THE STRANGE FATE OF ELMER McCURDY
In 1976 the film crew from the popular television series, The Six Million Dollar Man, were on location at Nu-Pike Amusement Park in Long Beach, California getting ready to film a scene in a funhouse when someone bumped into a dummy of a hanging man and broke its arm off. When the crew got some glue to fixed the damaged dummy, they noticed something odd and very grisly - there appeared to be a bone sticking out of the joint. This dummy was no dummy... it was a real body!
A coroner was called to investigate the mummified corpse and, thanks to the methods that were used to embalm the body and some coins found lodged in the body's throat, and a bullet found in the carcass that the unfortunate hanging man met his demise between 1900 and 1920.
Also found within the throat was an old ticket for Louis Sonney’s Museum of Crime. Although the museum has long since shut its doors, police were able to locate the owner's son who told them that his father had bought the embalmed body of Elmer McCurdy, who had been an outlaw in Oklahoma and charged patrons a quarter to see it.
McCurdy was a notorious Oklahoma bandit. A safecracker, killer, and thief who was killed in a gun battle after a botched train robbery.
It is assumed that his body was embalmed at a funeral home and then went unclaimed for a time before some enterprising people thought they could make some money showing the bandit's body off and posed as relatives to get their hands on Elmer who eventually made it to Louis Sonney's Museum of Crime. When the museum went out of business in 1791 following Louis' death, his son sold the museum's inventory (which included the unfortunate Mr. McCurdy) to the Hollywood Wax Museum who in turn, deciding not to keep a dead body, sold it to Nu-Pike Amusement Park where, by a "lucky break" he was discovered by the film crew of The Six Million Dollar Man.
Elmer McCurdy's days of just hanging around are over. He now rests at Summit View Cemetery in Guthrie, Oklahoma.