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Tom O'Folliard (c. 1858 – December 19, 1880) was the best friend of the famous outlaw William Bonney (Billy the Kid). Both were members of the Regulators during the Lincoln County War. Afterwards, they became cattle rustlers, forming the Billy The Kid's gang with Dave Rudabaugh and Charlie Bowdre.
O'Folliard, a Texan, was a participant in the Lincoln County War and survived the famous Five-Day Battle in Lincoln during July 1878. He is said to have been wounded by a gunshot to the shoulder while escaping from the McSween residence, which had been set on fire, with Billy and three others.
He was shot in the chest by members of Pat Garrett's posse on December 19, 1880, at Fort Sumner, and died approximately 45 minutes later.
He was interred at Old Fort Sumner Cemetery in a plot shared by Bonney and Charlie Bowdre.
He changed his French last name from Folliard to O'Folliard after he met an Irish girl who wanted to marry an Irish man. But, after a couple of months she figured out he was French and broke up. He still went by O'Folliard for the rest of his life.
He is survived even today by relatives in, Chicago, Illinois; California; New York; England and Nice, France, who go by the last name Folliard.
Inaccurate portrayals in the media
- O'Folliard was portrayed in the film Young Guns II by Balthazar Getty as a 14-year-old "tenderfoot" orphan from Pennsylvania who begs his way into Billy the Kid's gang. This was inaccurate, as O'Folliard was a Texan, never left the southwest and was in his late teens when he joined the Regulators.
- O'Folliard was not depicted in the original Young Guns film, although O'Folliard in real life was present for the majority of the events depicted in the movie and had been one of Billy the Kid's best friends since the two first met.
- O'Folliard also appeared in Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973), played by screenwriter Rudy Wurlitzer - though he was depicted inaccurately as an older, middle-aged man.
O'Folliard appeared in Gore Vidal's Billy The Kid (1989) played by Patrick Massett.