Boxes: The Secret Life of Howard Hughes
by Douglas Wellman; Mark Musick
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Pub Date 22 Mar 2016 | Archive Date 13 Dec 2023
Boutique of Quality Books Publishing, WriteLife Publishing
If you thought Howard Hughes' life was mysterious, what about his hidden 25 years, after his fake death.
. . .well documented and researched…Boxes is definitely a fascinating read and a must read for anyone who is at all curious about Howard Hughes’ life.
This second edition of Boxes: The Secret Life of Howard Hughes continues the history-changing story of Eva McLelland and her reclusive life married to a mystery man she discovered was Howard Hughes.
New witnesses have come forward with personal stories, additional evidence, and photographs. Hughes’s links to the murder of mobster Bugsy Siegel and the killers of President John F. Kennedy are revealed as well as the real identity of the long-haired crazy man that Hughes placed in the Desert Inn Hotel to distract the world while he escaped. Eva McLelland kept her secret for thirty-one stressful years as she lived a nomadic existence with a man who refused to unpack his belongings for fear he would be discovered and have to flee.
Only her husband’s death finally released her to tell the story that had been burning inside her for decades.
A Note From the Publisher
Also available in eBook #9781608081400 - $4.99
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 10 members
This is an updated second edition, but it is the only book I have read about Howard Hughes, and I was not influenced by others opinion. I found it fascinating.
Having read many books about Howard Hughes throughout the years, I was delighted to see a new one. At first I was pretty skeptical at the premise, a woman claiming to have been married to a mystery man for 31 years, who turned out to be Hughes, yet she's basically unknown. But I was won over once I settled into the story, and read along as the woman, Eva McLelland explained it to co-writer Mark Musick, a retired major general. It came up as they were making the long drive back to Eva's home in Alabama from the Gulf Coast, where he'd helped her to scatter her husband's ashes. Musick was doubtful at first that her revelation about her husband's identity could be correct. But as she spent hours telling story after story about their long lives together, he realized she couldn't be making up so many memories, and in such detail. He became hooked, and began 8 years of research into it to verify or rule out the things she'd said.
It actually makes more sense than the weird story that Hughes was really the emaciated, long-haired, drug-addicted man who resided for years on a floor of the Desert Inn Hotel in Nevada, and died in such a horribly emaciated condition on April 5, 1976. That man was apparently a double, which allowed Hughes to be free to live his life elsewhere with Eva, who knew him as Verner "Nik" Nicely. He later died at the advanced age of 96 in 2001.
Musick ended up believing her story, which his research and documentation over the years never had shaken. In the confusing and often contradictory information and records on Hughes, many times Eva's story cleared things up.
And not that their lives together weren't also strange. They mostly moved from place to place, renting different homes and apartments, yet shadowed by Hughes' associates who kept him in touch with those running his businesses.
Boxes - refers to Howard's habit of keeping his belongings in cardboard boxes all through the time they were together, in anticipation of having to pick up and go in a hurry.
I received this book through Goodreads, Boutique of Quality Books Publishing and WriteLife Publishing.
Full of interesting theories and revelations, certainly one you should read and decide for yourself.
This is the very unusual, highly debated story of what happened to Howard Hughes after he "died".
An elderly lady, Eva Renee McLelland, claims that she had been married to a man who was the real Howard Hughes for over 30 years, and the authors share her story, their research, and tries to prove that Eva's story is the correct one.
As much as I want to write my thoughts about whether or not I believe the story, this review is not about that, but about the book itself. It's well documented and researched (though some of the "proof" to me wasn't really proof - showing a small, grainy, black and white photograph of Howard Hughes and one of "Nic" - the man supposed to be the real Howard Hughes - isn't proof to me. You can see anything you want to see in a photograph. Boxes is definitely a fascinating read and a must read for anyone who is at all curious about Howard Hughes life (which always just struck me as sad, overall. The incredible life he led, yet how many people really loved him?) I do hope that Eva's story was true, because that meant that Howard eventually got some peace and love in his life.