The Hope Diamond, carrying a legendary curse, found its way into the possession of J. Edgar Hoover, the infamous FBI Director (image above), after the morphine-addicted wife of the owner of the Washington Post newspaper passed away.
According to legend, the gem was first stolen from a sacred statue in India centuries ago. It was later owned by Marie Antoinette, the doomed French queen who is famous for replying “Let them eat cake” when told that the people were starving and had no bread. Thereafter, after being owned by several unlucky persons, it was purchased by Evalyn Walsh McLean, bride of Edward B. McLean, owner of the Washington Post newspaper.
During the Warren G. Harding administration (1921-1923), Harry Daugherty ran the U.S. Department of Justice. Friends had urged Harding not to select Daugherty as Attorney General; they felt it would be like sending the fox to guard the chicken coop. But Harding “owed” Daugherty for rising to the U.S. presidency, so Daugherty was put into the highest law enforcement position in the land.
Even before Harding took office, word was out that any deals to be made with the new Justice Department chief were to be done via Jess Smith, homosexual live-in companion of Daugherty. Among other things, Smith sold “permits” to gangster bootleggers, guaranteeing the feds would look the other way regarding certain illegal liquor transactions occurring during the then-current Prohibition. One of the bootleggers, George Remus, secretly paid Smith/Daugherty hundreds of thousands of dollars for “permits” as well as for “protection” against any problems with law enforcement officers.
Heading up the Bureau of Investigation within the Justice Department was William J. Burns, alias “Billy Burns”, head of the William J. Burns International Detective Agency. Billy Burns secured his new job appointment at the Bureau of Investigation (BI) by sending his underling, Gaston B. Means, to blackmail key people into supporting Burns. His private detective bureau helped Burns strong-arm his way into political power, and the Burns Detective Agency continued to assist and interlock with the Justice Department while Burns headed the BI (later evolved into the FBI).
Attorney General Harry Daugherty made Ned McLean, then-owner of the Washington Post newspaper, a “dollar a year” agent of the Justice Department. His agent status thereby condoned McLean’s participation in any spying, “black bag jobs”, etc. Agent McLean owned several properties, including a house at 1509 H Street. The H Street house, located two blocks away from the White House, one block away from the Justice Department, and connected by a passage to another house owned by McLean, served as the unofficial headquarters for the Daugherty gang. Besides being where crooked deals were negotiated and where payoffs were made, the H Street house was also Warren G. Harding’s “love nest” where the president went for not-so-secret sexual trysts with various women.
Agent McLean received weekly confidential “General Intelligence Bulletins” assembled by second-in-command of the Bureau of Investigation, J. Edgar Hoover.
Nominal BI employee Gaston Means took orders from both Billy Burns and Jess Smith. Means was also employed by Ned McLean, Evalyn McLean (Ned’s wife and then-owner of the Hope Diamond), and by First Lady Florence Kling Harding herself. Means squirreled away all the dirt he had collected as “insurance” for himself as well as for potential blackmail purposes. Means says, in his “tell all” book, The Strange Death of President Harding, that Florence Harding had ordered him to investigate Harry Daugherty. But in the same book, Means never reveals the results of his Daugherty probe. Means kept many secrets which gave him leverage when the Daugherty gang eventually self-destructed.
Also well-known as a holder of secrets which consequently bestowed immense power upon the holder was the aforementioned J. Edgar Hoover. After the suspicious death of Warren G. Harding in 1923, the crooked network ensconced at the H Street house finally disintegrated. Walter Thayer, Burns Agency operative, FBI agent, and Secret Service agent during the Harding presidency, spent seven years putting together a meticulously researched manuscript after Harding died. Thayer’s “The Harding Poison Murder Case” consisted of three volumes totaling 350,000 words and purportedly proved that Harding had been assassinated. Incidental to the manuscript was a pile of inside information on Washington, DC skullduggery. J. Edgar Hoover declared that Thayer was “mentally unbalanced” and ordered the manuscript destroyed. In 1948, when Evalyn McNeal died, the Hope Diamond was given to Hoover. Upon receiving the gem, wrapped in brown paper, Hoover “went into a frantic fit.”  Like it was a hot potato, the infamous FBI Director unloaded the diamond in a hurry. The Hope Diamond now resides at the Smithsonian Institution where, if the legend is true, it now curses the entire nation, since we are its owners.
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 Anthony, Carl Sferrazza. Florence Harding ISBN: 0-688-07794-3
The above blog entry first appeared at my old Conspiracy Nation web site on October 6, 2002.