This section is from the book "The Adventurous Life Of A Versatile Artist: Houdini", by Harry Houdini. Also available from Amazon: The Adventurous Life of a Versatile Artist; Houdini.
BE it known that the artiste, known as HARRY HOUDINI, of America, New York City, against the Cologne Police Schutzman to Werner Graff, for slandering (insulting).
The Demonstration Before the German Judiciary.
The Royal Schoffengericht, the third " Ferienstrafkammer," found Werner Graff guilty of slandering Houdini, and the Oberlandesgericht Court also find that the Royal Schoffengericht was justified in finding Graff guilty of the charges. Werner Graff is guilty of " Openly Slandering " Houdini, for being the chief instigator of the article which he carised to be inserted in the Rheinisclie Zeitung July 25, 1 901, number of edition 170, and the head-lines which read " Houdini, the world-famous Handcuff Releaser." Being found guilty of the above charge, Werner Graff is fined 30 marks in money, and should he fail to pay the sum fine, he will serve a day in prison for every 5 marks; and is also fined to pay all costs of the three trials.
Houdini has the right to publish the verdict one time in the Cologne newspapers at the cost of Schutzman Wernei Graff.
For the rightful writing of this verdict, we sign as responsibilities, Coin, Oct. 24, t9o2. Stock Sekretar.
Gerichtsschreiber des Kgl. Amtsgericht Abtlg VI. - 9.
Signed for Houdini,
Rechtsanwalt Dr. Schreiber Koln.
Houdini, as Handcuffed by the Vienna Police, March, 1902.
It will be of interest to note that Houdini has escaped out of prisons and cells in the following cities:
New York, W. 125th Street Police Station, W. 68th Street Police Station, and W. 37th Street; Brooklyn, N. Y.; Newark, N. J.; Salem, Mass.; Lowell, Mass.; Rochester, N. Y.; Baltimore; Washington (3 different places) ; Detroit, Mich.,; Philadelphia, Pa.; Providence, R. L; Kansas City; Buffalo, N.Y.; and Chicago, 111.; Amsterdam, Hague; Dordrecht, Hollard; Moscow, Russia; Halifax; Bradford; Leicester; Burnley; Leeds; Newcastle-upon-Tyne; Sheffield; Liverpool; South Shields; Salford; Huddersfield; Manchester; St. Helens; Stockton-on-Tees; Eastbourne; Newport, Mon.
Space prohibits the publication of all certificates from the various chiefs of police, but a few are selected, which follow:
Chief Constable's Office,
Sheffield, Jan. 19, 1904.
This is to certify that Mr. Harry Houdini was this day stripped stark naked and locked in the cell which once contained Charles Peace. The cell was searcned and triple-locked, but Mr. Houdini released himself and redressed in five minutes, having also opened the iron gate of the corridor.
Charles J. Scott, Commander (R.N.)
Chief Constable, Sheffield. Witness to the foregoing feat, George H. Barker, Deputy Chief Constable.
An exceedingly rare photograph of Charles Peace, shrewdest, most dangerous and notorious criminal in the annals of Crime in Great Britain. Peace broke jail a number of times but failed to escape from this cell in Sheffield. He was hanged at the Armley jail. Houdini escaped from this cell, as Chief Constable Scott's certificate on page 12 shows.
May 10, 1903.
Harry Houdini was made to disrobe, and in a nude condition was locked into the Moscow transportation cell or carette, and in less than 20 minutes he had managed to make his escape. The searching Houdini had to submit to in the hands of the secret Russian police was the severest he has ever had to undergo. Never in the history of the Russian police has any one been able to escape out of this or any other transportation carette. This feat was accomplished in the presence of Chief of the Secret Police Cos, Lebadeff.
Houdini was booked for one month in Moscow, but after this feat he was prolonged for four months, and proved the greatest sensation that ever visited Russia.
From the German police Houdini possesses certificates from the cities of Berlin, Dresden, Dusseldorf, Essen Ruhr, Barmen, Bremen, Dortmund, Leipzig, Frankfort A/M, Hanover, etc.; but the following is the principal one :
Royal Police Presidium,
Berlin, Sept. 20, 1900.
Harry Houdini, the American, was handcuffed and leg-ironed with the irons used here, in the presence of a large number of the highest police officials of Germany. Houdini managed to free himself from everything, by mysteriously opening the locks, in a manner which is unexplainable to us. The cuffs were uninjured.
(Signed) Von Hullessem, Royal Police Director, Berlin. Von Windheim, The Royal Police President, Berlin.
Von Windheim was the highest police official in all Germany. The Kaiser's signature was the only name that stood higher in Germany.
The Preparation for Incarceration in the Siberian Transport Carette.
The Daily Illustrated Mirror, March 18th, 1904
HOW HE PICKED THE "MIRROR" HANDCUFFS IN ONE HOUR AND TEN MINUTES.
Not a seat was vacant in the mighty Hippodrome, yesterday afternoon, when Harry Houdini, the "Handcuff King," stepped into the arena, and received an ovation worthy of a monarch.
For days past all London has been aware that on Saturday night last a representative of the Mirror had stepped into the arena, in response to Houdini's challenge to anybody to come forward and successfully manacle him, and had there and then made a match with America's Mysteriarch for Thursday afternoon.
In his travels the journalist had encountered a Birmingham blacksmith who had spent five years of his life in devising a lock, which, he alleged, "no mortal man could pick." Promptly seeing he was in touch with a good thing, the press man had at once put an option upon the handcuff containing this lock, and brought it back to London with him.
It was submitted to London's best locksmiths, who were unanimous in their admiration of it, asserting that in all their experience they had never before seen such wonderful mechanism.
As a result the editors of the Mirror determined to put the lock to the severest test possible by challenging Mr. Houdini to be manacled with the cuffs. m
Like a true sportsman, Mr. Houdini accepted our challenge in the spirit in which it was given, although, on his own confession, he did not like the look of the lock.