Dying for Joe McCarthy’s Sins: The Suicide of Wyoming Senator Lester Hunt, is a book about former Wyoming U-S Senator Lester Hunt who killed himself after his son was arrested and convicted for soliciting a same sex relationship with an undercover police officer.
According to author Rodger McDaniel, Hunt was blackmailed by McCarthy and others who tried to force him to resign his seat. McDaniel said it was at a time when the U-S Senate was evenly split and a Hunt resignation would give power to the Republicans. McDaniel says Hunt was offered a major position by the Eisenhower administration that he almost accepted.
“Initially Hunt wanted to do that, he was tired of the threats and tired of the pressure, but his wife and his staff said you just can’t do that. How would you explain to the folks back home that you got this big job and control of the Senate shifted to the other party. And so eventually he decided not to take the job and it was just a few days later that he killed himself.”
McDaniel says there is no question that he killed himself due to the threats. According to McDaniel, there appeared to be a last straw.
The day before he killed himself, Joe McCarthy held a press conference and announced that he was going to open an investigation against a Democratic member of the Senate who he said had been involved in a bribe.”
McDaniel says that he believes McCarthy was going to allege that Hunt originally offered a bribe to a police officer to clear his son. In an effort to bring attention to the blackmail, McDaniel said there will be a mock trial of Joe McCarthy and the other Senators involved in the blackmail this Sunday at one at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Cheyenne.