Friday, March 23, 2007

Houdini may have been murdered!

I heard on NPR this morning that the Great-Nephew of Harry Houdini has requested that his body be exhumed. The news story is HERE.

The basics of the story are this:
-Houdini died on Halloween night, 1926.
-Death certificate states cause of death as an adverse reaction on the appendix resulting from a punch in the stomach.
-No autopsy was ever performed.

Houdini's authorized biography lays out some pretty good cases for his death being anything but an accident; the Death Certificate being only the tip of the iceberg. It was completed after Houdini was already buried, and the wording is wrong on where the appendix is located in the human body. And medical experts even back then contested that the disease/complication that supposedly killed him could not have been caused by a punch or anything involving that part of the body. So why wasn't an autopsy performed?

The little twist in Houdini's life was his public refuting of a group called the Spiritualists. The Spiritualists were a group of men who claimed they could speak to the dead. One of their most renowned members was Arthur Conan Doyle of Sherlock Holmes fame. He was heard on many occasions telling the press and anyone who would listen that Houdini would live a short life and die a mysterious death. Many doctors of the time were members, and part of the conspiracy theory is that they covered up the real cause of death. Which was what, according to his family? Arsenic poisoning! And guess what? That can be traced in hundreds-year-old bones.

So the family has hired the best forensic scientists in the world, including one who worked on a JFK re-investigation and Jesse James' recent exhumation. So we may know very soon if this super healthy man was killed or actually died from a punch in the stomach. Isn't this stuff cool?


Blogger lyndsay said...

i love this kind of stuff i really hate history class but things like this just spark my interest just like old ghost stories

6:38 PM  

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