TO: DIRECTOR, FBI (89-4286)
FROM: SAC, BROOKLYN QUEENS (89-495) (P)
ReNYtelcall to San Francisco, 12/21/78.
Enclosed for San Francisco are the original and two (2) copies and for the Bureau two (2) copies of requested FD-302 of interview of Charles Robert Kirkendall.
Armed and dangerous; suicidal tendencies
[Page 2 is photocopy of manila envelope]
[Page 3 of document, page 1 of FD-302]
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Date of transcription 12/14/78
On December 6, 1978, Charles R. Kirkendole [Kirkendall] was interviewed by [two names deleted], Special Agents (SAS) of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and [name deleted], Special Agent, Secret Service. Kirkendole was advised of the identity of the agents and the nature of the interview.
Kirkendole advised that in the summer of 1973 after his brother David was killed by the Oakland Police, he became interested in joining a political organization. Initially Kirkendole considered the Black Panther Party (BPP) until a friend, [name deleted], persuaded him to investigate the Peoples’ Temple (PT). Kirkendole said that at the time he joined the PT was involved in programs similar to those of the BPP, composed mainly of blacks, but unlike the BPP, the PT did not advocate the use of violence even those [though] the PT made financial contributions to the BPP to aid the Huey Newton defense.
In order to join the PT an individual had to attend four consecutive meetings, to agree to abstain from drugs, alcohol and pay his bills. Kirkendole denied that prospective members were asked to sign over any property or that they were forced to make financial contributions, he said that all members made contributions which were voluntary and based on income.
All members were expected to perform some tasks at the temple. Kirkendole was an “unarmed usher” who maintained security at the entrances. Kirkendole denied that he acted as a personal bodyguard for Jim Jones or his children; he did admit that on occasion he physically ejected visitors from the temple when they tried to get too close to Jones.
Kirkendole stated that he lived in Guyana for 16 months and that he worked as a truck driver. On the day of Congressman Ryan’s visit Kirkendole drove attorneys Mark Lane and Charles Garry from the PTs Georgetown house to the airstrip in order for them to fly to Jonestown to meet with Ryan’s
[Page 4 of document, page 2 of FD-302]
party. Kirkendole did not see Ryan during that visit nor did he hear any talk about the visit except that it was expected. Kirkendole first became aware of the deaths at Jonestown the next day when he returned from the movies.
Kirkendole advised that there were weapons at the camp, he said that 13 weapons, rifles, shotguns and bows and arrows, used for hunting. Later during the interview he stated that he’s seen approximately 21 weapons. At another stage of the interview he said that there may have been more than that number of guns. Kirkendole said that to his knowledge there were no firearms training offered at the temple but many of the male members had been in the military and knew how to use automatic rifles and that some of these men were on the security force. According to Kirkendole the security force was armed and maintained camp security and defense.
Kirkendole admitted that drugs were used to maintain discipline over people who were troublemakers, those who spoke against the leadership or spoke of wanting to leave Jonestown; also beatings were a part of the discipline, some of the beatings were asked “bad” but to his knowledge no children were beaten or buried alive.
Kirkendole further advised that during his stay at Jonestown there were two suicide drills. He stated that once during an assembly Jones asked the group if they were willing to die. Kirkendole said at that meeting he communicated his willingness. Asked why he would have been prepared to die, Kirkendole said that he felt that one ought to be willing to die if what he’d work for were to be destroyed.
Kirkendole said that the time the army was supposed to attack the community they were willing to fight and die to prevent being overrun or tortured. He also mentioned the possibility of some type of attack by the Central Intelligence Agency or the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
[Page 5 of document, page 3 of FD-302]
Kirkendole advised that while at Jonestown all members of the village received instruction in the Russian language. He said that Don Jackson was the teacher. Jackson was described as a black male, mid 30s, approximately 190 pounds, curly-haired, who was formerly a history teacher in San Francisco. He stated that a member of the Soviet Embassy in Georgetown paid a visit to the Jonestown settlement and that a Russian doctor came once to perform a physical examination on Jim Jones. Kirkendole said that there had been some talk at Jonestown of the Peoples’ Temple re-settling in Russia.
Kirkendole described Paula Adams as a secretary at the Georgetown headquarters of the Peoples’ Temple and said that after the suicides Adams mentioned to him that she’s had an affair with a staff member at the American Embassy in Georgetown. Kirkendole also stated that several months ago he’s delivered a birthday present for Adams to that Embassy official’s home in Camelville.
Kirkendole advised that among the high leadership the following were black individuals, Johnnie [Johnny] Jones, Eva [Ava] Jones, and Lee Ingram. Ingram is supposedly alive and was a member of the security force.
Kirkendole stated that he’d heard the term “Angels” but did not know what it meant; when asked again he answered that angels were all over the world and that Jim Jones had said that angels were “all around the world” and could strike at any time. Kirkendole said that he didn’t know anything specific about who angels were but he said that he “wouldn’t mess with them”. Kirkendole said that he didn’t know if “Angels” had killed any defectors from the church but that Jim Jones had stated “that they be taken care of in their own way”.
Kirkendole described the following individuals as such:
Joe Wilson, black male on security force and armed.
Ava Jones, Jonestown leadership.
Lee Ingram, head of security force.
Paula Adams, Secretary, gave sexual favors for Jones.
[Page 6 of document, page 4 of FD-302]
Larry Schacht, Camp doctor, Jones’ lover.
Stephen [Stephan] Jones, security force, armed.
Andrea Walker, Radio operator in Georgetown.
Chuck Beikman, Security force.
Percy Jones, worked in Jonestown store.
Johnnie Jones, Jonestown leadership.
Concerning the shooting of Congressman Ryan, Kirkendole said that Tim Carter had told him that Larry Layton had shot Ryan as an act of revenge. Kirkendole did not know why Layton wanted revenge or against whom. He also said that he’s heard that the order to shoot Ryan did not come from Jones, that Jones did not come from on hearing of the killings stated that “life was over”. Kirkendole said that someone told him this.
Description furnished by Kirkendole:
|Name:||Chuck Robert Kirkendole|
|Date of Birth:||October 16, 1948|
|Place of Birth:||Edna, Texas|
|Hair:||Black-worn in Afro|
|Residence:||7300 73 Avenue; Lockwood St., Oakland (former address)|
|3767 Ruby Street (home of sister Reba Davis)|
|Employment:||Self-employed; formerly employed|
|Detail Turner Ford Fremont, California|
|Education:||12th grade – Carver High School|
|Marital Status:||Divorced, former wives: [names deleted]|
|Social Security Number:||[number deleted]|
|Selective Service Number:||None|
|Arrests:||Traffic violation 1972, Oakland, fingerprinted.|