406 EAST OKLAHOMA AVENUE
GUTHRIE, OKLAHOMA 73044
In December, 1976, while filming an episode of the hit television show, The Six
Million Dollar Man, entitled "The Carnival of Spies," at the Nu-Pike Amusement
Park in Long Beach, California, Chris Haynes grabbed the arm of a mannequin
hanging by a noose in the Laff-In-The-Dark fun house. The arm broke off in his
hands revealing a bone. Haynes and another crew member through close
observation of the unclad body determined it to be that of a human male.
Deputy Medical Examiner, Dr. Joseph Choi confirmed the body to be
mummified human remains and performed an autopsy on December 9th.
Dr. Choi found a gunshot wound entering below the right nipple and traveling
downward from left to right. A .32 caliber "Gas Check" was found lodged in
the mummy's pelvic muscle. Tests also revealed high levels of arsenic.
The search for the mummy's identity made national news. At the urging of
other members of Indian Territory Posse of Oklahoma Westerners, Oklahoma
Territorial Museum Director, Fred Olds became involved. Along with LA
County coroner, Dr. Thomas Noguchi, and Forensic anthropologist Dr. Clyde
Snow, the mummy was identified as the remains of the outlaw, Elmer McCurdy,
Fred Olds took the lead in returning the mummy to Oklahoma for burial.
McCurdy rests at Summit View Cemetery in Guthrie, Oklahoma while
Stringer Fenton is buried in Madera California.
On October 4, 1911, Elmer McCurdy and two other men flagged down the
M.K.&T. #29 train outside Okesa Oklahoma, expecting to find a $400,000
Osage Indian royalty payment. The robbers rifled the mail, turned over seat
cushions, drank a keg of beer, and forced the crew to open the safe. They
escaped with $46.00 and two demijohns (bottles) of whisky. they had stopped
the wrong train.
Three days later, a posse consisting of Stringer Fenton, his brother Bob, and
Dick Wallace, cornered McCurdy in a hay loft in the Osage hills. After an hour
long gun battle, McCurdy lay dead. A bullet from Stringer's Luger automatic
pistol passed through his right chest and lodged in his left pelvis. In addition
a pellet from Wallace's shotgun struck him in the neck.
Fenton transported McCurdy to the funeral home of Joseph Johnson in
Pawhuska. Johnson embalmed McCurdy and stored him in a back room. As
the years passed, McCurdy's body mummified and Johnson stood him in a
corner for the curious to see. In 1916, two men, one claiming to be McCurdys
brother arrived to purportedly fulfill their mother's dying wish and bring Elmer
home. Johnson unwittingly released the body to the men who were actually
representatives of The Great Patterson Shows.
Within a week, McCurdy began a sixty year career as a sideshow attraction.
Click the diagram to
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Elmer McCurdy, alias
Frank Curtis, alias Frank
Davidson, killed near
Oct 7, 1911
Click the photo to enlarge
Elmer McCurdy is buried beside Bill Doolin in Summit
View Cemetery in Guthrie, Oklahoma. Numerous law
enforcement agents and dignitaries were in attendance
on April 22, 1977 when McCurdy was finally laid to rest.
on the right and
Later Portrait of
on right with an