J. Edgar Hoover and His G-Men

J. Edgar Hoover and His G-Men

J. Edgar Hoover and His G-Men

J. Edgar Hoover and His G-Men

Synopsis

As the blood of criminal violence flowed through the streets in early 1920s America, the FBI was rendered helpless by unholy alliances with crooked politicians and shady dealings. A dynamic, young J. Edgar Hoover would change all that. After being named director of the FBI, Hoover quickly whipped the bureau into crime-fighting shape through mass firings of "political hacks" and painstaking screening of new recruits. Hoover's meticulous revitalization of the FBI resulted in the forming of a small, coldly efficient force that eagerly awaited its chance to battle the criminal element. Once Congress removed limitations on making arrests and carrying firearms, Hoover and 600 "G-Men" took to the streets, matching guns and wits with America's most notorious gangsters in an all-out war. The G-Men rapidly nailed ruthless criminals and well-known kingpins such as John Dillinger, "Baby Face" Nelson, "Pretty Boy" Floyd, "Ma" Barker and her sons, "Machine Gun" Kelly, and "Creepy" Karpis (who was personally apprehended by Hoover). Through gripping accounts of actual incidents, William Breuer brings the reader to the front lines of battle with Hoover and his crimebusters. Thrilling manhunts, thwarted mayhem, and tense confrontations dominate the action as the FBI tracks down the most dangerous hoodlums, kidnappers, and marauders of the era. Breuer also examines the social obstacles of pursuing justice during that bleak period in American history. Citizen apathy spurred by the Depression further stacked the odds against the G-Men as they chased desperadoes across the landscape. Somehow, the FBI achieved unprecedented success in the face of almost insurmountable odds. This powerful volume demonstratesthe stunning evolution of a tattered, corrupt organization into a disciplined unit priding itself on integrity and a tireless dedication to duty. Most of all, Hoover's mystique and the sheer force of his will can be felt with

Excerpt

George Weyerhaeuser, a precocious, cheerful lad, was walking through the grounds of the Tacoma Lawn Tennis Club in Tacoma, Washington, after leaving Lowell School at the noon hour on May 25, 1935. The nine-year-old boy was destined to follow in the footsteps of his forebears who had built a veritable empire of timber, sawmill, paper, and bank holdings in the Great Northwest. Weyerhaeuser Timber Company was the largest of its kind in the nation, if not in the world.

George was to meet his 13-year-old sister Anne in front of the nearby Annie Wright Seminary, an exclusive girls' school, and they would be picked up by the family chauffeur and driven to the Weyerhaeuser mansion for lunch, a daily routine.

When George reached the street, he saw a tan sedan parked at the curb. A man was seated behind the steering wheel and another was standing beside the vehicle.

"Son, where is Stadium Way?" the stranger asked. The boy replied that he didn't know. Then the man moved toward him and said, "You're a shy little fellow, aren't you?" and grabbed George. Putting a hand over the boy's mouth, the man hustled him into the automobile, shoved him flat on the back floorboard, and covered him with a dirty blanket. As the car drove away, one kidnapper told George: "If you keep your mouth shut and don't yell, we won't hurt you."

After leaving Tacoma and driving for about an hour, the kidnappers put the boy in a pit (one that they had dug earlier) and chained him. One man remained on guard while the other drove back to Tacoma to mail a ransom note to the Weyerhaeuser family. Little George was kept in the pit, chained most of the time, until the next night, when he was moved to another predug hole in the ground 20 miles away.

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