LadyMarler LadyAllen Jocelyn Gordon Whitehead Houdini Attacker Spiritualism seance

Don Bell, wrote the definitive book "The Man Who Killed Houdini", on Houdini's week in Montreal when he was punched back stage by Jocelyn Gordon Whitehead. Thanks to Conjuring Arts we did get to see a small bit of the Don Bell files. They only allow you in by appointment for a short time. There is a lot more research to do both there and elsewhere.

The Conjuring Arts Research Center is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of magic and its allied arts, which include psychic phenomenon, hypnosis, deceptive gambling, mentalism, ventriloquism, juggling, and sleight-of-hand techniques. Currently, Conjuring Arts functions primarily as a research library, of over 11,000 book and magazine titles, dating back to the 15th century and representing multiple languages. The library itself is only the first in a long list of roles Conjuring Arts plays. By providing its holdings, online database, semi-annually published journal, and performance component to the public, Conjuring Arts strives to preserve the rich histories and traditions of this ancient performing art. William Kalush, is Executive Director of the Conjuring Arts Research Center

Don Bell in his personal notes now on file at the Conjuror's Library, several times remarks in his notes about J. Gordon Whitehead's relationship with Lady Marler and Lady Allen. "Were they interested in Mediums?", he questions as to their relationship with Jocelyn Gordon Whitehead, implying he might have felt or found J. Gordon Whitehead acted as one. These were two of the richest women in Canada. What would odd ball, ex convict, hermit Jocelyn Gordon Whitehead have in common with them? This is new research and the beginning of a set of pages that puts forth our belief that Jocelyn Gordon Whitehead was stalking Houdini during Houdini's week in Montreal, had off beat occult beliefs, had friends during his life in the highest levels of society and politics connected to spiritualists, and may have punched Houdini as punishment for Houdini's attacks on spiritualism. It will also lay out our belief that Houdini may have already been ill with stomach problems at the time of the punches.

Jocelyn Gordon Whitehead
The only known picture of J. Gordon Whitehead from the book, "The Man Who Killed Houdini".

This page begins to explore the relationship of Jocelyn Gordon Whitehead and two of his closest women friends according to Don Bell, Lady Marler and Lady Allan. First, who exactly were Lady Marler and Lady Allen. The two women were two of the richest most influential women in all of Canada.

Marguerite Montagu Allan, (Lady Allan)

was the wife of H. Montagu Allan. He was the principal heir of his father, Sir Hugh Allan, and became deputy Chairman of the family-owned Allan Steamship Line. He was President of several major Canadian financial institutions and the Montreal General Hospital. He co-founded and was President of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Montreal. His father, Sir Hugh Allan, (September 29, 1810 - December 9, 1882) was a Scottish-born Canadian shipping magnate, financier and capitalist. By the time of his death, the Allan Shipping Line had become the largest privately owned shipping empire in the world. At his death he was one of the richest men in the world. Allan had interests banks, in new communications technology, manufacturing, and mining. In 1852, he became president of the Montreal Telegraph Company, ultimately selling to Bell Telephone. He also established coal mines in Nova Scotia and factories for textiles, shoes, paper, tobacco, and iron and steel in Central Canada. In May 1915, during World War I, Lady Allan, along with teenage daughters Anna, 16, and Gwendolyn Allan, 15, teenaged daughters of H. Montagu Allan. were aboard the RMS Lusitania when it was sunk by German U-boat U-20. After she and her daughters jumped into the water, Lady Allan was severely injured. While she was rescued, both daughters drowned. Anna's body was never found but Gwendolyn's was recovered the next day and returned to Montreal for burial. Two years after this tragedy, the War claimed their third child, Hugh, who was killed in action. Many who lost their children in WW1 would drift to mediums and Spiritualists. Lady Allen one of the richest women in Canada and friend of Jocelyn Gordon Whitehead also (WHY?) who lost her two young daughters in the sinking of the Lusitania by a Nazi U Boat. A great possible convert to spiritualism. Spiritualism was all the rage, and was a common belief. A similar series of incidents is what turned Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to Spiritualism. After the death of their son, Mary Lincoln turned to spiritualism. When Horace Greeley lost four children he turned to spiritualism. One of the brightest scientists of the era, Sir Oliver Lodge believed in telepathy, seances and Spiritualism. After his son, Raymond, was killed in World War I in 1915, Lodge converted to Spiritualism and visited many mediums. Sir Oliver Lodge wrote about the experience in a number of books, including the best-selling Raymond or Life and Death.

lady allan


J. Gordon Whitehead had a close connection in Sun Life Insurance that he would contact when in need. That probably would be Lady Marler. The Alan's seemed to own everything in Canada. Why would they be drawn to hermit, oddball, ex convict, Jocelyn Gordon Whitehead? As Don Bell said in his personal notes... Could it be they were interested in mediums??? We believe it was an interest, common at the time, in the occult. Beatrice Isabel Allan, granddaughter of Andrew Allan

Lady Marler

was Montreal socialite Beatrice Isabel Allan, coming from the Allan dynasty, granddaughter of Andrew Allan and Matthew Hamilton Gault.(Founder and owner of Sun Life). Andrew Allan was a Canadian businessman and financier. and brother of Sir Hugh Allan (see above), whose enterprises were centered on the Allan Line Royal Mail Steamers, but also included banking and railways. When Sir Hugh Allan died in 1882, Andrew took his place as head of the Allan family's Canadian enterprises. Andrew Allan owned several banks, railways, several manufacturing enterprises, including the Montreal Rolling Mills Company; Cornwall Woollen Manufacturing; Dominion Oil Cloth; Canadian Rubber Company; Windsor Hotel of Montreal and the Montreal Lumber Company. In 1883, he co-founded the Citizens Gas Company of Montreal. Among others, he was a director of Confederation Life and the Montreal Telegraph Company, succeeding his brother Sir Hugh Allan as president in 1882. Beatrice Isabel Allan (Lady Marler) would marry Sir Herbert Meredith Marler, who was a Canadian politician and diplomat. Marle's rise to social prominence came when he married Beatrice Isabel Allan in 1902. (LADY MARLER) She was descended from two of the wealthiest families of Montreal, founders of Allan Royal Mail Line and Sun Life Insurance Company of Canada, His wife was the grand-daughter of Andrew Allan and Mathew Hamilton Gault. founders of Allan Steamship Lines and Sun Life Insurance respectively. Sun Life had established an office in Japan in 1893, the only foreign life insurance Company in Japan at the time, and opened offices in North China in 1894 and Hong Kong in 1899.
Herbert Marler
Sir Herbert Marler, "bagman" for Spiritualist Prime Minister Mackenzie King.'s liberal party.
Made by King abassador to Japan for 10 Years.

He was a close associate of Spiritualist Mackenzie King, and even refered to as "bagman* for Mackenzie's liberal party.

(*See )

(*and Contradictory Impulses - UBC Press Page 4- )

Liberal Prime Minister and spiritualist William Lyon Mackenzie King held Marler in high regard and appointed him Canada's first envoy to Japan. Remember Sun Life Insurance was big in the orient. He was given the formal title of Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of Canada to the Empire of Japan in 1929. Marler was knighted in 1935 for his services and returned from this posting in 1936. He was the third person ever appointed by the Canadian government as an envoy abroad with full diplomatic status. Spiritualist Mackenzie King, was the longest running prime Minister in the history of Canada, 22 years! Mackenzie King was one of the biggest believers in spiritualism and runner and attendee of seances in Canadian history, which was only known by King's closest friends. When Herbert Marler and his wife Lady Marler arrived in Japan he bought property in central Tokio for the Canadian government. He found what has become one of the most prestigious embassy sites in the world and negotiated a good price for the five-acre parcel - it had a bad reputation of being haunted by ghosts of an assassinated Japanese politician. The property was thought to be occupied by ghosts and spirits. "Others attributed the lower than market price to the prevailing rumour the site was haunted and therefore unsuitable for Japanese use." Perhaps they felt there was some truth "to the ghost story. On the day of the opening. Marier was hospitalized for pneumonia, further complicated by pleurisy and a nervous breakdown. After his wife and the Keenleysides fell ill in 1934, Marler decided to have a Shinto priest ward off remaining omens in a secret ceremony later that year They concluded the building was "haunted" and had it cleansed by a Shinto Priest. Mary Taylor refers to a legend from the Aoyama family, the previous owners of the property, of a housemaid who had drowned in a well (Keenleyside. Memoirs, vol. 1, 436)

Lady Marler Herbert Marler
Sir Herbert Marler and J. Gordon Whitehead friend, Lady Marler in front of "haunted"
Marler House they had cleansed. Property is now worth in the millions.

How close was Lady Marler to Spiritualist Mackenzie King? Not only did Mackenzie King make her husband an ambassador but when King went to Washington DC to present the King and Queen of England who were visiting this continent to President Roosevelt years later in June of 1939, just before WW 2, Spiritualist Prime Minister Mackenzie King's personal "Lady in waiting" was Jocelyn Gordon Whitehead's friend, Lady Marler! A trusted old time friend and close enough to attend to all his needs and wants in a sense acting as a surrogate wife.

Lady Marler Mackenzie King
July 1939 Lady Marler takes care of Mackenzie King's entourage.
Even though her husband lie dying she attended to Spiritualist Prime Minister William Mackenzie King's needs when he met with the King and Queen of England and President Roosevelt at the dawning of WW 2. She was the other very rich influential woman from the Allan dynasty that were friends with J. Gordon Whitehead the man who attacked Houdini!

In Christopher Sandford's excellent and well researched book on Houdini and Doyle, "The Masters of Mystery" on page 231 he states that Lady Marler was an " amateur fortune teller" and she and Jocelyn Gordon Whitehead; "apparently spent every Sunday afternoon together possibly engaged in some religious practice."
I contacted the author Christopher Sandford on this and his reply was... "Thank you again for all your much-appreciated help (with his book). As to your specific questions ... Alas, most of the surviving notes on sources are bundled together in an attic in England; I somehow find myself 5,000 miles away here in long-term exile in Seattle. The next time I'm reunited with them I shall certainly look through them for the items you mention. In the meantime, I do certainly remember researching the life and family of the Scots-Canadian financier Andrew Allan... while at the British Library in London. His granddaughter became Beatrice Marler. It must logically have been there that I got the information"

"The allusions to Beatrice Marler almost certainly came about through some reference connected to her grandfather;" "I certainly won't destroy my case notes when I'm eventually reunited with them." "Thank you again for your help with the book."

J. Gordon Whitehead's brother had said, "at one time he had a very close relationship with a wealthy Montreal woman. Who she was, I don't know. I don't think they ever actually got engaged. " This is the person of all persons that emaciated, dying J. Gordon Whitehead wanted to be sure was contacted as he entered The Queen Elizabeth Hospital from which he would never return alive. Whitehead would even supply her phone number where she lived! (See Don Bell's "The Man Who Killed Houdini." (Page 243) "Bert (McConnell) didn't know if he had any friends. But he recalled as Whitehead got ready to be admitted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital he (Whitehead) instructed him to find a payphone downstairs and call Lady Marler, "who was living in the Eastern Townships," to let her know that he was being hospitalized." It appears that when Don Bell Wrote this, he was not aware that Lady Marler's friend Prime Minister MacKenzie King was one of histories biggest spiritualists, and that Lady Marler was a wealthy heiress of the family that owned and founded Sun Life Insurance Company . A person "very high up" "perhaps the president" at the Sun Life Insurance Company recommended Bert McConnell to be hired by Whitehead to help clean up Whitehead's messy living quarters. (Page 237)

For those who are not familiar with long time Prime Minister Mackenzie King, who was Canada's longest running and most influential leader, see our page that explains this and his very fervent beliefs in spiritualism.
Mackenzie King and Spiritualists

Other sites of interest concerning this subject.
These are all works in progress and will change over the cominfg weeks. So check back.
Houdini murdered?
Houdini murdered?2
Houdini murdered3?
Julia Sauer Houdini Ernst affadavit
Julia Karcher Houdini Ernst affadavit
Houdini was already sick before he was punched!
Mackenzie King and Spiritualists
Whitehead out to get Houdini
Whitehead Friends LadyMarler, LadyAllen

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