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Tormentor of the Kid

Ameredith Robert B. (Pecos Bob) Olinger

Bob Olinger was born probably in Delphi, Indiana in 1850. His family moved to Inidian Territory, where Bob lived for a while. His older brother John Wallace Olinger had gone down to Seven Rivers in Lincoln County, New Mexico earlier and in 1876, Bob joined him there. Both became members of the Seven Rivers Warriors, a group of rustlers. Both of the Olinger brothers fought for the Murphy-Dolan-Riley side in the Lincoln County War. After the war, Bob killed fellow Seven Rivers Warrior John Jones because Jones killed Bob's good friend (and possible cousin) John Beckwith. In the Five-Day Battle at Lincoln, Billy the Kid killed Olinger's other close friend, Bob Beckwith, so Bob had an intense hatred for Billy. Bob was a big bully and was charecterized as one by nearly everyone. He got engaged to Lily Casey in 1879 or 1880. Bob was one of the Kid's guards to his trial at La Mesilla. Bob also served as one of Billy's two guards at Lincoln. Bob went out and bought a new 10-guage double-barrled shotgun just for guarding Billy. Bob constantly tormented Billy. On April 28, 1881, Bob was across the street from the Lincoln County courthouse, where Billy was being held at the Wortley Hotel. Somehow, Billy got a pistol and killed his other guard, J. W. Bell, then grabbed Bob's shotgun and ran to a second-story window. Bob came running just as Billy knew he would. When Bob got in full sight of Billy, Billy fired both barrels of the shotgun, killing Bob instantly.

Bob Olinger and Jimmy Dolan

This photo of Bob Olinger and House leader Jimmy Dolan was taken in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1879.

Bob Olinger and Tony Neis

This photo was taken in Santa Fe, New Mexico on March 1, 1881, eight weeks before Olinger was shot and killed by Billy the Kid at Lincoln. Both Neis and Olinger composed part of the group that escorted Billy the Kid to La Mesilla to stand trial.