Deputy Sheriff James W. Bell

Deputy Sheriff James W. Bell

Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, New Mexico

End of Watch Thursday, April 28, 1881

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James W. Bell

Deputy Sheriff James Bell and Deputy Marshal Robert Olinger, of the United States Marshals Service, were shot and killed during an escape attempt by the notorious outlaw Billy the Kid.

Deputy Bell is buried in Cedarvale Cemetery, White Oaks, Lincoln County, New Mexico.


  • Age 28
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Shot and killed

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In everything that I have read, Billie and Bell got along fine and liked each other. Some reports will tell you that the pistol used by Billie went off accidentally during a struggle on the staircase of the old Lincoln County Jailhouse. It has also been written that Billie actually grieved and suffered for some time after killing Bell. In all accounts, Bell was a good guy, friendly and liked by many.

James W. Kolm Jr.
Ex Deputy Sheriff --- Billie the Kid Historian

April 3, 2024

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