Yesterday I was reading in the local newspaper that a descendant of Harry Houdini's wants his body to be dug up and tested for poisining. Seems he thinks the Magician was murdered. Here is a copy of the article as appeared on the internet:
A DESCENDANT of Harry Houdini wants his body exhumed to test a theory that the famed escape artist was murdered 81 years ago, a spokesman for the family's lawyer said.
Houdini, who was famed for freeing himself from chains, straitjackets and sealed containers, died in Detroit, Michigan in 1926.
No autopsy was performed but the cause of death was said to be a ruptured appendix. Houdini's appendix was thought to have been ruptured by a punch to the abdomen.
But Houdini's great-nephew George Hardeen believes the performer may have been killed by people who were angry because he debunked their claims they could communicate with the dead.
If his bid to have Houdini's remains exhumed is successful, Hardeen plans to have a team of forensic investigators examine the body for evidence of foul play.
Joseph Tacopina, a prominent New York defence lawyer who charges $750 per hour, is assisting Hardeen.
I know from all the books that I have read and studied on Houdini he had worked for years to disprove Spiritualists and Mediums and show that they were nothing more than tricksters. That in fact was a good motive for murder. It is reported that one of the members in the cult of Spiritualis and mediums that was after Houdini was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle the author of the Sherlock Holmes books.
I know Houdini had tried for years to contact his dead Mother through Spiritualists and discovered that they were all fake. Because of the bitterness of not reaching her, he decided that the dead could not come back to make contact. But many people believed that if anyone could cross over from the spirit world that it would be Houdini. He was the ultimate escape artist and they thought if it was supernaturally possible, he would do it. Apparently it was not as no one has ever proved for sure that his apparition has been seen or a message received from him.
Taken from the About Internet site:
Since the Halloween night when Bess Houdini turned off the light at her husband's portrait, the séances to contact the dead magician have continued in many parts of the country, both officially and unofficially. It may be impossible to tell whether or not Houdini is really being channeled at any of these annual séances because the secret coded message Houdini devised with his wife has since been revealed - by Bess herself.
"The message was based on both sentimentality and an old vaudeville mind-reading routine," according to Houdini - magictricks.com. "The message was, 'Rosabelle- answer- tell- pray, answer- look- tell- answer, answer- tell.' Bess's wedding band bore the inscription 'Rosabelle,' the name of the song she sang in her act when they first met. The other words correspond to a secret spelling code used to pass information between a magician and his assistant during a mentalism act. Each word or word pair equals a letter. The word 'answer' stood for the letter 'B,' for example. 'Answer, answer' stood for the letter 'V.' Thus, the Houdinis' secret phrase spelled out the word 'believe'."
In 1929, a young medium named Arthur Ford claimed he had successfully received the secret message from Harry Houdini. Upon investigation, however, it was discovered that Ford's claim was a hoax. Bess, it seems, had inadvertently revealed the message to reporters more than a year earlier.
Even though Bess gave up the séances herself, she asked magician Walter B. Gibson to carry on the October 31 tradition. For many years, Gibson, along with several other magicians, held the séances at the Magic Towne House in New York City. Countless other "unofficial" Houdini séances have been held by local psychics across the country throughout the years - all in good fun, but with no definitive proof of so much as a "hello" from Harry Houdini.
Today, the official Houdini Séance is held at The Houdini Museum in Scranton, Pennsylvania. And true to the times, they have been conducting séances on the Internet.
If you are intersted in finding more on Houdini there is plenty on the internet and also at your local Library. There are even books that reveal many of his secrets, I have many of them in my collection as I have studied Magic ever since I was 8 years old and became a Magician myself soon thereafter, I put on Magic Shows for many, many years.
Magic is a fascinating and exciting pastime or hobby and can bring joy and happiness to your own self and also to the people who watch it. I know it built my self esteem, made me new friends and gave me a better outlook on life. I still perform for family and friends and I am always buying new equipment and tricks as I find them in the stores.
Also check out the movie of Houdini that starred Tony Curtis. It is entertaining and worth watching.