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"And what conclusions did the coroner come to?" [SPEC]

It seems that Conan Doyle is in the news again, and all for the wrong reasons. Earlier this week it was the news that a Sherlock Holmes comic would inspire a new movie (check the Shared Articles in the right column below for rumors on who might play Holmes).

This time, Conan Doyle's name is being mentioned in connection with the death of Harry Houdini. It seems that a relative of Houdini's wants his body exhumed for examination, to determine if he was murdered. This subject came up last year, when the biography The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America's First Superhero was released. As you may know, Houdini died of a ruptured appendix after receiving a blow to the abdomen when he wasn't properly prepared.

But because of Houdini's work on debunking frauds, the Spiritualists didn't appreciate his work. The book, which I believe was the impetus behind Houdini's great-nephew pushing for the autopsy, claimed that the Spiritualists essentially put out a hit on Houdini and that Doyle was one of the instigators.

Pure sensationalism, if you ask us. And using Conan Doyle's name in connection with it is pure showmanship. Ironic, but Houdini, the master showman, would probably approve of the publicity method, were he alive.



Anonymous said... March 23, 2007 at 6:54 PM

I am not a student of the Spiritualist world, but IIRC Conan Doyle was just as eager as Harry the H to rid the world of the charlatan, the cheat and the swindler.

Perhaps if Doyle only spoke Yiddish . . .

Harold Stackhurst
The Gables