Two-And-A-Half Years in the Making

October 31, 2006
Photo: iStock

Howard took a call from Ratso Sloman, an author whose latest book, “The Secret Life of Houdini,” claims, among other things, that Henry Houdini was a spy for America and Britain. Ratso then explained Houdini was, in fact, “sucker punched” just prior to his death as legend had it, but that wasn’t what killed him, and discussed how he used to expose spiritualists who were faking their craft. As Ratso continued to talk about his book, Howard admitted the story of Houdini’s life sounded confusing to him. Ratso went on to say the book was more than 600 pages long, and that he got interested in writing it because of the work he’d done with David Blaine.

Ratso’s coauthor of the book, Bill Kalush, then got on the line and also refuted the story that Houdini died after being punched in the stomach. Bill said a mysterious appendicitis was what killed Houdini, even though he added he believed foul play was involved in his death.