Dummy - Dead and Alive!
Webmaster Note: One of my earliest memories of the Pike
was the first time I saw a dead man. He was in a glass box in
a Ripley's Believe It or Not type of side show in the late '40s
at the Pike. I remember reading in the papers years later that
someone found a real body in what they thought was a dummy in
the "Laff in the Dark" at the Pike where they were
shooting the TV show, "The Six Million Dollar Man".
Ken McGrath who was with the
Nu-Pike police from 1962 until 1978 and as chief of the Park
Police from 1972 until 1978 (the father of Millikan classmate
Cindy (MCGRATH) Obertean '77) sent me the following:
"The dead man under the
glass was Elmer McCurdy who was a mummified bank robber that
was killed by a posse at the turn of the century. His body was
sold to a carnival and made its way around the U.S. for many
years, ending up at the Pike. Two fellows named Crysdale and
Learsh opened a wax museum type place and Mr. McCurdy was one
of the displays. The wax museum folded and the contents of same
were kept by the Pike. Elmer ended up hanging in the Dark Ride
until they were shooting the TV series, "The Six Million
Dollar Man" in the park. A doctor on the TV set picked up
an arm that someone had pulled off Elmer, and we were all shocked
to learn that he was a real human. We all thought he was made
of fiberglass and leather. I called Thomas Noguchi, the L.A.
coroner, and his office sent someone down to take the body. An
autopsy was performed, and they found the bullet that killed
Elmer. They also found in his mouth a 1922 penny that was like
brand new and a ticket stub."
Click to see full size and the story of the outlaw
Kenneth Hays from Mustang, Oklahoma sent an interesting link on Elmer McCurdy: