Jerry P. Shinley Archive:
Guy Banister, Willard Robertson, John McKeithen



Subject: Guy Banister, Willard Robertson, John McKeithen
Date: 6/1/00 8:16 AM Eastern Daylight Time
Message-id: <8h5k6t$qpi$>

RECORD NUMBER : 180-10096-10010
AGENCY FILE NUMBER : 007271 [5 OF 6]

DATE : 03/20/64

                                                       March 20, 1964

Mr. Willard E. Robertson
225 Baronne Building
New Orleans, Louisiana

Dear Mr. Robertson:

       I am enclosing herewith a biographical sketch and several photographs. I am sending several photographs because I do not have one which was taken in recent months. The photographs and sketch are being submitted in accordance with your suggestion.

       I have been convinced for a long time that the Governor should have investigative help. Anything having an effect upon State Sovereignty, or in which the State has an interest, should be a matter of concern for the Governor. The Governor needs facts.

       I do not suggest the formation of another law enforcement agency.

       I would like to propose to Governor McKeithen a contract between Guy Banister Associates, Inc. and the State which would make available to him expert investigative help. This could be done under the State Sovereignty Commission with a part of the unit concerning itself with problems presented by the Governor, personally. I would supervise the work of the investigators.

       If politics and efficiency were to marry, I would recommend the abolition of the Joint Legislative Committee on Un-American Activities and the transfer of its functions and records to the State Sovereignty Commission.

       The State Sovereignty Commission has made no noticiable contribution to the well being of the people of the State. The Chief Investigator is a former automobile salesman, without prior experience, so far as known.

       The Joint Legislative Committee on Un-American Activities has not done anything which it could not have done by reading the newspapers and subpoenaing the witnesses before it for a hearing. The Chief Investigator is a retired army officer with no known experience as an investigator.

       It is suggested that the Governor might be interested in the matters mentioned below. I have heard quite a bit about these activities and an investigation is indicated. At this time, I cannot prove anything is wrong since I have not conducted any investigation.

1. We are reported to be losing some $7,000,000.00 per year through frauds perpetrated in connection with the affairs of the State Employment Service.

2. Tax Exemption Program for new industries.

3. Recipients of Welfare Payments.

4. General Crime Conditions
       a. Wide spread violations of law can bring about radical changes in government.

                               Sincerely yours,
                               Guy Banister

GB/dpr [Delphine Points Roberts?]

[end of letter]

       AGENCY : HSCA
RECORD NUMBER : 180-10096-1011
AGENCY FILE NUMBER : 007271 [5 OF 6]


W. Guy Banister

       I was born in a log cabin in Caldwell Parish on March 7, 1901, the son of William Henry Banister and Aline Gregory Bainster, the oldest of 7 children.

       I was educated in the Public Schools of Louisiana and attended Louisiana State University and Soule College of New Orleans.

       The beginning of my career as an investigator was with the Monroe Police Department. I received an appointment as Patrolman in December 1929. About two weeks later, the Superintendent of Police asked me to take a course in stenography, afterwhich he would assign me to his office as his secretary with the pay of a sergeant. This was done at the end of six months from the date of my first appointment. About six months later, the Superintendent died and I was assigned duties that made me, actually, the Chief of Detectives.

       On November 5, 1934, I was sworn in as Special Agent, Division of Investigation, U.S. Department of Justice. The name of this organization was changed a short time later to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

       In May, 1938, I was promoted to the position which now bears the title of Assistant Special Agent in Charge and assigned to the Newark, New Jersey office.

       In August, 1938, I was promoted to the office of Special Agent in Charge and assigned to the Butte, Montana Office. This occurred less than four years from the date I entered on duty with the FBI. I served in this position until my retirement on December 31, 1954.

       I served in the Butte Division until October 1941, when I was transferred to the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Division where I stayed until November, 1943, when I was transferred back to the Butte Division.

       In September 1952, I was transferred to the Minneapolis, Minnesota Division, where I remained until the last of December 1953, when I was transferred to the Chicago, Illinois Division. I remained there until the date of my retirement.

       I have been informed that up to the time of my retirement, I had served longer in the position of Special Agent in Charge than any other person, a period of nearly seventeen years.

       After retirement, I accepted an invitation from Mayor Delesseps S. Morrison to join the New Orleans Police Department with the assignment of cleaing up the Police Organized Graft System. This period was from 1955 to 1957. Many Police Officers were indicted. Some were tried and convicted in different courts, as the cases were prepared for Federal or State action. Others where removed from office and their cases were handled by the City Civil Service Commission.

       Cases of malfeasance, etc. were prepared, and submitted to the Orleans Parish Grand Jury, against Mayor Morrison, Superintendent of Police Provosty A. Dayries and District Attorney Leon Dayries Hubert. The cases were "tried" before the Grand Jury and no indictments were returned.

       Since February 1958, I have been engaged as a private investigator and criminologist and as President, Guy Banister Associates, Inc. I am organizing at this time a family real estate corporation.

       While serving with the FBI as Special Agent in Charge, I supervised the investigative work of several hundred Special Agents and administered the affairs of the Division under my command.

       The investigations could be, and were made in cases involving some 140 Federal laws, including anti-trust laws, bankruptcy, bank defalcations, bank robbery, extortion, kidnapping, murder, treason, espionage, sabotage and subversive activities cases.

       As a part of my duties, I supervised the training of thousands of local law enforcement officers. I intoduced an innovation in law enforcement training. Major Universities were brought into the work, not as done in Louisiana where the University, apparently, takes the lead in establishing the curriculum, standards to be met, selection of instructors, etc., but the training courses were prepared by me. This was done by being accepted as a member of the teaching staff. The Universities concerned were: The University of Idaho, The Greater University of Montana, the University of South Dakota and the University of Minnesota.

       I am a communicant of the Baptist Church and have served as church moderator, deacon, trustee and Sunday School Teacher.

       I am a Past Master of Graham Surghnor Lodge #383, F. & A. M., Monroe, Louisiana. I still hold my membership there.

       I am a member of the Scottish Rite and of Jerusalem Temple, New Orleans, Louisiana.

       I am married to the former Mary Wortham of Oak Grove, La. We have one daughter, Mrs. Donald Duvio, and have three grandsons.

       My only living brother is D. Ross Banister, General Counsel, Louisiana State Highway Department. My mother, Mrs. Aline Banister, still resides in the family home in Monroe.

[end of bio.]

       During the Louisiana gubernatorial run-off of 1964, the segregationists rallied behind John McKeithen to defeat former New Orleans Mayor DeLesseps S. "Chep" Morrison . Guy Banister even took out a full-page ad to denounce Morrison (New Orleans Times-Picayune; January 10, 1964; S1-P26) The ad consists mostly of a collage of newpaper headlines relating to the police scandals of the 1950's, which found Banister and Morrison on opposite sides. WGB also threw in a few handy facts about "white flight" and racial bloc voting. The ad was signed "W. Guy Banister , 531 Lafayette Steet."

       Willard Robertson and Jim Garrison were two of McKeithen's biggest backers in New Orleans. Banister evidently felt his backing in the run-off had earned him a political patronage job from the McKeithen administration. McKeithen was also from Caldwell Parish, where WGB had been born.

Jerry Shinley

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