Michigan · Newspaper clippings

Houdini’s death

October 31, 1926
Detroit, Michigan
Harry Houdini dies of peritonitis

Houdini had been reclining in a couch due to a recently broken ankle when J. Gordon Whitehead, a university student, asked Houdini “if he believed in the miracles of the Bible” and “whether it was true that punches in the stomach did not hurt him,” according to 2 witnesses. Whitehead then delivered “some very hammer-like blows below the belt” which caused Houdini to wince. Because of his injury, Houdini could not immediately stand to defend himself, and simply motioned he had had enough after several punches.

It’s disputed if his attack led to Houdini’s death as there is no evidence or studies correlating appendicitis and blunt force trauma. Houdini died several days later, his last words to his brother were “I’m tired of fighting, Dash. I guess this thing is going to get me.”

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