Serial 1484

0 280050Z DEC 78
FM SAN FRANCISCO (89-250) (P) (SUB IT)
TO DIRECTOR (89-4286) ROUTINE
COLUMBIA (89-436) ROUTINE
BT
UNCLAS
RYMUR

The following is set out as background for Columbia in regard to the forthcoming leads:

Helen Beatrice Swinney is a survivor of the Guyana suicide/murders. She was found to be aboard the People’s Temple vessel “Albatross III”.

At the initiation of this matter, it was learned through interviews at the Berkeley Freedom House that Helen Swinney was involved deeply with the People’s Temple and Jim Jones. Members who are currently defectors expressed the opinion that Swinney was to be considered potentially

PAGE TWO SF 89-250 UNCLAS

dangerous and possibly an “angel” (hitman).

It was determined through interview with relatives of the Swinney and Touchette families (these families are co-mingled) that the Swinney family and the Touchette family are very heavily involved with the People’s Temple movement. The young members of the family were involved in security and the older members in administrative duties. It seemed that Helen Swinney particularly was involved in the hierarchy of the movement.

It would appear and it is felt by San Francisco that Swinney is very knowledgeable regarding operations and conduct of the People’s Temple. During the interview of her conducted at Queens, New York the interviewing agent thought she was evasive and deceitful. It is therefore necessary to reinterview her regarding her role in the People’s Temple.

When interviewed at New York City, New York, she stated her destination would be the residence of [name and address deleted] South Carolina, [telephone number deleted].

[Name deleted] (protect) was previously interviewed at

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[location deleted] by Bureau agents and was cooperative. His assistance where possible based on the rapport previously established should be elicited in effecting a more complete and in-depth interview of Helen Swinney, [words deleted].

It is noted that a copy of the FD-302 of Swinney from Queens, New York will be forwarded under separate communication to Columbia for use in this lead.

Leads. Columbia. At [location deleted] South Carolina. Will contact Helen Swinney at the residence of [name and address deleted] will determine to the extent possible, her involvement in the People’s Temple and ascertain answers to questions which are already in the possession of Columbia. Determine also the whereabouts of [2 names deleted]. Also determine her relationship to them. Sutel San Francisco.

San Francisco. At San Francisco, California. Will continue investigation.

Consider People’s Temple survivors possibly dangerous and suicidal.

BT

Originally posted on July 24th, 2020.

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