Jocelyn Gordon Whitehead

Jocelyn Gordon Whitehead

Death 5 Jul 1954 (aged 58)
Montreal, Montreal Region, Quebec, Canada
Burial Montreal, Montreal Region, Quebec, Canada
Plot Lot 188, Grave 75
Memorial ID 11432883 · View Source
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Folk Figure. A student, as well as a boxer, at the McGill University, in Montreal, Quebec, he gained fame as the man who sucker-punched magician Harry Houdini. On October 22, 1926, he walked up to the distracted Houdini, said something, and then punched the magician in the stomach as he was laying down. After the incident Houdini lay dying from stomach pains and severe appendicitis for more then a week, finally dying on October 31, 1926, at the age of 52. Although Whitehead was never charged with a crime he did have to sign an affidavit for Houdini's widow, so she could collect life insurance from the New York Life Insurance Company under the double indemnity clause. Whitehead who later disappeared into obscurity died from malnutrition in Montreal, Quebec, in 1954. An author by the name of Don Bell, wrote a book about the incident in 2004, entitled, "The Man Who Killed Houdini." Contrary to popular belief, appendicitis and not the punch was the likely cause of Houdini's death...although the pain inflicted by the blows may have masked the pain of the appendicitis, preventing the performer from seeking treatment until it was too late.

Bio by: Peterborough K


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Peterborough K
  • Added: 27 Jul 2005
  • Find a Grave Memorial 11432883
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Jocelyn Gordon Whitehead (25 Nov 1895–5 Jul 1954), Find a Grave Memorial no. 11432883, citing Hawthorn-Dale Cemetery, Montreal, Montreal Region, Quebec, Canada ; Maintained by Find A Grave .