Elizabeth Arden (December 31, 1881 – October 18, 1966) was born in Woodbridge, Ontario Canada. She left nursing school to open a salon in Manhattan when she was 25 years old. By 1929 she owned 150 salons in the United States and Europe. Elizabeth Arden is still a household name in the cosmetics industry.
During World War II and the Nazi occupation of Europe Arden’s salons remained open. These included locations in Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Rome, Milan and Budapest, all occupied cities. One of Arden’s employees, William T Carlson, was also in the service of the OSS. He was a spy working for the United States in Europe.
Released FBI documents show that Arden was investigated as a suspected Nazi associate. The reports indicate the suspicions were unsubstantiated. It is also documented she met with J Edgar Hoover at her request, The last record in the file is a condolence letter to her niece upon her passing in 1966. It is signed by J Edgar Hoover, the acting FBI director at the time.
This begs the question; was Elizabeth Arden a spy for the OSS during World War II? It certainly appears so. Was Arden spying on Nazi sympathizers in the US? Pat DiGeorge, author of the book “Liberty Lady,” explores these and other questions.
Lisa Montgomery (27 February 1968 – present) was born in Melvern KS. She is a mentally ill woman who endured a life of sexual and violent abuse. According to this Huffington Post article, her abuse began when she was 8 years old. In 2007 she was convicted of murdering a pregnant woman, Bobbie Jo Stinnet, and removing the baby. She is currently on death row in Terre Haute, Indiana awaiting execution on the 12th of January. Psychiatrists say they are uncertain if she is aware of her impending sentence, such is the depth of her psychosis. Trump and Barr have moved swiftly to execute federal prisoners on death row before his tenure ends. Lawyers are filing a motion to have her sentence commuted to life in prison.
It seems her life has been one of abuse, pain and fear. Her crime isn’t one that should go unpunished but the death penalty would be a tragic end to an even more tragic life. Late on January 11th a Judge granted a stay of execution pending a competency hearing (Newsweek). The Trump administration, namely the Department of Justice headed by Attorney General Barr, had pushed for the execution to move ahead (Washington Post) before Trump’s term ends.