Elmer McCurdy became well known throughout the United States as a failed bank and train robber. Yet this was not to be his legacy. Instead, Elmer would find more success once he was dead than he ever did in life.
Born in the late 19th century and dying aged only 31, McCurdy was left forgotten about for nearly a century until his body was discovered during filming for the Six-Million-Dollar Man. Yet how did such an unremarkable man find himself on the set of a popular TV series? Even more bizarrely, how did he manage it when he had been dead for over 60 years?
This is his story.
Elmer McCurdy was born on 1st January 1880 in Washington, Maine, to his 17-year-old mother Sadie. His father is unknown, and it appears that Elmer was raised without one being present. Sadie’s brother, Elmer’s uncle, adopted him when he was very young, perhaps to save his sister from the gossip and scandal of raising a child by herself.