The great nephew of HARRY HOUDINI wants the legendary illusionist's body to be exhumed - 81 years after he died - so it can be established if he was murdered. Houdini died on Hallowe'en (31OCT) 1926 at the age of 52, supposedly after receiving a punch to the stomach that ruptured his appendix. No autopsy was performed and rumours have persisted that he was murdered. Now his family want to discover if he was actually poisoned by enemies for exposing their false claims to be able to make contact with the dead. Houdini's great nephew GEORGE HARDEEN will head a press conference today 23MAR07), where details of the plans will be made clear. Hardeen says, "It needs to be looked at. His death shocked the entire nation, if not the world. Now, maybe it's time to take a second look." If the plans are approved, Houdini's remains will be exhumed from his grave in Queens, New York and examined by a team of top forensic scientists.