J. Gordon Whitehead

Jocelyn Gordon Whitehead (died 1954) is the man who sucker-punch magician Harry Houdini in the stomach on October 22 1926. 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 nine days later. At the time of this incident, Whitehead had been a McGill University student in Montreal. Despite the fact that there were witnesses to the event, Whitehead was never arrested. He himself had to submit an affidavit to the New York Life Insurance Company, who needed proof of the incident in order for Houdini's widow, Bess Houdini, to collect money under the double indemnity clause. Author Don Bell rewrites Houdini history by discovering that the magician was attacked (or at least "tested") three separate times during that fateful week in Montreal. A native of Montreal, Bell finds independent eyewitnesses to each of these other, non-lethal "punches" who readily corroborate the facts. It's a stunning discovery, however there is no clear evidence to support that allegation.

Personal details

Date of death


1. McGill University Colleges/University

McGill University is a public research university located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. McGill University is one of world's most prestigious universities. The university bears the name of James McGill, a prominent Montreal merchant from Glasgow, Scotland and alumnus of Glasgow University, whose bequest formed the beginning of the university. Founded in 1821, McGill was chartered during the British colonial era, 46 years before the Canadian Confederation, making it one of the oldest universities in Canada.

Institution info

Type Public university
2013. 1.07 bil. $
2010. 808 mil. $
Institution colors
845 Sherbrooke Street West, H3A 0G4 - Montreal, Québec
2012. 26,349
2010. 25,267
2012. 9,361
2010. 8,301
Acceptance rate
2012. 45.8 %
Local tuition
2013. 2.22 K $
2010. 3.5 K $
Official web page www.mcgill.ca
Wikipedia article
Social media

Institution social analysis

Notable alumni by career
Notable alumni by gender

People attended McGill University connected by profession and/or age

b. 1954., Politician
b. 1851., Politician
b. 1849., Physician
b. 1908., Physicist
b. 1952., Politician
b. 1957., Organization leader
b. 1911., Actor
b. 1931., Politician

Facebook comments