He bought an old picture from a flea market for only $2


For those looking for hidden treasures in the future, the person who found a valuable photo of Billy the Kid playing croquet suggests: start searching.

Randy Guijarro mentioned to the Guardian that he wishes his discovery will inspire others to search through their trunks and attics for hidden treasures.

In 1878, a 45-inch photograph captured Billy the Kid on the left, enjoying a game of croquet.

A $2 purchase from a thrift store transformed into a valuable photograph of Billy the Kid enjoying a game of croquet, worth millions.

Guijarro bought a tintype and two other images for $2 in 2010 from an antique shop in Fresno, California. Now, it is worth millions of dollars.

The telecom technician and his wife, Linda, mentioned they will use part of the money they found unexpectedly to support more trips.

Getting a new car could be advantageous for us.

We aim to discover overlooked historical elements in the United States and worldwide.

We love embarking on adventures. The hunt is a truly spectacular occasion.

After examining the picture closely at home using a microscope, he identified the man leaning on a croquet mallet as Henry McCarty, also known as Billy the Kid in Wild West stories. The picture captured him playing the sport with his gang, the Regulators, in New Mexico in 1878.

The criminal’s second confirmed photograph, which has been discovered, is valued at $5 million.

During a broadcast on Sunday, Kevin Costner narrated a National Geographic program that chronicled the five-year process of authenticating it – a mix of forensics and history.

“It was amazing,” Guijarro, 54, expressed. “We struggled to see it, but we’ve shared everything with you, told you the truth, and we trust you’ve enjoyed the journey.”

He stated that uncertainty and deceptive trails hindered the investigation, causing the pair to feel uneasy and stressed, unsure of who to trust.

The journey was filled with ups and downs. It had been a lengthy and solitary voyage. This picture had an eerie feeling reminiscent of the Twilight Zone. “It’s too good to be true.”

Billy the Kid, a young man from New York, became a notorious outlaw, reportedly taking the lives of 21 individuals before being shot by sheriff Pat Garrett in 1881 at the age of 21, becoming a symbol of the Wild West.

Other historians claim he only murdered nine people. The sole remaining verified photo of him shows him seated with a rifle in 1880, which was sold for $2.3 million (£1.5 million) in 2011.

Guijarro has amassed coins, sports cards, comic books, and various memorabilia over the years, often teaming up with his wife, who has a passion for antique photographs.

In the summer of 2010, he was driving back home from work when he stumbled upon Fulton’s Folly Antique Collective in Fresno’s Tower district.

The dealer directed him to two individuals with “junk crates.” Guijarro was told that they were clearing out a storage unit and needed to get rid of it.

He selected three pictures – the croquet players, along with other scenes from the 19th century – and gave them $2, which was his entire possession. They accepted it.

Guijarro barely remembers them. “I had no idea who they were. It’s all a bit fuzzy.”

It took him a whole week to examine the croquet shot closely under a microscope and identify the famous bandit, even though he admired its composition.

Billy the Kid could be identified by his hat, his demeanor, and the way he leaned on a croquet stick. I thought to myself, “You could give him a Winchester rifle.”

Linda, who was called upon, is referred to as “a kind and practical woman”. She proceeded to investigate the other members of the Regulators.

She stumbled upon Tom O’Folliard and Charlie Bowdre, two more croquet players, while browsing the internet. Guijarro exclaimed, “It was absolutely breathtaking.”

They later identified all 18 individuals in the picture, along with the school building in Chavez County, New Mexico, that they found with the assistance of researchers, collectors, facial recognition professionals, and other experts.

It was found that the photo was taken following a wedding in 1878, just one month after the gang was involved in the violent Lincoln County feud.

Kagin’s Inc, a California-based numismatic company, has insured it for $5 million and is searching for a private purchaser.

Guijarro mentioned that they are not getting ahead of themselves, but there is a great deal of interest.

He and Linda aim to clear debts, support friends and family, and start mapping out future treasure hunts alongside buying a new car.

He and Linda aim to clear debts, support friends and family, and start mapping out future treasure hunts alongside buying a new car.

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