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.
I certify that to-day Mr. Harry Houdini showed his abilities in releasing himself from restraint.
He had three pairs of handcuffs, one a very close-fitting pair, placed round his wrists, and he was placed in a nude state in a cell which had been previously searched. Within 6 minutes he was free from the handcuffs, had opened the cell door, and had opened the doors of all the other cells in the corridor, had changed a prisoner from one cell to another, and had so securely locked him in that he had to be asked to unlock the door.
(Signed) Leonard Dunning, » Head Constable, Liverpool.
Feb. 2, 1902.
Mr. Dunning has since been knighted and is now head of the Police Constabulary, being located in London, his official title being His Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary, London, England.
For him it is literally true that -
Stone walls do not a prison make, Nor iron bars a cage.
Were he a criminal - his clear, straightforward eyes negative the suggestion - he would be a nightmare to the police of Britain, for he wou^d walk out of gaol as coolly and smilingly as he did twice out of Liverpool Bridewell yesterday.
It was an eventful day at the sinister-looking building that stands off busy Dale Street.
High police officials, clever detectives, leading city business men who hold office on the watch committee, all sustained a severe shock by their loss of faith in what they had regarded as an inviolable stronghold.
No one has been known previously to escape from the bolts and bars behind which Liverpool quarters its criminals.