AS SEEN ON:
'Stories Of The Century'
AS PLAYED BY:
Thomas Edward Ketchum, known as Black Jack Ketchum (October 31, 1863–April 26, 1901), was a cowboy and cattle driver who later turned to a life of crime. He was hanged in 1901 for attempted train robbery.
A lot of TV Western bad guys were played by Jack Elam, and let's face it, he had a VERY distinctive look. It could be that many of these characters were one and the same person.
Here's how it would work - when the heat was on for a particular Western bad guy, he'd fake his death and then seek out the services of undertaker Fabian Lavendor (played by Carroll O'Connor in an episode of 'The Wild Wild West'). For a fee, Lavendor would provide a new identity and even some rudimentary plastic surgery so that the client could begin a new life of crime elsewhere.
Black Jack Ketchum was also played on TV by Lane Bradford in an episode of 'Rin Tin Tin', which aired a year and a half after Jack Elam's episode of 'Stories Of The Century'.
As we're pretty committed to the idea that 'Stories Of The Century' were tall tales fabricated by Matt Clark, I think we're going to go with the idea that Lane Bradford played the real Ketchum and Jack Elam's character was using that name as an alias.