Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Watch Strange Inheritance 'Houdini Jewel' on Tubi

The first four seasons of Strange Inheritance with Jamie Colby are available to stream for free on Tubi. This includes the episode "Houdini Jewel" devoted to Bess Houdini's royal crown brooch. Interviewed are David Copperfield, Milt and Arlene Larsen, and me!

There have been developments since the episode first aired on January 22, 2018. David Copperfield is no longer the owner. The brooch now belongs to Randy and Kirsty Pitchford of the Cardini family. I also discovered a 1952 article in which Gerri Larsen says the brooch was given to Bess by the Grand Duke of Russia (Sergei Aeksandrovich), not Czar Nicholas, confirming the theory I express in the show.

However, the most recent twist is a 1902 Christmas card that proves Bess had the brooch before the Houdinis ever went to Russia, so it appears we can forget about Russian royalty altogether! But the brooch has passed through the hands of magic royalty, and that's what continues to make it a true treasure.

This was a fun shoot and I think the episode is well done. And while I don't know this for certain, I think this is how I landed on David Copperfield's radar and why I received the great honor of visiting his incredible museum in 2018 (which you can read about here).

Thanks to Ashley Drew for the alert.



  1. Is Bess the culprit in the Russian origins of this brooch? Did she stretch the truth when she gave this to Gerri Larsen? Or did Larsen create the story? Bess appears to have picked up some of HH's storytelling habits as seen in the Kellock bio and allowed some myth to slip thru.

    1. I think Bess was the culprit. Remember this post?

    2. Thanks it was fun rereading that. What made Harry and Bess create stories for the newspapers? I think it was their way of keeping poverty behind them. It was a rough beginning for them and the stories maintained their successful momentum.

    3. Give a newspaper a good story and you'll get free publicity and sell more tickets. It's as simple as that.

    4. That pretty much sums it up. Silverman referred to it as the fear of annihilation.

  2. Wow, I have been trying to see this elusive episode for quite some time, now. Glad it has been made available. Bravo!

  3. I read this post yesterday and went to watch it today and forgot what it was called, so thankfully I had my phone to check back here. :) I watched with my mom and I have a habit of watching things and blurting, "There's John!" when you pop up, lol! And I spent half the show saying, "Who cares who owned it BEFORE? Harry & Bess owned it so that's all *I* would care about!" :D I even had a guess that it was appraised and found to be worthless (aside from having been owned by the Houdinis of course); perhaps acquired for free with a groceries promotion or something. But that's just my crazy brain.