Thrifter Buys $2 Photograph Of Man, Realizes His Identity And Now The Photo Might Be Worth $5 Million
Joshua Patton 12/29/2017
Part of the appeal of secondhand stores is that hidden in the worthless odd-and-ends is a real treasure. For Randy Guijarro, his $2 investment in a trio of photographs from the nineteenth century could result in a life-changing payout.
Randy wasn't looking for treasure, but rather liked the visual aesthetic of the photographs. And since they only cost a couple of bucks, he decided to buy them.
What was in the other two photos isn't known, but there was one photo that held Randy's interest. This special photo, taken in 1878, doesn't appear that special at first glance.
In the image, a little more than a dozen people stand in front of a wooden shack. There are a pair of folks on horseback, one of whom is interacting with a woman in a dark dress. A group of kids sit near the house and some men are playing croquet.
As he told Inside Edition:
"I'm looking then, with a little magnifying glass and went 'oh my....' This truly is like a Twilight Zone photograph."
The person in the photograph who makes it possibly worth millions of dollars is one of the least interesting, visually-speaking. While others are posing, this figure just stands nonchalant with his hands on his hips.
However, when Randy and his wife Linda looked closer at him they recognized that this could be an image of one of the most notorious figures in American history: Billy the Kid.
Randy and Linda spent the next five years researching the infamous outlaw in the hopes of authenticating the photo. If it is Billy the Kid, it is only the second-ever image of him. That photo sold at an auction for $2.3 million dollars. Randy and Linda's photo has just been insured for $5 million by Kagins Auction House.
It is believed the photo was taken during a wedding, and it features not just Billy the Kid but at least four members of his gang, know as "the Regulators." The story of the photo, and Randy's efforts to authenticate it, are even the subject of a new documentary called Billy the Kid: New Evidence.
However, for Randy and Linda, they have all the evidence they need to know that their keen eyes in a thrift shop helped them find a key piece of American history.