Tom Gregory's Hollywood Vault radio clips, as featured on Leeza Gibbons' national radio program Hollywood Confidential!
Below is a transcript of the review on the audio file playable above.Doheny Drive borders Beverly Hills on the east. Climbing up the mansion-encrusted hill to merge with Mulholland it defines the divide between the simply rich and the super wealthy. It’s up Doheny Drive, just off to the left where Beverly Hills’ first tragedy and America’s first major scandal were dropped on Hollywood’s doorstep.
Edward Doheny was a wildcatter of the Wild West. By the time he arrived in Los Angeles in 1892 he had spent twenty years roaming the desert as a dusty drifter. While other men were looking for their fortune in California’s gold mines, Doheny ogled oil. He and his partner pooled their meager monies to buy a plot of Downtown LA land laden with tar for $400. They dug deep down, by hand, to 460 feet until they found oil. The boom started. 3000 oil wells made Doheny lousy with dough.
Dirty deals, tremendous timing, and flimflam politics made him legendary, and a criminal. In The Teapot Dome scandal, Doheny paid his friend Senator Albert Fall of New Mexico, $100,000 for lucrative government oil rights. Doheny’s son Ned and his son’s secretary, Hugh Plunkett delivered their “Fall guy” the dirty dib of dough.
Son Ned soon received a present from big cheese Dad, a keen, aces up mansion in ritzy Beverly Hills dad named Greystone. Ned moved in with his wife Carrie and their five junior Dohenies. Four months later, a shot rang out. Thirty minutes more another shot was fired. Ned and his secretary went the pistol route on Greystone’s imported slate. Deemed a murder/suicide it was a tragedy trimmed in mink, and inlaid with innuendo. Rumors still abound. Was there more than just a “friendly” relationship between Ned and is secretary? Was secretary Hugh ready to sing secrets about the teapot scandal?
Ned’s wife Carrie occupied the house until 1954. It was never lived in again. Today Greystone is owned by the city of Beverly Hills, and shown proudly as a park. Happy afternoons filled with tourists roaming its grounds seem to be making up for the Greystone’s dawn of dark, deadly days.