description

W. W. Cox is one of many individuals who was either directly or indirectly involved in the murder of Pat Garrett, the man who killed Billy the Kid while acting as sheriff of Lincoln County, New Mexico. Cox was a New Mexico rancher who's action of paying $3,567 made it possible for Pat Garrett to remain in possession of his ranch in Dona Ana County, New Mexico. Every subsequent debt owed by Garrett for his ranch was paid for by Cox. It has been suggested that Cox may have in fact been involved in a plot to get Pat Garrett isolated and murdered, whether this is true or not was never discovered.

In casting about for possible motives, neighbors remembered how angry Cox had been in the summer of 1899 when he returned to his ranch and learned that then sheriff Garrett and deputy Jose Espalin had invaded the Cox home and killed an unarmed young man named Reed in the kitchen where he was helping Mrs. Cox with the dishes. Seeing two men with drawn pistols burst into the room, Reed had turned to run when he was shot dead. Garrett later explained that it appeared the young fellow was leaving to get a gun. Today it makes no difference that the wrong man was killed. An exceptionally large reward had been offered in Greer County, Oklahoma, for an escaped murderer named Norman Newman, and the sheriff had reason to suspect that the wanted man was at the San Augustine ranch. Garrett never collected the reward. It was bad enough that the raid had been staged when Cox was away from the ranch, but the thing which angered him most was that his wife, witnessing the killing, suffered a severe shock.

Another theory is that Garrett was killed because W. W. Cox wanted his ranch. This offers a quick and easy answer to the question of motive. Perhaps too quick and easy, when one considers the facts. The Cox range, extending all the way from the watershed of the Organ mountains to Cox's Well at the foot of the Jirallas, was already so vast that "he didn't know what to do with it all." Most significantly, in later years he could have acquired the ranch merely by foreclosing the delinquent mortgage he held on the property. It would not have been necessary to kill Pat Garrett in order to obtain his little ranch.

If--and this is a big IF-- W. W. Cox conspired to have Pat Garrett killed, he must have had some motive which no one has even been able to discover.

Uploaded on 07.28.2014 by El Paso Museum of History

Out of Area / Out of Area, (1880 - 1889), Conflict

  • pat garrett
  • W. W. Cox

Your comment will be visible after the El Paso Museum staff has reviewed it. This usually happens within 24 hours.

Thank you for your comment

W. W. Cox

Report this entry

Choose the most important reason for this report

Your name

Your email address

Optional detail

Thank you for your report

More from the same community-collection

Montestruc Family

Member of the Montestruc Family

Montestruc Family

Part of the Montestruc family.

Montestruc Family

Part of the Montestruc family.

Montestruc Family

members of the Montestruc family.

Montestruc Family

children of the Montestruc family.

Angulo Angulo Family

Jose Maria Angulo (bearded) married to his cousin Maria Inocencia Angulo (with child in her arms), great grandparents of Jorge...

2230 First Ave

2230 First Ave post renovation 2015ish Fluff & Barbara

Home 1965

2230 First Ave Atlanta Ga before renavation (Fluff)

rrrr

rrr

Muslim Brothers

Sheik Ruradeen of Gallup NM & McCarthy of ICEP

El Paso YOUNG ghostbusters

El Paso YOUNG ghostbusters

El Paso YOUNG ghostbusters

El Paso YOUNG ghostbusters

El Paso YOUNG ghostbusters meeting MACHETE

El Paso YOUNG ghostbusters

El Paso YOUNG ghostbusters

El Paso YOUNG ghostbusters

El Paso YOUNG ghostbusters

El Paso YOUNG ghostbusters