Dorothy Dietrich (b. ?)
Magician, Escapologist, Historian, Paranormal Investigator
Place of Birth
Erie, Pennsylvania, USA
Approx. 5' 4"
Dietrich possesses the ability of Escapology. She is a master of freeing herself from straitjackets, handcuffs and a myriad of restraints.
She successfully performed a death defying straitjacket escape where she was hoisted 15 stories high, suspended from a burning rope and without a net.
Dietrich is one of the few people (5) in the world to ever attempt this feat and the only woman in history to accomplish it.
Dietrich is one of the few women in history who has performed the infamous bullet catch. She caught a .22 caliber bullet in a metal cup in her mouth at the International Brotherhood of Magicians convention in Pittsburgh. This stunt has killed 12 men; not even Houdini dared attempting it.
Dorothy Dietrich was born in Erie, Pennsylvania on Halloween.
She grew up in rural Pennsylvania with 8 siblings, 6 were brothers.
She often found herself tied up by her brothers as a damsel in distress during their games of cowboys and indians but would manage to escape on her own.
When an aunt saw her freeing herself one day, she said to her, "Who do you think you are, Houdini?" Dietrich had no clue who Houdini was but set off for the local library to find out.
Among the books she read was a biography on Houdini. She was hooked; Houdini became her childhood idol and she set out to learn straitjacket escapes.
She learned her craft mostly from books, however her big break in the practicality side of magic came from working in a variety show in Times Square.
The venue showcased such Performers such as Earl "Presto" Johnson, Lou Lancaster, Chris Capeheart and others.
Showcasing for the Parent Assembly of the Society of American Magicians at about the same time, well known magicians Russell Swann and Walter B. Gibson captivated by Dietrich's performance style, took her under their wing.
Dietrich also studied with Al Flosso, a regular performer on the Ed Sullivan TV show, Jack London (for the bullet catch) and Lou Lancaster with the Straitjacket escape.
She became a favorite of several New York booking agents, performing for nightclubs, resort hotels, trade shows and school and college auditoriums.
Deitrich created a routine including doves, a rabbit, a duck and two poodles. Early on she was considered a "leading dove worker".
She also developed many acts few women at that time have ever attempted. Sawing men in half, escaping from a straitjacket, sleight-of -hand with coins, the Bullet Catch and levitating people from the audience.
Dietrich has also graced the television world by appearing on many talk shows and network specials including a Bill Cosby special while still in her early teens.
She was also a founder along with Dick Brooks of New York's "Magic Towne House," a popular magic show spot in New York City which paved the way for many popular magicians today. The venue was one of the longest running shows in New York City.
For many years Dietrich held the Houdini Seances, a yearly tradition held in New York in hopes of contacting the spirit of Harry Houdini.
The seances were started by Houdini's wife bess and perpetuated by Walter B. Gibson before his passing. Dorothy currently continues the seances at the "Houdini Museum" in Scranton, Pennsylvania, each Halloween, the day Houdini died.
When not traveling, Dorothy Dietrich heads up "The Houdini Museum" where she performs on a regular basis when in town.
For more information, visit
Dorothy Dietrich's official website.
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