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Joseph Earl Dinler, played by Scott Sowers, is the Grand Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan Atlantic County Branch and the owner of a local hardware store.


Season 1[]

Dinler addresses a gathering of fellow members. His racist rhetoric is welcomed by his audience, the majority of whom are in their Klan uniform. As he blames African Americans for poverty amongst Caucasians Deputy Halloran and Sheriff Eli Thompson burst in wielding shotguns and ask who is in charge. The assembly point out Dinler. Eli tells the members to remove their hoods. Halloran recognises Dinler as a hardware store owner. Dinler assumes that they have come to steal and tells them to take what they want and lean. Eli tells Dinler to drop the act; Dinler calls Eli a grafter, whoremonger and bootlegger. Eli says Dinler must be thinking of Nucky and tells him that he is under arrest. A Klansman asks what the arrest is for as Klan membership is not illegal. Eli accepts this but reminds the men that lynching is against the law.

Eli wakes Dinler the next morning. He has been kept overnight and questioned extensively about the lynching of an African American man, Kendall. Dinler's face is visibly bruised. He denies having any involvement but Eli covers his face with his hood and tells him they need to be sure.

Chalky White takes off Dinler’s hood and tells Dinler that he comes from Elgin, Texas. Chalky tells Dinler a story about his father, a carpenter. He was employed by white business owner Theo Purcell to build a bookcase for Purcell’s home. The project took 10 months and once completed Chalky was allowed to visit, through the front door, to see the work. Chalky recalls the beauty of his father’s carving. A month later another white man told Chalky’s father that he wanted to hire him, took him across town and lynched him from a pepper tree. Chalky has his father’s carpentry tools with him and when Dinler asks what they are for Chalky tells him that he will not be building a book case.

Eli is waiting for Chalky when he leaves the room where Dinler is being held. Chalky tells Eli the Klan were not involved and shows him Dinler’s severed finger (signet ring still in place) as confirmation; Eli then releases Dinler.


Memorable Quotes[]

  • "Filthy immigrants. Christ-killing Jews. Anarchists of every stripe. Dangerous though they may be make no mistake my brethren... it is the coon that is the true bane of our great nation. Up from the south they come like so many rats, feeding on jobs heretofor reserved for white men. Veterans, patriots. True Americans all consigned to the bread lines- their families starving while the nigger gorges himself! It is our God-given right, it is our Christian duty to eradicate this scourge...!


Season one appearances
Boardwalk Empire The Ivory Tower Broadway Limited Anastasia
Nights in Ballygran Family Limitation Home Hold Me in Paradise
Belle Femme The Emerald City Paris Green A Return to Normalcy