DEAD: Disgraced magician Franky Houdini killed himself in jail.
DEAD: Disgraced magician Franky Houdini killed himself in jail. Supplied

Depraved magician could not be saved

CHILD molester magician Franky Houdini's death could not have been prevented, a coroner has found.  

Houdini, born Francis Phillip Kunde, killed himself in a Wacol prison cell in June 2, 2015.

The former Ipswich man was housed in a "residential cluster” of 24 cells and had a key to his own cell.

Houdini died using material from a prison tennis net but had many "other possible methods at his disposal,” Coroner Terry Ryan has found.

In findings delivered on Wednesday, Mr Ryan said further checks should have been taken to verify Houdini's claims of having support from family and friends.

The Coroner said previous investigations already found possible shortcomings around welfare checks for Houdini.

Mr Ryan said Houdini went to hospital in 1991 with suicidal ideation, and was diagnosed with adjustment disorder.

Houdini in 2014 was found to have "pressured speech, religious preoccupations and formal thought disorder”.

Mr Ryan said Houdini for a while refused to take medication.

Later, the escapologist was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and put on an involuntary treatment order.

The coroner said Houdini's condition later seemed to improve and the magician was "less driven to write voluminous letters”.

But Houdini developed problems including akathisia or "restlessness and an urgent need to move,” the coroner found.

Houdini misused drugs from the age of 11, including amphetamine, marijuana and booze.

The Coroner said several improvements had already been made in relation to the Prisoner Mental Health Service and Queensland Corrective Services sharing information.

Mr Ryan was not persuaded that laws around confidential information-sharing were problematic.

But Mr Ryan said QCS and Queensland Health should consider whether more changes were needed to protect health professionals from liability when sharing prisoner health information.

Brisbane Coroners Court last week heard Houdini left a note saying he wanted to go "home to our maker for judgment” and asking his victims for forgiveness.

Houdini was jailed for multiple sex crimes against girls and faced extradition to NSW for child sex offences.

In Queensland, inquests are mandatory when somebody dies in custody. -NewsRegional

If you or anyone you know needs help, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14.



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