Gaston Means, Bullshit Artist

The third season of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire wrapped up this week. One of the new characters this season was Gaston Means. Means is a fast talking dandy who brokers deals and gets his hands dirty. In one episode he convinces two people to pay him for the same murder.

Like some other Empire characters he’s an historical figure woven into the story. The real life Means was apparently every bit the charming, conniving hustler that Stephen Root plays on Empire. From Wikipedia:

Gaston Bullock Means (July 11, 1879 – December 12, 1938)[1] was an American private detective, salesman, bootlegger, forger, swindler, murder suspect, blackmailer, and con artist.

While not involved in the Teapot Dome scandal, Means was associated with other members of the so-called Ohio Gang that gathered around the administration of President Warren G. Harding. Means also tried to pull a con associated with the Lindbergh kidnapping, and died in prison following his criminal conviction.

Read the whole thing.

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