Serial 1516

Editor’s note: Serial 1516 is a collection of several documents, totaling eight pages.

Pages 1 through 3 represent a virtual duplicate of Serial 1257, the text of which may be found here. The differences between the two are:

  • The duplicate crosses through the introductory lines listing the agencies sending and receiving the serial;
  • The duplicate inserts a new line of introduction which reads: “San Francisco office advised by teletype December 19, 1978”;
  • The duplicate directs Legat Caracas to obtain the details of the chart.

Page 4 and 5 represent a memo sent to the FBI Director from the FBI office in San Antonio, Texas, describing a conversation with a prisoner in a county jail who claims to have information on the assassination of Rep. Leo Ryan. Since the inmate had been incarcerated at the time of the Guyana tragedy, and since his previous interviews turned out to be worthless, the memo will not be transcribed.

Page 8 is a sheet in which the FBI declares that it has withheld five pages, because they are duplicates of Serial 1411. The pages at 1411 are blacked out virtually in their entirety.

The following are Pages 4 and 5 of the Serial:

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
COMMUNICATION MESSAGE FORM

DATE: 12/19/78
CLASSIFICATION: UNCLAS
PRECEDENCE: IMMEDIATE

FM DIRECTOR FBI
TO Y / SECRETARY OF STATE IMMEDIATE
PERSONAL ATTENTION
DISPOSITION OF PHYSICAL EVIDENCE RELATING TO THE ASSASSINATION OF CONGRESSMAN LEO J. RYAN, CALIFORNIA.

The FBI Technical Team sent to Guyana to assist local authorities in the investigation of the death of Congressman Ryan has reviewed numerous documents taken from Jonestown and which are currently in the possession of American Ambassador [John] Burke at the United States Embassy, Georgetown, Guyana. The documents are under seal of the FBI.

This is to advise you that a review of the above documents as well as some 400 tape recordings discloses that they represent potential physical evidence of a possible criminal conspiracy to kill Congressman Ryan, and possibly other crimes over which the United States of America has prosecutive jurisdiction such as involuntary servitude and interstate trans-

Page 2

portation of stolen property.

The State Department has taken the position that although the documents in question are in the possession of the United States of America at the United States Embassy in Guyana, these documents will not be released to the FBI without the permission of the Government of Guyana.

The State Department has advised that negotiations have been ongoing with the Government of Guyana relative to the release of these documents. These negotiations, however, have not resulted in the release of these documents. It is imperative that these documents and takes be turned over to the FBI forthwith so that this matter may be brought to a logical conclusion as soon as possible.

Accordingly, you are requested to instruct American Ambassador Burke to release to the FBI forthwith all pertinent documents and tapes in the possession of the American Embassy in Georgetown, Guyana, the desires of the Government from Guyana notwithstanding.

BT

Originally posted on July 30th, 2020.

Last modified on November 25th, 2020.
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