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This FRONTLINE episode claims that J. Edgar Hoover's ability to properly run the FBI was badly compromised by his private behavior. A real possibility that he would be blackmailed meant that mob families went unharrassed by the Bureau for over 20 years. Gangster Meyer Lansky's photographs of Hoover engaging in a certain intimate act with close friend Clyde Tolson were seen by many (who are interviewed here). Additionally, one woman reports meeting Hoover as "Mary," while he wore a black chiffon party dress, heels, a black wig and false eyelashes. If the snapshots didn't exist, Hoover's gambling habits also may have curbed any zeal to monitor and then arrest crime bosses. Ex-FBI men testify that new recruits received NO organized crime training, and mob investigations didn't commence until J. Edgar's hand was forced by Atty. General Bobby Kennedy's Justice Department. Another issue was Hoover's illegal personal use of government autos, including three armor-protected limos (the President of the U.S. only had one at the time). He also ate "on the cuff" wherever he went. Any restaurateur who presented a bill to tightwad Hoover would see him angrily walk out without paying, never to return. Presidents were afraid to retire him and elected officials always backed him up because Hoover kept "dirt" files on all of them. Not a pretty picture.

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PBS1101 Secret File On J Edgar Hoover VHS (1993) $11.99