Meanwhile, McCarty’s father Patrick passed away when he was young. His mom Catherine then relocated with him and his younger brother Joseph several times, before marrying William Henry Harrison Antrim in 1873 in Santa Fe, New Mexico Territory. Indeed, his stepfather would eventually become the inspiration behind one of his stepson’s aliases, Kid Antrim.
Then shortly before his 14th birthday in September 1874, McCarty’s mom Catherine sadly passed away from tuberculosis. Indeed, it is believed that McCarty’s life of crime began on the first anniversary of his mother’s death. And what started as fairly innocent petty theft soon began to escalate.
McCarty, now staying in boarding houses and foster homes, first saw jail in 1875. The sentence came after he and fellow criminal George Schaefer robbed a Chinese laundry, where they stole clothes and a couple of pistols. However, he reportedly broke out of the prison after two days by climbing up a chimney and became a fugitive. A report detailing the incident was then published in the Silver City Herald, in what became the first ever story published about the outlaw.