The Records of the California Special Crime Study Commission on Organized Crime span nine years years, from 1945 to 1954.
The majority of the records in the collection are dated between 1947-1952. The materials consist of correspondence, memos,
field notes, investigation files, reports, newspaper clippings, court documents and a variety of different kinds of evidence
directly related to the commission’s areas of focus.
The Special Crime Study Commission on Organized Crime was established by executive order of Governor Earl Warren on November
1, 1947 by virtue of the authority vested in him by Chapter 1181 of the Statute Laws of 1947. The executive order provided
that the subject of the study of the Commission was to be the general subject of organized crime in the State of California
(a) The extent to which persons are organized or otherwise banded together for objects and purposes which violate the laws
of the State of California.
(b) The means and methods used by such persons to further and promote their unlawful objects and purposes.
(c) The conditions which make possible the continued activity of such persons.
(d) The measures considered by the Commission to be appropriate for recommendation to the Executive, Legislative and Judicial
Departments with the object of eradicating organized crime and providing the people of the State with better protection against
the inroads of organized crime.
The California Special Crime Study Commission on Organized Crime had two phases. The first phase, the Standley Commission,
operated from November 1, 1947 through November 15, 1950. The Hunt Commission continued the same investigative work from October
8, 1951 through June 30, 1952, when the crime study officially ended.
Both phases of the Commission were established by Governor Earl Warren and were headed by Chief Counsel Warren Olney III.
Mr. Olney was born in Oakland, Calif. He earned undergraduate and law degrees from the University of California, Berkeley
and then served two years as a deputy district attorney in Contra Costa County, California. This began his long association
with chief justice Earl Warren, who was then the county's chief prosecutor. In 1939, when Warren was state attorney general,
Mr. Olney became assistant attorney general in charge of the criminal division, a post he held until 1942.
In that same year, he was commissioned in the Marine Corps and served in the Pacific during World War II. He was in private
law practice in San Francisco from 1946 to 1950. Warren, who was then Governor of California, appointed Olney chief counsel
to the Special Crime Study Commission on Organized Crime in California.
Mr. Olney served as assistant attorney general in charge of the criminal division of the Justice Department from 1953 to 1957.
Less than a year later, he was appointed director of the administrative office of the courts, a position he held until his
retirement 10 years later. As director, he also served as executive officer of the Judicial Conference of the United States.
Olney died in Berkeley,California at age 74 on December 20, 1978.
Materials in this collection may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction
of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions,
privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond
that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be
commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
Collection is open for research, with the following exceptions: in documents related to abortion and prostitution, where a
woman has been identified as being a prostitute or having had an abortion, their names have been redacted and the originals
have been sealed until January 1, 2028.