Jerry P. Shinley Archive:
Major Russell Willie: HSCA Interview



Subject: Major Russell Willie : HSCA Interview
Date: 31 Dec 1998 00:00:00 GMT
Message-ID: <76el1c$nni$>

DATE : 6-8-78
Summary of Contact:
       Investigator Robert Buras contacted Mr. Willie on the above time and date regarding his employment with the Louisiana State Sovereignty Committee which, information indicated, had received files from the late Guy Banister's Office. Mr. Willie actually was employed by the Louisiana State Police which did buy some files, that were made available to the Committee but were burned some time around 1970. Details below:
       Russell Willie and Joseph Cambre, Louisiana State Police, went to the residence of Mary Banister on Argonne St. in New Orleans, La. They purchased some files, approximately one five drawer file cabinet about half full of manila folders and three by five index cards. Mr. Willie believed that these purchases were in late 1964 or early 1965. The price was five hundred dollars which the State Police paid to Mrs. Mary Banister. Mr. Willie has retired from the State Police but at that time he was a Major and in charge of the Bureau of Identification and investigation. This included about thirty men and some of the duties involved criminal investigations and some gathering of intelligence files. The State Police cooperated with all State Agencies and Committee's. In this case they were assisting the Louisiana State Sovereignty Commission which was interested in the New Orleans area. The files that were kept by Mr. Banister covered many organizations and individuals that were of interest. Mr. Willie stated that he did not remember too much more about the matter but he suggested that the investigator contact Mr. Joseph Cambre, Ray Thomas, and Billy Joe Booth. These men had contact with the New Orleans Police Depart and along with him cooperated with U.S. Senator Eastland's Un American Activities Committee. Mr. Banister had some files that pertained to the Southern Conference Educational Fund. This organization was formerly the Southern Regional Communist Party U.S.A. of [sic] a title like that. [Wrong. SCEF was formerly the Southern Conference on Human Welfare. The Southern Regional Committee of the Communist Party was a different group. JPS]
       Mr. Willie could not remember any files that pertained to Lee Harvey Oswald but believed that something might have been in them about the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. Mr. Willie did remember that the files contained things that were not of interest, directly, to the State Police but were obviously kept by Mr. Banister because of his interest in them while he was with the F.B.I.
[end of interview]
       Major Willie lead the La. State Police in the SCEF raids and was named, along with Jim Garrison, as a defendant in the Dombrowski v. Pfister suit. I believe that in the late fifties Willie was a chauffeur for then Governor Earl K. Long.

Jerry Shinley

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