Harry Houdini died at age 52 on Halloween in 1926. Shortly after his death, rumors alleging that he was murdered became increasingly popular. In 2007, 81 years after his death, Houdini’s great-nephew wanted to exhume the body to discover once and for all whether he had been poisoned. Houdini angered some rival magicians when he debunked their claims of making contact with the dead, which may have led to his death at their hands. By exhuming the body, expert forensic investigators would be able to perform new tests on Houdini to determine whether there was any truth to the murder allegations.
Joseph Tacopina, a leading New York lawyer, provided assistance to the family in overcoming any legal hurdles that the exhumation might have. Under Joe Tacopina’s leadership, the family could finally obtain justice for the famed magician.
The exhumation plan received support from the great-granddaughter of the “medium” whose husband has become a prime suspect due to his leadership in the Spiritualist movement, which Houdini had debunked. She felt that any cause for suspicion warranted a fair examination.