Wayne Houchin severely injured in Dominican Republic

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.

Postby David Oliver » 11/28/12 09:22 PM

Terrible news, all. Reports are coming in from all over. I first received word directly from Wayne's Twitter account. While filming his new TV show in the Dominican Republic, the host of the show grabbed a handful of some liquid, set it aflame and threw it at Wayne's head. Wayne was stunned. This was NOT part of the show. This was NOT planned by Wayne. He suffered severe burns to his head, face, neck, back and right hand. His staff rushed in, doused the flames and got him to the hospital. This is being reported as a criminal act upon Wayne, and not a stunt. This is certainly a scary scenario for anyone. My thoughts and good wishes for a speedy and healthy recovery are with Wayne and his family. He's been one of the good guys, in my book. This shouldn't happen to ANYONE. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/28/12 10:01 PM

Pretty scary photos if they're real.
I find it hard to imagine that the host of a TV show would set one of the guests on fire.
Makes no sense unless the guy is a psychotic.
If it's genuine, then I hope Wayne recovers completely.
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Postby David Oliver » 11/28/12 10:05 PM

I don't know any further details. So, I have no answer for you Richard, until Wayne tells more. My initial guess was that, there may have been some other stunt or effect he did previously (on this show or another that the host saw), and the host attempted some impromptu surprise "challenge" for Wayne. This has not been mentioned or verified, it is merely my first thought of a possible reason "why" anyone would do this. Either way, it's horrible - and it appears legit.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/28/12 10:24 PM

Only an irrational person would throw a burning substance on someone's face and head. That's not a lack of judgment, it's a criminal act.
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Postby Roger M. » 11/28/12 11:35 PM

It had to do with the host accusing Wayne of practicing voodoo. This some sort of cleansing or righteous punishment.
Insane.

Never overestimate the "third world".
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 11/28/12 11:35 PM

This is just insane and, as Richard (and the article) says, criminal. Wayne IS one of the good guys. I hope he recovers fully. Keep us in the loop David!

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Postby David Oliver » 11/29/12 01:53 AM

This just in from my friend, Jason Wethington's FaceBook page...


CURIOSIDADES OFFICIAL STATEMENT::

Dear friends:

As you have noticed, starting Monday 26th of November, our messages to our fans have decreased significantly. Unfortunately our team was criminally assaulted in the person of Wayne Houchin.

At 12:35 noon when Bolvar Bueno, Wayne and Fran Houchin ended recording their segment on the TV program "Acrcate a los Astros de la seora Adriana Azzi, which was being hosted by Mr. Franklin Barazarte (Wayne's attacker), who also serves as the director of the TV show, who without notice and without any security measures, offered to "give them" a blessing using "Agua de Florida" (which is highly flammable due to its high alcohol content) proceeded to set fire to Wayne Houchin, resulting in serious burns to his face, neck, right ear, and his right hand.

We stress that this event was not part of our presentation, nor did we receive any notice that the host was going to carry out this PREMEDITATED CRIMINAL ACT.

Unfortunately the TV studio facilities did not have fire extinguishers, or first aid kits, anywhere on premises. Repeated requests for help to the staff of the studios were ignored. Only the rapid and efficient response by our team saved Wayne's life.

Right now he is stable, but sadly some called "journalists", lacking professionalism and sensitivity to human suffering, have taken a very unfortunate event and have used their airtime to ridicule Wayne for suffering this tragedy.

Misters Aridio Castillo and Domingo Bautista of the Dominican TV magazine "Super Revista", publicly have accused our team of practicing VooDoo and witchcraft and that the attack was divine justice for the evils of our cast members' practices.

We ask you, our friends and family, for your prayers and positive thoughts for the speedy recovery of our friend and colleague Wayne Houchin.
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Postby CraigMitchell » 11/29/12 02:18 AM

This is beyond criminal. Our prayers & thoughts are with Wayne and Fran during this horrible time.
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Postby Nicholas Carifo » 11/29/12 09:14 AM

From International Business Times in the UK:

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/40979 ... attack.htm
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Postby CraigMitchell » 11/29/12 10:41 AM

The only solace we can take from this terrible act is the confirmation of just how well-loved Wayne is in the magic world. Over the past 12 hours - the interweb has been truly abuzz with get well wishes & thoughts for his recovery.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/29/12 12:37 PM

It's mind boggling how terrible this is. So where's the follow up? Why isn't anyone reporting on the police arresting the attacker?
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Postby Tom Gilbert » 11/29/12 02:19 PM

The best to Wayne's recovery. Burns are horrible, as you don't feel terrible at first, then later, the pain and issues set in.
There is something strange about the whole thing.
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Postby pabloin us » 11/29/12 03:57 PM

I read the original article in spanish and the english translation is very accurate. it does not say why the host did what he did, One clarification, what Roger M stated in his earlier post is not accurate the host did not accused Houchin of anyting, nor he did that because of vodoo, the article did not tell the reason.
It does said that the editors of a local magazine accused Houchin of dark powers and vodoo.
Also I don't think this act has anything to do with "third world" or first worlds, idiots and dangerous people are everywhere. History shows that.
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 11/29/12 04:10 PM

It's more common to set people on fire in third world countries is where I would place my bet.
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Postby Roger M. » 11/29/12 06:12 PM

pabloin us wrote:One clarification, what Roger M stated in his earlier post is not accurate the host did not accused Houchin of anyting, nor he did that because of vodoo, the article did not tell the reason.

Well friend, the burning substance he put on Houchin's head was Aqua de Florida, widely regarded in the Dominican Republic as a voodoo cleansing agent, and popular with shamen and witch doctors throughout the Caribbean.

Feel free to draw your own conclusions, but please refrain from declaring mine "not accurate", while not having anything new to offer to the conversation yourself.

The need to know "for sure" why the host did it is irrelevant, as this is an outright crime no matter how you look at it, or whatever the "reason" was the host offers up will be fundamentally unacceptable.
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Postby IrishMagicNews » 11/29/12 07:53 PM

This is in all ways a shocking story.

All the best wishes for a speedy recovery to Wayne from myself and the whole magic community in Ireland. Everyone here, as far as I can see on FB and Twitter, is absolutely horrified.

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Postby Roger M. » 11/30/12 01:08 AM

https://www.dropbox.com/s/cq59ps0iqstwu ... Attack.mov

Video of the entire event.....difficult to watch in general, especially difficult to watch if you know Wayne.
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Postby David Oliver » 11/30/12 01:33 AM

This idiot needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
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Postby CraigMitchell » 11/30/12 02:06 AM

Here is the youtube link from Itricks - warning graphic footage:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQOeFC0d ... r_embedded

The more awareness there is of this matter - the greater the likelihood the perpetrator will be brought to justice.

If anyone has contacts with mainstream media - please let them know of the attack. International publicity may force the Dominican Republic authorities to act.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/30/12 03:16 AM

That's really bizarre: the crew is still rolling footage on him even after he's down on the ground, and the guy who set him on fire is kneeling next to him rubbing his hair? Is that right?
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 11/30/12 04:04 AM

Besides the video of Wayne being burned, almost as disturbing is the seeming lack of concern by much of the crew.
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Postby Tom Moore » 11/30/12 08:03 AM

Firstly the caveat...
what has happened to Wayne is terrible, traumatic and painful (i've suffered facial burns; i know how it messes with your mind over the healing period) and i wish him nothing but the very best wishes and hope he makes a speedy recovery. I would not wish what has happened to him on anyone.

HOWEVER, there's a lot being reported and commented on as FACT by magicians that simply isn't true. Lots of people are claiming this was some sort of evil voodoo attack by the host but there's NOTHING in the video to suggest this; in fact if you watch him you can see he realizes quite quickly that something has gone wrong and is the first to try and put the flame out (all be it ineffectually) and is then following Wayne around trying to help (again very ineffectually) - if he was actually pursuing some voodoo vendetta there would be a lot more chanting and "magic words" rather than the mild panic and concern he actually exhibits.

The "stunt" of setting fire to some high-flashpoint alcohol and dropping it on someone's head is a very common party trick; i've seen mediteranian barbers (after shaving someone's head) put "hair tonic" on and then set fire to it (mainly as a bit of show for tourists) it's common in party bar's using strong alcohol; a quick look on Youtube produces multiple videos of people all over the world (including some in america) doing it. In a situation where the crew have just watched Wayne defy death and perform miracles it's perfectly understandable they're not overly concerned when the host does a party-trick they've all probably seen successfully done many times before.

Having watched the video and in the absence of any other evidence I'd say its safe to assume that (as has happened to all of us at some point) the host wanted to show Wayne his "party trick" and it has subsequently gone terribly wrong (perhaps he wrecklessly used too much alcohol, perhapse it reacted with Wayne's hair product, there's many possibilities). The host absolutely deserves to bare the full consequences of his actions and deserves to be mocked and punished for his incredible stupidity and the consequences it has for Wayne.

I am greatly concerned by the rampent, ill-informed zenophobia that has followed reporting of this incident on multiple magic foums; claiming that the dominican republic is a "third world country" (a great insult to genuine third world countries) overrun with rampant voodooism and that all these "poor" countries have silly beliefs and regularly set people on fire shows a shocking lack of knowledge and prejudices that serves no useful purpose.

For the record i'll state again - Full sympathy and support to Wayne, full condemnation and consequences for the host but for being a complete and total idiot; not a homicidal voodoo priest on a mission.

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Postby CraigMitchell » 11/30/12 09:23 AM

Hi Tom

The full story will most certainly emerge - and yes the video is bizarre. But the video does not show what happened immediately preceding the incident which may be critical.

What we do know:

*Wayne labelled it a "criminal attack" ... not "accident" or "stunt gone wrong" ... criminal attack.

*The Curiosidades team, too, called it a "criminal attack" and stated "Misters Aridio Castillo and Domingo Bautista of the Super Magazine, accused our team of practising publicly VooDoo and Witchcraft and that the above mentioned attack was a divine justice for the nastiness of the practices of our artistic cast."

Hopefully we'll get further clarity in the coming days - but those directly involved believed there to be clear intent.
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Postby erdnasephile » 11/30/12 09:50 AM

Dustin: I wonder if the crew's seeming lack of concern had to do with them thinking it was part of a magic trick? (Sort of like how some of witnesses to the S & R tragedy initally thought it was part of the act)
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Postby Roger M. » 11/30/12 10:52 AM

There's lots of other material out there involving the "host" and his connection to voodoo and other superstitious undertakings, all you have to do is look around for it. (Facebook).

And yes, the Dominican Republic is a third world country.....it's not a put-down, it's simply a fact.
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Postby Tom Moore » 11/30/12 11:20 AM

Without wishing to get too distracted on irrelevant details the DR is not a third world country by any of the normal definitions; they could be described as a developing (and thus "second world") country but they have far too much infrastructure (tv studios, lots of golf courses, a significant tourism industry and a reasonably stable, growing economy) to be considered a Third World country like Ethiopia, Cambodia or any other the other countries more usually refered to as "Third World" as they lack even the most basic infrastructure or stable economies needed to exist or grow.

I'm up for being corrected on the voodoo aspect but as far as i can see all allegations against the show and the host seem to stem back to a rival TV show and some tabloid journalism rather than any cold facts. If i'm wrong then please point me towards some solid evidence and i'll gladly correct my statements. The show itself is literally titled "Get Close to the Stars/Heavens" and seems to be a fluffy magazine style show covering horoscopes / astrology / mysticism in a style that seems to closely mimic similar "daytime TV" programs found on tv networks the world over.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 11/30/12 11:34 AM

erdnasephile wrote:Dustin: I wonder if the crew's seeming lack of concern had to do with them thinking it was part of a magic trick? (Sort of like how some of witnesses to the S & R tragedy initally thought it was part of the act)

Good point. I didn't think of that.
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Postby Roger M. » 11/30/12 11:44 AM

Tom Moore wrote:Without wishing to get too distracted on irrelevant details the DR is not a third world country by any of the normal definitions; they could be described as a developing (and thus "second world") country ..........

No Tom, you're simply wrong
"Second World" country is (was actually, nobody uses it any longer) a term used to describe communist countries and their puppets.
Golf courses have nothing to do with it.

DR is a third world country not by my description, but by definition.

That's why, in my "on-topic" post in reference to what happened to Wayne I factually referred to the DR as a "third world country".
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Postby Tom Gilbert » 11/30/12 12:39 PM

While there's a lot of drama surrounding the event, and fewer facts, the video raised more questions (for me) than answers.
As for what I could find about the DR, second and third world references are obsolete. Not sure what the status of the country has to do with what happened. It could happen anywhere.
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Postby Wayne Houchin » 11/30/12 02:14 PM

Some facts:

1) We participated in a short interview during which I performed Thread, BJ presented a gift to the host & my wife helped to translate.

2) After the performances, the host said that he wanted to give us a "blessing." He asked BJ to hand him a bottle of Aqua De Florida. The host then handed it to my wife and asked her to pour a large amount into his cupped hands. She did. He then turned to BJ and asked him to pick up a lighter from the stage and light the fluid. At this point none of us had any idea what the host planned to do. Personally, I assumed that he was about to perform the old burning hand trick where it would look like his hand was on fire because of the liquid. But to be clear - we had no clue what he was doing or planning. He is not a magician. We had no reason to suspect beforehand that he would perform a stunt. We were filming a national TV spot - we assumed the host to be a professional presenter & therefor trusted him.

3) Seconds after BJ lit the fluid on fire the host turned without warning, poured it on my head and rubbed it into my face.

4) The entire studio was in shock. BJ & my wife were stunned. You can see from the video that it takes a second for me to realize what has happened. I can honestly say that BJ & Frania are more emotionally traumatized over the event than I am. They are angry & devastated that they unknowingly participated in the attack.

5) The video has not been edited. The video posted was an iPhone video from a member of our crew - who is not a magician and had no idea what we were doing or what to expect from the segment. At first he thought it was a trick. He did not film the entire segment, but took still photos and happened (luckily) to switch to video just before the incident. I was told today that we do have the full broadcast video from the studio that shows the entire segment. I'm sure that will be released in time.

6) Of course this is being pursued through legal channels. I will release information when possible.

7) It was 2 hosts of a different TV program that aired 24 hours later that suggested I deserved the attack because of the black magic they assumed I practice. The hosts laughed and mocked the fact that an American magician had been injured. Now that the facts have been released, the hosts of this 2nd show have informed us they plan to fully retract their statements and apologize during today's broadcast.

8) The attack was intentional. The host didn't trip and accidentally spill it on me... he didn't sneeze. He intended to pour flaming liquid on me. Whether or not he intended to set me on fire is irrelevant as he DID set me on fire. If you take a loaded gun, point it at someones head & pull the trigger (expecting the gun to misfire) and it doesn't misfire - you are absolutely still responsible for shooting someone in the face - regardless of your intentions.

9) Nobody from Curiosidades is pretending to know or understand the hosts intentions. What we do know is that he purposefully took a handful of flaming liquid & dropped it on me.The hosts intentions will play a role in the severity of his punishment - but that's for a court of law to determine & decide.

I sincerely appreciate your support, concern & anger. I hope to post another important update later today.

Wayne
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Postby mrgoat » 11/30/12 02:27 PM

Good to hear the update from the horse's mouth Mr H. Speedy recovery.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/30/12 02:27 PM

Wayne, it's good to hear from you and to have some clarity about all of this.
We all wish you the best!
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Postby CraigMitchell » 11/30/12 02:55 PM

We are all wishing you a truly swift recovery Wayne - and hope that this horrible incident will be behind you soon enough.
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Postby Jack Vogler » 11/30/12 03:09 PM

I hope you have a fast recovery Wayne.
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Postby Tom Frame » 11/30/12 06:28 PM

Wayne, I wish you a speedy recovery. I hope they throw the book at that twisted, atavistic maniac.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/30/12 07:42 PM

Press Release from the Academy of Magical Arts:

Following the recent, on-air events in the Dominican Republic, The Academy of Magical Arts, its Board of Directors and its Board of Trustees, in conjunction with the Dai Vernon Foundation, Inc., have established a special fund to assist WAYNE HOUCHIN. To make donations, please send your check to:

Dai Vernon Fund
c/o The Magic Castle
7001 Franklin Avenue
Hollywood, CA 90028

Be sure to write Houchin in the memo section of your check.

One hundred percent (100%) of the funds received will go directly to Wayne Houchin.

Thank you!
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Reason: zip code corrected
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 11/30/12 08:43 PM

Wayne,

I'm glad to see you here and get the story from you. Take care and get well soon.

Best always,
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 11/30/12 08:43 PM

Las Vegas Weekly has a short piece on it now:

http://www.lasvegasweekly.com/news/2012 ... agic-star/
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Postby Mark Paulson » 11/30/12 08:50 PM

Speedy recovery, Wayne! It's sickening what that guy did to you, and then to see him kneeling beside you rubbing your head while you were down on the ground - it's infuriating! I wish you the best, and hope you and your family don't stay traumatized.

Sincerely,
Mark Paulson

I read the story on the Blaze:

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/talk-sh ... gic-trick/
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