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Doyle, like many people of that time, had lost loved ones during World War One. Seeing mediums to contact those who died was a very common and widespread practice. Doyle enthusiastically supported mediums, and when Houdini began his war against them, Doyle sided with the mediums. Some say that there was literally a Psychic Mafia. Even Houdini, himself, would tell friends that there were large numbers of mediums who not only wished him dead, but held seances and sought his death by psychic means.

So was Jay Whitehead a hitman for the mediums? There are those who believe so. Another odd coincidence is that at about the same time, Houdini′s wife, Bess, was also sick, showing all the signs of food poisoning. Could Houdini and his wife had been poisoned? Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a trained physician who authored the Sherlock Holmes detective stories, regularly wrote to his many medium friends about how they had to stop Houdini by any means necessary. Did Doyle plot the perfect crime to off Houdini?

Roger Dreyer, another Houdini expert, tells the Decoded team that while Houdini had many enemies in the world of psychic mediums, he may have had other, more powerful enemies that would have wanted him dead. We learn that Houdini may have been a spy for the British government. He apparently met, by chance, Chief Inspector William Melville of Scotland Yard while taking a boat to Europe. Melville was the head of Special Branch, the forerunner to today′s MI5 and MI6. Dreyer says that Melville may be the inspiration for ′M′ in the James Bond series.

Melville′s personal diaries have recently been published and show references that could mean Houdini was working for him while touring Europe. In one passage, he says he received a letter from ″HH″ while in Germany and rushed the letter to the War Office. When you think about it, who better than a traveling magician and escape artist could be a spy? Houdini was extremely physical, in top shape. He could pick locks, break in or out of anything, anywhere. Using the cover of his performances gave him access to any nation. A former CIA agent confirms to the Decoded team that a hundred years ago, magicians were ideal recruits for spies. Even Lincoln hired one during the Civil War.

But the ″HH″ reference could also show another motive for murder. The Houdinis had once met and became friends with author Jack London and his wife. It turns out that in her diary, London′s wife refers to an ″HH″ as her secret lover. Did Bess find out and arrange for her husband to die? Affidavits from the three college students, including Whitehead, on the nature of Houdini′s injury helped Bess collect double indemnity on the insurance claim, which ruled his death as an accident. There is even a record of Bess thanking at least one of the witnesses for his statement and paid him $200.

So the History Channel program, Brad Meltzer′s Decoded, investigated whether or not Harry Houdini was murdered last night. After reviewing all of the evidence, both Mac and Buddy are convinced that his death was indeed an accident caused by natural causes and a bad series of unrelated events. However, former prosecutor Scott is not so convinced. He thinks there is enough evidence to take a case to a Grand Jury, pointing the finger at Houdini′s wife, Bess, as the one person who had the motive and opportunity. Harry Houdini may have had many enemies in the world of spiritual mediums and maybe even from his days as a possible spy for the British. But as often is the case, the most dangerous enemy is a woman scorned and Bess may have been such.