Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Bess makes her final journey

Bess Houdini died 72 years ago today on February 11, 1943 aboard a train bound for her family's home in New York. While details of her final illness have always been vague, her niece told me that both she and Ed Saint died from tuberculosis. Here is an account of her passing from The Daily Times the next day.

An irony not pointed out here was that Bess died in the town of Needles, CA which was what Houdini always called his East Indian Needle trick -- "Needles." The original Needles train station and the adjoining El Garces Hotel were restored in 2014.

Needles train station (far right) and El Garces Hotel.

You can listen to Marie Hinson tell the full story of her sister's death in this remarkable audio clip which I first shared on WILD ABOUT HARRY in 2013.


  1. If the tuberculosis theory is true, she probably caught it from Ed. He was something of a sickly man, coughing a lot and always thin as a rail.

    1. Yes, I was told she did catch it from Ed. It times out as well. They died only a matter of months apart.

  2. Makes you wonder, if Houdini hadn't died, Bess would have still been Harry's wife instead of Ed's. She could have gone maybe another ten more years.