Part 15
The Wandering Corpse
A Norinko Hanasaki Research Case
By Anthony Servante

 

Sponsored by Martin Reaves

 

 

Introduction:

Welcome, Servante of Darkness readers, newcomers—and, of course, my faithful followers—to the real-time unfolding of events surrounding the disappearance of Norinko Hanasaki from a moving bus passing through the infamous Santa Monica Freeway (McClure) Tunnel.

Because the Norinko investigation has spilled into the personal life of Anthony Servante, the Norinko cases will continue here indefinitely. Part 15 was in the works when Anthony contacted me. I present it to you as is.

Part 16 will resume anon from my perspective. Stay tuned.

Without further ado, I hand the mic to Mr. Servante.

 

The Wandering Corpse

 

Elmer McCurdy (January 1, 1880 – October 7, 1911)

When I visited the temple last week, I learned of a man named Elmer McCurdy. I would like to share his story.

Elmer McCurdy robbed trains in the late 1800s to early 1900s. As such, he was a villain to the railroad barons and a hero to the rail workers. While working alongside the Chinese on the railroad, Elmer learned about the dangers of nitroglycerin demolitions building tunnels. He found stealing from the trains was less risky than blowing up mountains for the track. He was wrong. He was shot dead in a failed robbery attempt.
And that’s where Elmer s story begins.

McCurdy’s remains were mummified with arsenic, an early form of embalming for penniless corpses. And since there was no money for a coffin, Elmer’s body was placed outside the funeral home in Oklahoma to showcase the fine work of the mortician.
The body was stolen and made its way to several sideshows before ending up in a California carnival called Nu Pike Long Beach, where it was discovered by a TV crew filming an episode of the Million Dollar Man. Along the way, Elmer received three burials, and, each time, managed to escape from the grave. He was dubbed “The Wandering Corpse”.

When the Chinese learned that it was McCurdy’s body in the carnival, they raised money to give their former hero a proper burial. However, Oklahoma claimed rights to the enigmatic Elmer to be buried alongside other gunmen of renown. To prevent any further escapes from the grave, he was placed in a coffin and covered with concrete to prevent him from wandering off again.

The Chinese fans of McCurdy were dismayed. This sacrilegious burial could mean only one thing for the former train robber–he was doomed to wander Diyu forever. Even to this day, many Buddhist temples keep a candle lit for Elmer McCurdy to find his way home.

 

 

 

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