Milton Brener on Dean Andrews



Milton Brener is a New Orleans lawyer who once worked as an assistant district attorney under DA Jim Garrison. Brener was friendly with Dean Andrews, and was the first to go on record with the theory that Andrews not only dreamed up the "Clay Bertrand" story, but his alleged association with Lee Harvey Oswald as well.

Here is Brener's description of Andrews, from The Garrison Case: A Study in the Abuse of Power, pp. 57-58.

Andrews loves words. When not talking, which is seldom, he is usually wearing a broad, boyish grin" or laughing lustily, for he appears to see the world as a huge joke. Almost as perpetual as the grin is a pair of dark glasses which are his virtual trademark. Lawyers as a group have often been accused of dullness and of lacking imagination or originality, all caused, it is said, by overly cautious use of words to convey information logically. Attempts at preciseness of communication have stifled the creativity of most lawyers, say the profession's critics. Not in the slightest degree do these criticisms apply to Dean Andrews.

One quickly concludes that often his words are designed to create effect, or to entertain, or to amuse rather than to communicate facts. His flights of fancy are enlivened with a flowery extravagance of language. His accent is an aural caricature of Brooklynese. Few realize that the accent native to parts of New Orleans is almost identical to the better known Brooklyn variety.

The spontaneous outpouring of Andrews's colorful language is sometimes remarkable. One is often awed by an apparently limitless flow of baffling originations. Most discerning listeners have little trouble in recognizing his soaring adventures in imagination for precisely that. It would be a mistake, however, to conclude that his narratives are totally or perpetually illusory. They are not. None who has truly known him would accuse him of stupidity. Prior to 1967 he had successfully practiced law for fifteen years and was serving as a part-time assistant D.A. in Jefferson Parish. His practice, while perhaps not qualifying him for Service with Wall Street firms, has been interesting and colorful-and useful and honorable.

If many people do not take Dean Andrews quite seriously, it is also true that practically none would wish him harm. If he often has little regard for fact, it is equally clear that he has little expectation that his prevarications will be relied upon by others to their detriment. It is doubtful that he has ever intentionally caused harm to anyone. Cruelty and malice are alien to his nature.


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