Robert E. Newby, 77, a former senior official of the Federal Bureau of Investigation who had supervised major cases, including the Lindbergh kidnapping investigation, died Monday at Sibley Memorial Hospital after a heart attack.
He became an FBI agent in 1931, and later was a special agent and regional director for Washington, Maryland and Virginia. When he retired in 1953, he was FBI liaison representative with other federal intelligence agencies.
In the Lindbergh kidnaping, Mr. Newby came to local attention because of his part in the investigation of Gaston B. Means, who was convicted of conspiring to bilk Evalyn Walsh MeLean of $104,000.
Mrs, McLean, a Washington society matron and wife of ex-publisher Edward B. McLean, paid the money after she was told it would go to New York underworld figures for the return of the missing son of aviation hero Charles A.Lindbergh.
Means died several years later in jail without ever revealing what had happened to the money.
In 1935, Mr. Newby collaborated with Courtney Riley Cooper in Publishing "Ten Thousand Public Enemies." He also was assigned by the FBI to serve as technical director for the movies "You Can't Get Away with It" and "The House on [WORD ILLEGIBLE] Street."
After leaving the FBI, Mr. Newby was assistant to the President of the Potomac Electric Power Co., a position he held for 12 years.
Born in Washington, he was a graduate of Central High School and was active in its alumni affairs for many years. He also was a graduate of George Washington University and attended its law school.
Mr. Newby had been a member of D.C. Citizens Traffic Board, the Kiwanis Club and the National Press Club.He belonged to the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI and the Washington Chapter of Ex-FBI Agents.
He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, of the home in Summer Village, Md.; two daughters, Mrs. Leonard J. Williams, of Kensington, and Jane Day, of Chevy Chase, and six grandchildren.
The family suggests that expressions of sympathy may be in the form of contributions to the Kiwanis Foundation of Washington.