photographs, photographic equipment, and photograph analysis, volunteered at no charge following Abrams’s request to examine the Garrett-Kid tintype and offer his professional assessment of the tintype as one taken during the era of 1878-1880. [i] Dunniway does not stand to profit monetarily from his participation in this research and his conclusions reported relative to this tintype.
After measuring the dimensions of the tintype, Dunniway concluded the tintype was a 1/6th plate that simultaneously created multiple images on the same plate, although it is impossible to confirm whether the photo was originally exposed using an 1875 E. A. Anthony Climax Portrait and Gem Camera with a 4-tube lens and a 5” x 7” wet plate back or a simple Stereo Camera with 2 lenses on a 5” x 8” plate. He concluded that following customary practice of the era, this tintype when dried was colored with a common pastel ground to a powder and brushed on. Then varnish was poured (floated) on—not brushed on—in order to keep the colored areas as close to the actual color and their location on the tintype as was possible. The varnish would best preserve the image lest it gradually grow darker due to oxidation to a time when the entire image would be pitch black.[ii]Then, as was common practice at the time, someone took tin snips and cut the 4-part image into 4 individual images. (See Photos 3 and 4.)
A 4-tube lens mounted on an EA Anthony Climax camera like the one that most likely photographed the Garrett-Billy the Kid image on a 5” x 7” wet plate.
Photo courtesy of William Dunniway.
Example of the multiple image of the Garrett-Kid tintype as it was originally captured on an exposed 5” x 7” plate using a 1-4 tube lens mounted on a Gem camera before being cut with tinsnips into individual images.
Photo courtesy of William Dunniway.
Dunniway conjectured that the ‘Dedrick’ or accepted tintype of the Kid and the Abrams Garrett-Kid tintype were quite possibly taken with the same camera by the same photographer because in both images there appears to be “a white reflective material (most likely hand-held) hanging on the shadow side to help act as a light fill for the dark side of their faces. The same material is oddly not present on the highlight side [of both tintypes].” For him, these effects are very amateurish for a photographer to have not corrected these faults after having seen the results of his technique in the image of the lone Kid taken months earlier and probably dozens of photographs taken after he photographed Billy alone in Fort Sumner.[i]
Following additional analysis, Dunniway concluded the tintype and its content were “compelling enough” in size, type, and date range for the respective cameras to confirm the tintype as ‘authentic’—meaning this tintype was made during the era of Pat Garrett and the Kid—1878 to 1880. Glenn A. Long, well-respected appraiser who frequently consults with wealthy private collectors, high-end museums and art galleries around the world, as well as Sotheby’s, Heritage, Bonhams, and Christie’s Auction houses on the authenticity and value of art and artifacts; acting independently of Dunniway, concurred totally with Dunniway’s conclusions.[ii] He is a former museum director, a provenance researcher, and a member of the Catalogue Raisonne Scholars Association, an international organization made up of curators, academics, and independent scholars (like myself) who prepare and manage artist's archives and assemble, write, and publish the complete works and work/life histories of artist.
Dunniway made no examination of the individuals in the tintype to venture conclusions as to the identity of any individual. Such was beyond the scope of his expertise.
Identity of Individuals in the Abrams Collection Confirmed
A facial recognition system is a computer logarithmic-software application capable of identifying or verifying a person from a photographic image or a video frame. One of the ways to do this is by comparing selected facial features in one image to a facial database of another image. Facial recognition algorithms select facial features as extracted landmarks, or features, from an image of the subject's face and compare these algorithmically with landmarks from a base photo database. Besides visual inspection and other methods, W. Kent Gibson, of ForensicAV.com, used different proprietary programs that provided numerical digital evidence using biometric Facial Recognition software modules all based on one-to-one comparisons. The programs typically line up with the pupils as best as is possible and then compare up to 4,000 points on the face. The modules are capable of comparing partial face, faces with or without beards, and faces not exactly aligned similarly. These programs are typically used by law enforcement, border security agents, and government agencies and for biometric signatures in lieu of fingerprints. It should be noted that Gibson has no “quid pro quo” relationship with Mr. Abrams. He received his standard fees and does not stand to gain monetarily from his research and conclusions regarding the authenticity of this tintype and persons in it.
Gibson first demonstrated what his comparative evaluation and subsequent benchmark likeliness percentage system would look like by using present day real world images. In Photo 5 are his comparisons of four known and recognizable pictures of the late Princess Diana along with a “ringer” photo of Halle Berry. When one photo of Diana is compared with the identical photo, a likeness score of 100% was generated. This is what one would expect. However, comparing a smiling photo of Diana with a serious or frowning photo of Diana, likeness scores drop because many facial features are not the same as when she is full of happiness and smiling. The likeliness score compared to the far left image is superimposed over the pictures to its right. In this example, using Gibson’s algorithm, the average likeliness of all four known Diana photos to each other is 44.9%. The average likeness score of the Diana photos to the ‘ringer’ Hale Berry photo is 7.75%. From this example we learn that the High Benchmark is 44.9%. In other words, even though we know the four images of Diana are indeed legitimate, they still only average 44.9% similarity to one another using his algorithmic software. The very low comparative score for the clear ‘ringer’ indicates the comparative system and percent sameness test scores generated from it are accepted as highly accurate and highly credible among the world of professional photo analysts and facial recognition experts.
Computer programs are extremely sensitive to these subtle changes in each face and generate a likeness or comparative score far below the 100% level. Over the years, professional photo analysists have consistently found that rarely do computers generate facial recognition likeness scores above 50% when comparing two photo images taken at different times of the same person. In law enforcement, when algorithms detect a near 100 percent agreement on just a dozen or so key features, officers usually assume it is a facial match and they take appropriate action.
Thus, contrary to what one would expect, comparing known photos of the same person, even when taken within hours or days of one another, rarely produces a likeness score above 50%. In fact, given this is the case, Gibson stated that it is not uncommon for experts preparing final reports for the general public to program their computers to add automatically 50 percentage points to an actual likeness score so that scores are reported in the mid- to high 90 percent range, which significantly seems to satisfy laypeople and non-experts who expect scores near 100 percent that there was indeed an almost 100 percent match between two photos of the same person.[iii] The variation in scores does not automatically mean the photos are of different persons. They can represent the same person with different facial expressions, camera angles, lighting, etc. Experts, like Gibson, use software that makes it possible to distinguish same person with different expressions from different people although some facial features might appear on the surface to be the same. So the addition of 50 points or so is not meant to deceive or mislead, but to generate a score or percentage that fits the public’s perception of a minimum number that for them reflects the actual degree of sameness between two images. For instance saying there is a 97% match between persons in two photos does make it seem a lot more definite than claiming with a very high degree of certainly there is a 47% match score. Whether the public’s expectation that a percentage very close to 100% is both possible and necessary has been enhanced by the so-called ‘CSI effect;’ wherein TV and Hollywood productions make scores near 100 percent actually what is generated using facial recognition software.
Images of Princes Diana and Halle Berry to illustrate the comparative analysis system and percent likeness or sameness scores generated among the images.
Photo courtesy of W. Kent Gibson.
In order to evaluate particular individuals in the Abrams tintype, the first step was to locate pictures of an individual that are widely accepted as being that person. For instance, to verify the person alleged to be Pat Garrett, a variety of known photos of Garrett were located. Then these photos were compared to one another to generate a likeness score for each photo. Before comparing the known photos with the Garrett-Kid photo, a photo of a known non-Garrett was compared to all the known Garrett photos. In every instance, the scores generated for the non-Garrett image always was very low, rarely passing the 10% likeness level. This is almost always the case when comparing known photos to a ‘ringer.’ Not to be overlooked is the fact that in comparing unclear or fuzzy images, such as is likely with many photo images from the 1800s, it is very unreasonable to expect a likeness score over 50%, and exceeding 40% is quite remarkable.
After comparing six well-known and accepted photos of Pat Garrett to one another and to a known non-Garrett photo, the six Garrett photos were compared separately to an individual in Abrams’s tintype. The comparison scores among the seven known-Garrett photos averaged 41.8%, meaning the individual score for a one-on-one comparison of each of the six known Garrett photos with the Abrams’s image averaged 41.8%, indicating a very strong probability that the person sitting on the far right is Pat Garrett.
After comparing the only known photo of William H. ‘Billy the Kid’ Bonney to the individual standing in back row in Abrams’s tintype, a likeness score of 43% was generated, indicating a very strong probability that the person standing on the back row left in the Abrams’s photo is the Kid.
After comparing four known photos of ‘Dirty Dave’ Rudabaugh to one another and then to an individual in Abrams’s tintype, an average likeness score of 40% was generated, indicating a very strong probability that the person holding a pistol isRudabaugh.
After comparing two known photos of Barney Mason to one another and then to an individual in Abrams’s tintype, an average likeness score of 50% was generated, indicating a very strong probability that the person sitting in the middle front row in the Abrams’s photo is Mason.
The identity of the fifth person is unknown. Ruled out to date are Billy Wilson, noted counterfeiter, Tom Pickett, and Jose Chavez y Chavez.
The only credible conclusion that Gibson could make was that these average likeness scores authenticate Abrams’s tintype is real and captures Pat Garrett, Billy the Kid, Dave Rudabaugh, Barney Mason and an unidentified male posing together willingly at some place and time.[i] Glenn A. Long concurred 100 percent that the four individuals cited above are clearly and undeniably in the Abrams photo.
Possible Date Photo Was Taken
It is very possible this photo was taken by an itinerant photographer in or near Lincoln in or about July or August 1880. About this time it is well-documented that good friends Garrett and the Kid purposely got together, during which time Garrett issued a stern warning for Billy to leave the Territory. Garrett warned that if elected Lincoln County Sheriff in November and by virtue of that office became a U.S. Deputy Marshal, his first task would be to track down and arrest the Kid and his pals so they could be brought before a judge and perhaps sentenced to death. As later events unfolded, that was exactly what Garrett did although the Kid escaped jail and hanging after he was sentenced to death in Mesilla.
We know that Rudabaugh did not reenter New Mexico until May 1880 and sometimes afterwards connected with Billy. We know further that Barney Mason seemed to switch allegiances between Garrett and Kid all during 1880—being pals with one then another depending on the direction the wind blew in his favor. He finally settled on Garrett in December 1880. Garrett moved from Fort Sumner to Lincoln in Lincoln County in April 1880 in order to be eligible to run for Lincoln County sheriff in November of that year. Whenever this photo was taken, it shows who was riding with the Kid at the time and the facial expressions among the five suggest only Garrett was aware of the gravity of the situation at this time.
Garrett’s Handwriting Verifies Garrett Possessed This Tintype
Proof that Garrett actually handled this tintype was discovered when the letters forming the name ‘Pat Garrett’ penciled on the tintype in historical and not recent time were compared with samples of Garrett’s writing as well as with the letters ‘Pat Garrett’ written in pencil on a shoe tree, aka shoe stretcher or shoe last, on display in the Lincoln County Jail Museum. (See Photo 6) Curt Baggett, a well-respected professional forensic handwriting expert, at http://expertdocumentexaminer.com, has verified with a very high degree of certainty that the letters formed on the tintype, samples of Garrett’s writings, and on the shoe tree are identical to one another.[ii] Further analysis confirmed the formation of the letters ‘A S H’ on the back of the Upson photo are identical to letters formed by Garrett, meaning at some time Garrett held the Upson photo and spelled Upson’s first name on its back. The close relationship between Ash Upson and Pat Garrett from 1881 to Ash’s death on Garrett’s Uvalde ranch in 1894 are well known and hence will not be discussed here. Glenn A. Long finds these signatures compelling in favor of the authenticity of the tintype.
In this author’s view, even if one were to reject this tintype up to this point, there is no way a reasonable person could deny the authenticity of the time and ownership of this tintype within which Pat Garrett’s unique signature is clearly scratched on its surface. Pat’s writing on the photo of Ash Upson that accompanied this tintype would mean that the two most important photos of Abrams’ five flea market purchases contain writing by Pat Garrett.
Pat Garrett’s handwritten script on a shoe tree on display at the Lincoln County Jail Museum, Lincoln, NM is identical to Garrett’s name in script on the Abrams tintype.
Photo courtesy of Frank Abrams.
Individuals in Other Abrams Photos: Key to Provenance
Gibson also compared the only known photo of Marshal Ashmun “Ash” Upson (1828-1894) to an individual in a separate photo in Abrams’ collection. (See Photo 7) A likeness score of 41% was generated, indicating the very strong probability that the person sitting on the horse in that photo is Upson. The letters ‘A S H’ are scratched on the back of that photo in the same script handwriting of Pat Garrett.[i] The woman captured in another separate photo in Abrams’s collection was confirmed by Gibson and experts in Bristol, CT to be Ash’s very favorite niece, Florence Emlyn Downs Muzzy (1851-1939), who lived nearly all of her young life in and around Bristol, CT and later in New York City. The photo appears to have been taken in the early 1880s shortly after the sudden death of her two children as revealed by the clock ‘mourning earrings’ that were manufactured in her hometown. The importance of these confirmations will become apparent in the next section. According to Muzzy experts in Bristol, CT, the other photo appears to be of Florence Muzzy’s only surviving child, Adrian Muzzy. Glenn A. Long agreed fully with the one photo being of Florence Muzzy and the other of Ash Upson. There is a very good chance the last of the five photos is of Hubert Root, a very distant of the well-known Elihu Root family of New York. Research has confirmed there was considerable intermarriages among the Upsons and Roots, whereby photos of Hubert Root could be among Upson-Muzzy photos and vice versa.
Marshall Ashmun ‘Ash’ Upson on horse. Date and place unknown.
Photo courtesy of Frank Abrams.
Case for the Provenance of the Abrams Tintype
Concurrent with efforts to confirm the identity of the five men in the tintype, the matter of provenance of the Abrams tintype was an important but not an absolute necessary condition to support its authenticity. This section answers the question: How might a tintype taken in or about August 1880, most likely in Lincoln, NM, find its way for sale in a flea market in Fletcher, NC in 2011?
Before answering that question, let us first look at the concept of provenance and its use in dealing with historical artifacts such as photos. Historians in self-selected instances believe that something like the Abrams tintype has to have a 100 percent clear documentation chronology of ownership from creation to present before it can be considered as having an acceptable degree or level of provenance to be claimed as authentic. Boessenecker is one such historian, who in the past few years seems to be singlehandedly bearing the flag on behalf of this conception of adequate documentation. However in reality such documentation is rare. For instance, oral histories of objects across generations or families without written documentation is not considered acceptable provenance. Yet the only known tintype of Billy the Kid before Abrams’ photo has only oral histories of ownership. While we know that Garrett at one time possessed a Dedrick-like tintype of the Kid, there is no documentation that his copy is the one that sold in 2011. Ownership of the auction-sold Dedrick tintype has been by word of mouth or ‘hearsay’ stories. I challenge Boessenecker to come forth with the documentation for the Dedrick tintype that he has demanded be brought forth to support the Abrams tintype. Would be interesting to see him explain away Garrett’s signature on that tintype.
The most plausible sequence of ownership for the Abrams tintype is as follows: Following the developing of the tintype, most likely in or about August 1880 in Lincoln, NM, the original 4-panel plate was cut by tin snips into four parts. Who got the images is not known. Most probably Garrett, Kid, and Mason got an image. Who got the fourth is unknown.
Ash Upson was known back then and since as being a very good friend and associate of Garrett. For unknown reasons and at an unknown time, Garrett passed the tintype on to Upson, who lived for several years in Roswell, NM while Garrett was there and later in Uvalde, Texas, where Garrett settled for a number of years.[i] The two men continued to see each other after they moved very near to one another in Uvalde. As a result of handwriting analysis, it is very probable that Garrett scratched the name ‘Pat Garrett’ and ‘Billy’ on the front side of the tintype as certain letters were found to be shaped identically to same letters in known Garrett script. Garrett scratched these names to preserve the identity of particular people in the photo. Garrett could have given the tintype to Upson at any time, perhaps within weeks after Garrett killed the Kid in order not to have a visual reminder of his friendship with the Kid or to disassociate himself as much as possible from the Kid, Mason, and Rudabaugh.
According to several sources, including correspondence in the Maurice Fulton collection at the University of Arizona and the Adrian Florence Muzzy Collection in the New York Public Library, Upson carried on a long and frequent exchange of correspondence, photos, and other objects with his favorite niece, Florence Muzzy, Florence’s three sisters and one brother, Frank Downs, and members of the extended Upson family. Their preserved letters number in the hundreds.[ii] In several letters he mentioned sending her photos. She noted their receipt, although no letter described even one photo sent or received. It is very probable that Upson sent his ‘Little Hurricane’—his nickname for her as cited in several letters—a photo of himself and the tintype he received from Garrett to show her his friend Garrett and some of the cowboys whom he had known. Furthermore, according to Fulton notes, following Upson’s death in 1894, some of his personal items were allegedly sent by Garrett to Florence Downs Muzzy in Bristol, CT. Whether the Abrams’s photo of the five men and of Upson himself was sent at that time or earlier will never be confirmed. The Garrett’s were also ordered to send one large trunk of Upson’s possessions to his family back east, but no documentation has surfaced as to what was in the trunk, whether the Garretts actually sent it, or, if so, to whom it was sent.
In the mid- to late-1800s, Upson relatives in Connecticut are documented to have married several members of the Oneida County, New York Root family, which included distant relatives of prominent lawyer, Elihu Root, of Clinton, NY.[iii] Among the photos Abrams purchased was one of Hubert Arthur Root (1847-1913) of Clinton, NY.[iv] Early in life Hubert was a photographer and collector of photographs. Photo comparison analysis by Long and Gibson revealed the very high probabilitythat the individuals in two separate photos purchased by Abrams were of Florence Downs Muzzy and Hubert A. Root. Muzzy passed away in 1939. Florence’s only surviving daughter, Adrian Florence Muzzy, passed away in 1949 having never married and was childless. She donated her vast collection of photos and documents to the New York Public Library, many of which were of members of the Root, Upson, and Muzzy family. That she did not include the photos in the Abrams collection in her donation suggests that the Abrams photos were not likely in her mother’s estate in 1939, meaning they were in someone else’s possession or were purchased during her mother’s estate sale. Given the intermarrying and intermingling of Root, Brand, and Upson relatives, it is certainly plausible that the Abrams photos were passed on to one of these relatives and sold with items in that person’s estate. Unfortunately the exact circumstances concerning the sequence of ownership of each of Abrams’s photographs will never be known, much less thoroughly documented.
Over the years items from the early 1800s on various items in the Root and Downs family estates were sold, to whom was not recorded. Estate sales of the wealthy in the Oneida area of New York and Clinton and Bristol areas of Connecticut have always drawn a wide variety of buyers, many collectors and more than a handful of resellers. Over the past several decades a number of these resellers-dealers are known to have travelled southward, many stopping along their way to Florida at antique shops and flea markets, where they sold their purchases. This practice continues to this day throughout the mid-Atlantic and Southern states. It is very reasonable to assume that the collection Abrams purchased was purchased at an estate sale, offered for sale in the northeast, and after a while taken southward and offered for sale by one such dealer, who had no notion that he or she was supposed to get full documentation from the estate as to when, where, and from whom the items were obtained and where these items had been virtually every year since the date each was obtained. Of course there is no way to document an accurate record of who owned each Abrams’s photo or confirm with full documentation a year-by-year history of each of the photos Abrams purchased. The above as a very plausible scenario as to each photo’s respective history and ownership and how these particular photos could have been offered for sale at a North Carolina flea market.
In closing, I wonder whether any reader who has a collection of photos said to have been taken by or of their great-grandparents possess sound, credible documentation of the exact time, place, and photographer of each photo as well as who owned each photo and where each photo was each year since each photo was taken. Probably not! Or, suppose a very similar tintype to the accepted Dedrick Billy the Kid photo was discovered and historians recognized it as being one of the long-missing tintypes of that image. Would historians reject it outright and forever because it was not accompanied by the proper and credible documentation? Of course they wouldn’t! All but two of the individuals in Abrams’ five photographs have been positively verified as being very highly probable to be the person that is associated with being in that photo. Using information from numerous interviews and exhaustive searches of archival documents and private collections in New Mexico, Arizona, Connecticut, and New York by Abrams and the conclusions of experts Dunniway, Gibson, Baggett, and Long a very plausible scenario has been described as to the history of ownership of the Garrett-Kid tintype and three of four accompanying photos and how these separate photos became part of one collection purchased by Abrams. As far as these experts and this author are concerned, the case is closed as to the authenticity and provenance of the Abrams Garrett-Kid tintype.