[Editor’s note: This document was released both as a State Department cable as part of its 1981 FOIA release, and as Serial 1408 of the FBI’s RYMUR release.
[The FBI deleted the name of Jonestown survivor Odell Rhodes from this serial, although it had been previously been released by State. The deleted information from the memorandum has been indicated by red type.]
UNCLASSIFIED FBB 594
[Listing of agencies receiving informational copies on pdf]
0 221729Z DEC 78
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8551
UNCLAS GEORGETOWN 4433
E.O. 12065: NA
TAGS: CASC, GY (LAYTON, LARRY) (PEOPLES TEMPLE)
SUBJC W/W ARRESTS: LARRY LAYTON
REF: GEORGETOWN 4408
1. Preliminary inquiry into the deaths of Congressman Ryan and four other Americans resumed yesterday (Dec 21). The police inspector who took a statement from Larry Layton finished testifying, and underwent cross-examination by senior counsel Rex McKay. [Odell Rhodes] also testified concerning events at Jonestown on November 17 and 18. [Rhodes] stated that at a meeting called by Rev. Jim Jones on Nov 18, after the congressional party left Jonestown, Jones said that “Ryan would be killed.” McKay objected that the statement was hearsay and thus inadmissible. Prosecuting counsel Nandram Kissoon contended that the statement was admissible as part of the evidence which would show that conspiracy existed between Jim Jones, Layton, and others to kill Ryan. Magistrate [Krishna Veni] Chinta agreed with McKay that the statement was inadmissible because there have been no evidence brought forth to date to show that a conspiracy had been laid. Rhodes subsequently finished his testimony after cross-examination and re-examination were concluded.
2. Inquiry is scheduled to resume today (Dec 22).
PAGE 02 GEORGE 221915Z
Burke [John Burke, American ambassador to Guyana]