jordannews - The news came by e-mail: “I may have an interesting story brewing for you,” Jordan resident Kathy Machowski, a ghost hunter a founding member of Beyond the Veil, wrote earlier this fall. “I was in a graveyard not to far from Jordan, and I was doing my ghostie thing. Well, I got an EVP of a man saying, ‘William Bonney.’”
Electronic voice phenomena (EVP) are sound recordings believed to be the voice of a spirit. Often, EVP’s are not heard at first, but after an investigation, ghost hunters analyze recordings to catch signs of a ghost. Cemeteries are very active with EVP’s, Machowski said.
One of Machowski’s recent EVP’s was distinct and quizzical. Someone had mentioned William Bonney, an alias used by Billy the Kid.
“I thought, Wow ... William Bonney has never been known to have been in Minnesota,” the e-mail from Machowski continued. “I am going to be going back to see if I can get more EVP’s and to check the headstones.”
The ghost hunter returned twice to the Lydia Zion United Methodist Church cemetery in Spring Lake Township, talking and recording. The first time, her EVP’s turned up a woman who did not mention the frontier outlaw, who according to legend, killed 21 men, one for each year of his life.
The number is disputed.
As was his death, Machowski said.
The man who claimed to have killed Billy the Kid never received the bounty placed on the head of his notorious prize, Machowski said. The gravesite of Billy the Kid, born Henry McCarty, is unknown.
“With all this information, could he have survived?” Machowski said in an interview. “Maybe. Can’t say.”
Machowski’s suspicion had been that he was buried in Lydia, but her search – even for aliases, including his dearest friend’s names – ended empty handed.
But after a short ghost hunt last week with the Jordan Independent staff, she analyzed her recordings and wrote another e-mail:
“There was a man and a woman there at the graveyard when we were there. Some of the voices are very faint and hard to hear. … When I asked about dropping the name of William Bonney, I got a woman saying, ‘Fame.’”
Then, in the same location as she had recorded the first mention of William Bonney, she recorded a man saying, “He’s dead.”
A friend of hers searched the gravestones for Billy the Kid’s aliases, as well. He did not find any, but he searched for the birth certificates of the deceased. One of them could not be found, raising further suspicion with Machowski.
“That place isn’t that big,” Machowski said in an interview. “And a lot of them have the same name, because you know, a family-oriented town.”
Machowski, who plans to return for more recordings, said it’s just another mystery worth pursuing.
NOTE: Billy the Kid (Henry McCarty, alias William Bonney) was buried at Fort Sumner, New Mexico and the man who killed him, Pat Garrett, was buried at the Masonic Cemetery in Las Cruces, New Mexico. I'm going to try to make some inquiries and keep tabs on this case...it's an interesting mystery.