With Nancy J. Farrier
Caligula Declares War on Poseidon/Neptune
|Photo by Richard Mortel|
Give the Enemy Some Bullets
|Photo by Jebulon|
Poll the Naughty Parrot
|By Samuele Wikipediano 1348|
The Traveling Corpse
Elmer McCurdy wanted to be a gunslinger in the Wild West. During his last, he robbed banks and became an outlaw. In 1911, he died in a shootout with law enforcement after he robbed a train. His body went to an undertaker and wasn’t claimed, so the undertaker embalmed him with a preservative made from arsenic, commonly used to preserve bodies for long periods of time. Johnson, the undertaker, shaved the corpse and dressed him and stored him in the back room. He wanted payment for his services, so he decided to put the corpse on display and charge for viewing.
|By W.G. Boag|
In 1916, two men claiming to be McCurdy’s brothers paid Johnson and took the body. They were actually James and Charles Patterson of the Great Patterson Carnival Shows. They traveled with the corpse on display in their show until they sold everything to Louis Sonney who put McCurdy in his Museum of Crime, another traveling show.
McCurdy’s body ended up in Los Angeles and was eventually sold to a wax museum and then a funhouse called, The Pike. In 1976, a scene of The Six Million Dollar Man was being filmed at The Pike. When a prop man moved a hanging wax corpse, the arm broke off. Human bone and muscle tissue were visible. The police took the corpse to the coroner’s office and they tested the remains to determine who this was. Through various clues they discovered this was really the corpse of Elmer McCurdy. McCurdy was taken in 1977 to Guthrie, Oklahoma and was finally buried—right next to another outlaw.
These were some interesting and unusual stories. I hope at least one of them gave you a moment to smile and maybe laugh. Wishing all of you the best Christmas and a blessed New Year. - Nancy