Monday, July 27, 2015

LINK: Widow of magician & Houdini biographer scammed out of $1M

DNAinfo has a detailed article by James Fanelli today about how the late Maurine Christopher, widow of legendary magician, collector, and Houdini biographer Milbourne Christopher, was allegedly "looted" of her savings in the last years of her life by two scam artists. Click the headline above to read the whole, distressing tale.

Before her death in 2013 at age 92, Maurine worked with David Haversat on two beautiful collector editions of her husband's Houdini works: Houdini The Untold Story and Houdini A Pictorial Life.



  1. This is terrible. From the article it appears that Maurine's relatives do not live in N.Y.C. and were not around to stop the opportunists. No doubt that wealthy elderly people are usually in danger of getting ripped off if friends and relatives are not there to protect them.

  2. Besides the distributing accusations made by the one side filing the complaint, what I found to be sad is how Maurine is portrayed as an alcoholic drunk. From the time I knew Maurine in the 1990's to the time of her death in 2013, I never witnessed Maurine intoxicated. I also find it odd that it mentions she was forced to sell her husband's magic. Maurine hosted two very successful auctions, one in 1997 and another in 2011. The latter I helped curate, writing the descriptions and personally selected each lot with Maurine. This was an event she spoke about for years and was much anticipated, the results were record setting. What Maurine Christopher personally did with the money she gained from the auctions or the items I purchased was never a thought nor a concern. While I have not read the documents filed by the attorney, the reporter did read me some additional information not published in the article. One statement was that Milbourne Christopher trained under Houdini, this never happened. Christopher never met Houdini and was 12 years old in 1926. The point is the courts will have to determine was is factual in the complaint and what is not. Each side will have an opportunity to answer the charges. What I can say is Maurine was a smart business woman who spent a great deal of her life promoting her late husband's legacy and magic in general.

    1. Thank your for the comment, David. I've heard a few other comments today about how this is one sided. Sounds like there is more to the story than what we have here.