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Guy Banister told an associate that he was sent to Butte because "at one time he had a visit by an FBI agent who told him that Mr. Hoover had asked for an honest appraisal of the Bureau from some of its top agents. Mr. Banister is alleged to have sent up a memo from Chicago that called the Bureau a prostitute that wanted keep her virginity." [HSCA interview with Oster 1.27.78]

Guy Banister continued: "I stayed there until October 1941, when I was transferred to Oklahoma City as SAC. I remained there until November 1943, when I returned to Butte, Montana, and remained there until September 1952, when I was transferred to Minneapolis, Minnesota...and remained there until the end of January 1954, when I was transferred to the Chicago Division as SAC. I remained there until the end of the year, when I retired from FBI service. I have been informed that up to the time of my retirement, I had served longer in the position of SAC than any other person, a period of nearly 17 years. In January 1955, I accepted a position with the New Orleans Police Department, and I have been there since that date."

Guy Banister spent 30 years in the FBI. While Guy Banister was Chicago SAC, he was involved in the arrest of several members of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party, and received the Bureau's "Twenty Year Service Award Key." [NARA 180-10096-10011]

        

WHY BANISTER RESIGNED

        Banister cited the failing health of his daughter: "My daughter must remain under the constant care of a specialist...this makes it dangerous to accept the transfer to the Honolulu Division as SAC" According to Mrs. Ross Banister, Guy Banister's sister-in-law, his daughter [Mrs. Donald Duvio] did suffer from an incurable disease. FBI documents, however, indicated that Guy Banister was about to be dismissed because of his actions in a Minnesota murder case. The Governor of Minnesota, Orville Freeman, and Minnesota Senator Hubert Humphrey, examined the case and pressured the FBI into firing Guy Banister.

        

BANISTER JOINS THE NEW ORLEANS POLICE DEPARTMENT

        When he returned to Louisiana in late 1954 Guy Banister became a client of Maurice Gatlin [201-53,454] and a member of Gatlin's Anti-Communist Committee of the Americas - Caribbean Division. The Anti-Communist Committee of the Americas possibly played a minor role in PB SUCCESS.

In early 1955 New Orleans Mayor DeLesseps "Chip" S. Morrison asked Guy Banister to become an Assistant Superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department. He accepted, and was assigned to prepare a report on police corruption. Guy Banister investigated the New Orleans syndicate. He recounted: "I accepted the position at the Mayor's invitation, who said that the New Orleans Police Department had many of its members being charged with being grafters. I talked to some of my friends, who are professional law enforcement officers, and they said that it could not be done. The New Orleans Police Department was controlled by a mafia-like organization, and it simply could not be cleaned. I said 'Well, if you say it cannot be done, I accept the challenge.' I had retired, intending to get out of law enforcement, although I must say I regretted getting out of counter-espionage, counter-sabotage, counter-subversive activity work." A "Top Hoodlum Coverage FBI Report" revealed that one of Frank Costello's torpedoes threatened to "run Guy Banister out of town." Guy Banister became involved in a dispute about the mob with his superiors in the police department. A FBI source in the New Orleans Police Department reported Guy Banister made waves, and was demoted. The source noted that "within the last two days, Banister had made a public announcement to the effect that some bribery cases had been sent to the District Attorney. As a result, the citizens of New Orleans have a tendency to look upon all Police Department members as suspects." Guy Banister publicly acknowledged that 98 members of the New Orleans Police Department were suspected of taking payoffs. On June 27, 1956, Guy Banister's probe was ended, he was demoted, and the release of the Banister Report was postponed. On June 30, 1956, Guy Banister was on a nightclub tour with out-of-town friends when several police officers confronted him. When they tried to disarm Guy Banister, he pointed his weapon at them and was arrested. The next day, Guy Banister offered to resign from the force. Instead, he was suspended. In August 1956 Guy Banister told the FBI that a Federal Grand Jury was about to indict 50 New Orleans police officers for income tax evasion "and that the possibility exists that a number of New Orleans policemen will be indicted in state courts for public bribery and malfeasance in office."


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