WHO WERE THEY?

That my friend Slim Brooks may have been a navigational consultant for the Bay of Pigs Invasion was something I'd never have suspected at the time.

Yet he was perfectly adept at precisely such work. Something about the coffee stains on his charts seemed to rule out that possibility then.

In a Ramparts Magazine article by William Turner titled "The Garrison Commission" that is reprinted in The Assassinations, an anthology edited by Peter Dale Scott, Paul L. Hoch and Russell Stetler (Random House, 1976), there appears a reference to a man who happened to know the address of Guy Banister's office next to the drugstore where Slim and I waited that day when Brother-in-law ran his quick and mysterious "errands."

Ordinarily, the fairly common last name, "Brooks," would not seem more than coincidental. In this instance, however, I received additional information from a personal contact indicating that perhaps this individual mentioned in Turner's article resembled the man I knew as Roderick R. Brooks both in appearance and mannerisms.

My lack of certainty is due to my inability to determine the reliability and intent of my informant. That Slim Brooks might actually have been one Jerry Milton Brooks is a nagging possibility I cannot ignore, since Slim never used what he told me in private was his first name in the company of others, always preferring to be called "Slim."

Here is what Fred Turner says in "The Garrison Commission," first published in January of 1968, about Jerry Milton Brooks:

"The dilapidated building at 544 Camp Street is on the corner of Lafayette Place. Shortly after news of Garrison's investigation broke, I went to 531 Lafayette Place, an address given me by Minutemen defector Jerry Milton Brooks as the office of W. Guy Banister, a former FBI official who ran a private detective agency.

"According to Brooks, who had been a trusted Minutemen aide, Banister was a member of the Minutemen and head of the Anti-Communist League of the Caribbean, assertedly an intermediary between the CIA and Caribbean insurgency movements. Brooks said he had worked for Banister on 'anti-Communist' research in 1961-1962, and had known David Ferrie as a frequent visitor to Banister's office.

"Banister had died of an apparent heart attack in the summer of 1964. But Brooks had told me of two associates whom I hoped to find. One was Hugh F. Ward, a young investigator for Banister who also belonged to the Minutemen and the Anti-Communist League. Then I learned that Ward, too, was dead. Reportedly taught to fly by David Ferrie, he was at the controls of a Piper Aztec when it plunged to earth near Ciudad Victoria, Mexico, May 23, 1965.

"The other associate was Maurice Brooks Gatlin Sr., legal counsel to the Anti-Communist League of the Caribbean. Jerry Brooks said he had once been a sort of protégé of Gatlin and was in his confidence. Brooks believed Gatlin's frequent world travels were as a 'transporter' for the CIA.... The search for Gatlin, however, was likewise futile: in 1964 he fell or was pushed from the sixth floor of the El Panama Hotel in Panama during the early morning, and was killed instantly."

Guy Banister is claimed by another researcher, as I previously mentioned, to have been undercover for Division Five of the FBI at the time he ran the detective agency in New Orleans. As Turner goes on to note, 531 Lafayette and 544 Camp are two entrances to the same building. Located next to Waterbury's Drugs, at the corner of Camp and Canal, it stands at the other end of a very short block at Camp and Lafayette.

As for David Ferrie who, according to Jerry Brooks, frequented Banister's office, I met him very briefly and casually once at a party and, as I've mentioned already, I met Guy Banister one evening in the Bourbon House.

What of Maurice Brooks Gatlin, though? Notice that Jerry Brooks claimed this man trusted him and also seemed unaware of his death four years earlier in Panama. Going with my assumption that Jerry Milton Brooks could have been Slim Brooks, and with my further assumption would be that Gary Kirstein, Slim's alleged brother-in-law, was actually E. Howard Hunt using another man's name, a fascinating hypothesis suggests itself.

According to Torrbit's thesis, the CIA's Double-Check Corporation of Miami was on loan to Division Five for anti-Castro activities, and both were involved in the Cuban Revolutionary Council headquartered in Banister's office. In that case, Banister almost certainly would have known and could have been working with E. Howard Hunt.

Suppose that with Brooks, Hunt was using a false identity -- that of Maurice Brooks Gatlin. Then it is easy to imagine how Slim could have become involved in the assassination plot. Moreover, Slim continued to meet with Brother-in-law in the years that followed, which would explain why Jerry Milton Brooks seemed unaware of the death of Gatlin.

Either the real Gatlin, whose name Hunt was using, or another individual on assignment with the Gatlin I.D., could have been murdered in Panama shortly after the John Kennedy murder in order to dispose of an identity Hunt no longer needed.

Banister is dead. Ward, whoever he was, is dead. And Maurice Gatlin is dead or never existed and is presumed dead. E. Howard Hunt's tracks are covered perfectly. There is almost no way to connect him with the crime of Kennedy's assassination.

As for the real Gary Kirstein, Tom Lutz of The National Tattler discovered his name connected with the Minutemen. Phillip Emmons Isaac Bonewits, a Berkeley occultist, wrote me that he found it repeatedly in his investigations of "snuff films" and other illegal Satanist activities.

Could Gary Kirstein have been someone Hunt was attempting to set up in advance for the crime of murdering John Kennedy? Obviously, this theory makes a number of assumptions that are possibly unwarranted.

But then again, multiple levels of cover are standard for intelligence agents, and Brother-in-law warned me that the simplest solution was not always the correct one.

NEXT

CONFESSION TO CONSPIRACY TO ASSASSINATE JFK

RUNCIBLE TALES | SONDRA LONDON DOTCOM

free web stats