Dorothy Hunt

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Dorothy Wetzel Day Goutiere Hunt (April 1, 1920 – December 8, 1972) was an American woman who was the first wife of Watergate conspirator E. Howard Hunt. She died in the crash of United Airlines Flight 553,[1] during the unfolding of the scandal.

Background and early life[edit]

She was stationed in Shanghai, China after World War II, where she met her future husband. While in Paris, she was liaison between the Embassy of the United States in Paris and the Economic Cooperation Administration.

The couple returned to the United States and settled in Maryland.

Her husband spent much of his time involved in covert operations in Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Cuba.

The couple had 4 children, Lisa, Kevan, Saint John and David.

Watergate and death[edit]

In October 1972, Dorothy Hunt attempted to speak to Charles Colson. He refused to talk to her but later admitted to the New York Times that she was "upset at the interruption of payments from Nixon's associates to Watergate defendants."

Controversies surrounding death[edit]

Dorothy Hunt was carrying $10,000 in $100 bills when the plane crashed.[2] James McCord alleged that Hunt supplied the Watergate defendants with money for legal expenses.[2]

Just before Hunt boarded the aircraft she purchased $250,000 in flight insurance payable to E. Howard Hunt.[citation needed] In his book Undercover (1974), Hunt claims he was unaware that his wife planned to do this. In the book he also tried to explain what his wife was doing with $10,000 in her purse. According to Hunt it was money to be invested with Hal Carlstead in "two already-built Holiday Inns in the Chicago area".

Nixon administration figure Chuck Colson told TIME magazine that "I don't say this to my people. They'd think I'm nuts. I think they [the CIA] killed Dorothy Hunt."[3] Also killed in the December 1972 plane crash was CBS News Correspondent Michele Clark and Illinois Congressman George W. Collins.


  1. ^ Staff report (December 11, 1972). Watergate Figure's Dead Wife Had $10,000 to Invest, He Says. New York Times
  2. ^ a b "Crash Mrs. Hunt Died In Blamed On Pilot Error". St. Petersburg Times (St. Petersburg, Florida). UPI. September 28, 1973. p. 16-A. Retrieved May 26, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Colson's Weird Scenario" July 8, 1974, TIME Magazine. Accessed September 10, 2009.