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 Post subject: Houdini to be exhumed....?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 8:49 pm 
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Experts to Test Harry Houdini's Body
Thursday, March 22, 2007 5:44 PM EDT
The Associated Press
By LARRY McSHANE

NEW YORK (AP) — For all of his death-defying stunts, Harry Houdini couldn't escape the Grim Reaper: the unparalleled performer, age 52, expired on Halloween 1926. Many of his trade secrets went with him to the grave — but rumors that Houdini was murdered soon took on a life of their own.

Eighty-one years later, Houdini's great-nephew wants to exhume the escape artist's body to determine if enemies poisoned his renowned relative for debunking their bogus claims of contact with the dead. A team of top-level forensic investigators would conduct new tests once Houdini's body was disinterred, the legendary star's relative told The Associated Press.

"It needs to be looked at," said George Hardeen, whose grandfather was Houdini's brother, Theodore. "His death shocked the entire nation, if not the world. Now, maybe it's time to take a second look."

The circumstances surrounding Houdini's sudden death were as murky as the rivers where his act often found the virtuoso emerging unscathed from chains, locks and wooden boxes. The generally accepted version was that Houdini suffered a ruptured appendix from a punch in the stomach, leading to a fatal case of peritonitis.

But no autopsy was performed. When the death certificate was filed on Nov. 20, 1926, Houdini's body — brought by train from Detroit to Manhattan's Grand Central Terminal — was already buried in Queens, along with any evidence of a possible death plot.

Within days, a newspaper headline wondered, "Was Houdini Murdered?" A new biography, "The Secret Life of Houdini," raised the issue again and convinced George Hardeen and others that poisoning was a real possibility.

A Friday morning news conference was scheduled for details on the exhumation plans. Prominent New York lawyer Joseph Tacopina is assisting the family in clearing any legal hurdles to the exhumation.

The likeliest murder suspects were a group known as the Spiritualists, which became Houdini's bete noir in his final years. The magician devoted large portions of his stage show to exposing the group's fraudulent seances; the movement's devotees included Sherlock Holmes author Arthur Conan Doyle.

In the Houdini biography, authors William Kalush and Larry Sloman detail a November 1924 letter from Doyle that smacks of Professor Moriarty-style malevolence: Houdini, it said, would "get his just desserts very exactly meted out. ... I think there is a general payday coming soon."

Two years later, Houdini — by all accounts an extraordinary physical specimen — was dead before his 53rd birthday. Kalush and Sloman noted that "the Spiritualist underworld's modus operandi in cases like this was often poisoning" — possibly arsenic.

The biography additionally detailed the injection of "an experimental serum" into Houdini by one of his doctors at Detroit's Grace Hospital.

While Houdini took the Spiritualists' repeated death threats seriously, he traveled without the security trappings now de rigeur for celebrities — no bodyguard, no posse, often just his wife Bess.

"If someone were edited-bent on poisoning Houdini," the authors wrote, "it wouldn't have been very difficult."

The team working on the exhumation includes internationally known forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden, and Professor James Starrs, a forensic pathologist who has studied the disinterred remains of gunslinger Jesse James and "Boston Strangler" Albert DeSalvo.

Baden, who chaired panels reinvestigating the deaths of President John F. Kennedy and civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., pointed out a pair of oddities in Houdini's death certificate: It noted his appendix was on the left side, rather than the right. And the diagnosis of appendicitis caused by a punch was "very unusual."

Starrs said he was long familiar with the story of Houdini's death, and believed the fatal injury was the result of an accident. Details contained in the Houdini biography convinced him otherwise.

"My eyebrows went up when I read this book," Starrs said. "I thought, `This is really startling, surprising and unsettling, and at bottom, suspicious in nature.'"

The exhumation plan received support from a surprising source: Anna Thurlow, the great-granddaughter of "medium" Margery, whose husband Dr. Le Roi Crandon was one of the Spiritualist movement's biggest proponents — and one of Houdini's most virulent enemies.

During a 1924 "seance," Margery channeled a "spirit" named Walter who greeted Houdini with a threat: "I put a curse on you now that will follow you every day for the rest of your short life."

While the spirit was imaginary, the prediction of a short life was all too real. Thurlow believes there may be a connection.

"With people that delusional, you have to question what they're capable of,'" she said. "If there's any circumstantial evidence that Houdini was poisoned, we have to explore that


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 6:19 am 
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This is hardly a new issue. Norman Bigelow wrote of the possibility back in the 1980s.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 11:22 am 
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Dr_Stephen_Midnight wrote:
This is hardly a new issue. Norman Bigelow wrote of the possibility back in the 1980s.

But the fact that his great nephew wants him exhumed makes it "newer."
Not the idea persay.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 3:19 pm 
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[edited] the cant do this...my god i think this is unnessasary.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 3:21 pm 
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thegenius3232 wrote:
wait whats exhumed mean?



Dictionary or google it :roll:

Means dig him up from his grave.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 3:22 pm 
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DavidTheCryptic wrote:
thegenius3232 wrote:
wait whats exhumed mean?



Dictionary or google it :roll:

Means dig him up from his grave.


lol got it =D edited btw


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 Post subject: houdin
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 5:12 pm 
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Location: Well I was thinking about it but, I like your moms house
Ok Houdini is dead why would they want to dig him up and figure out
All there going to find is some bones its dumb
And wrong to dig somebody up
People just let houdini die


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 5:44 pm 
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They want to find out if he was murdered... I don't blame them for doing it, I actually think it will be very interesting to see what will happen if they discover that he really was murdered. If not, then Houdini can be left in peace for the rest of his after-life.

-Matt


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 5:50 pm 
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Some feel it's nothing more than a publicity stunt to help book sales.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 5:56 pm 
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Could be, Dave. But for all the necessary paperwork required to actually exhume a body, it's pretty extensive for mere publicity.

I bought the book a few days after it was published last Halloween, and I must confess, I haven't finished it yet. It is a good read, and I want to savor it, so I have gone slower than normal (I can finish a decent 300 pager in a few days), re-reading and absorbing. If what Bill and Larry purport is true, then "Someone gots some 'splainin to do!"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 6:46 pm 
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Some people believe that the whole thing was planned by Houdini as nothing more than a publicity stunt to keep his name in people's minds. Honestly, I wouldn't put it past Houdini to think of something like that. It would have been a good idea.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 8:27 pm 
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I watched this movie on the history channel about harry houdini with some of the greatest magicians talking about him and they said that "harry houdini was going to give all his things to his cousin, which is a magician, and burn everything he owned harry said to do so no one would ever know how he does his stuff, but instead he sold everything."

just think if his cousin did burn all his things like he said too.

I wonder if we would know how all his things would have been done if he did burn it all.


I think its still unnassary to dig up his body, but i cant change that...




-MagicTay


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 8:37 pm 
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thegenius3232 wrote:
I watched this movie on the history channel about harry houdini with some of the greatest magicians talking about him and they said that "harry houdini was going to give all his things to his cousin, which is a magician, and burn everything he owned harry said to do so no one would ever know how he does his stuff, but instead he sold everything."

just think if his cousin did burn all his things like he said too.

I wonder if we would know how all his things would have been done if he did burn it all.


I think its still unnassary to dig up his body, but i cant change that...




-MagicTay


Much of the stuff was later lost in a fire. :?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 9:43 pm 
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thegenius3232 wrote:
I watched this movie on the history channel about harry houdini with some of the greatest magicians talking about him and they said that "harry houdini was going to give all his things to his cousin, which is a magician, and burn everything he owned harry said to do so no one would ever know how he does his stuff, but instead he sold everything."

just think if his cousin did burn all his things like he said too.

I wonder if we would know how all his things would have been done if he did burn it all.


I think its still unnassary to dig up his body, but i cant change that...




-MagicTay
I thought every thing was given to his brother.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 9:49 pm 
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fallingblood wrote:
thegenius3232 wrote:
I watched this movie on the history channel about harry houdini with some of the greatest magicians talking about him and they said that "harry houdini was going to give all his things to his cousin, which is a magician, and burn everything he owned harry said to do so no one would ever know how he does his stuff, but instead he sold everything."

just think if his cousin did burn all his things like he said too.

I wonder if we would know how all his things would have been done if he did burn it all.


I think its still unnassary to dig up his body, but i cant change that...




-MagicTay
I thought every thing was given to his brother.


It was. 8)


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