[Editor’s note: Most of the contents of this serial were initially withheld under the national security exemption of the Freedom of Information Act.]
United States Government
To: Director, FBI (89-4286)
From: SAC, San Francisco (89-250) (P) (Sq. 10)
Subject: RYMUR; 00: San Francisco
Enclosed for the Bureau, for information is one copy of a letter addressed to [2 lines deleted] San Francisco in reply to an identification request.
The letter setting forth description of individuals to be identified written by Journalist [name deleted] was written in German and originally was addressed to the [name and address deleted]
Results of that inquiry as stated by the San Francisco Office were negative.
[Name deleted] pointed out in his cover letter that the letter from [name deleted] was forwarded also to the West German Embassy in Washington, DC, for further action. The Bureau therefore may have an identical request already on file. No further action by San Francisco was contemplated at this time.
United States Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation
450 Golden Gate Avenue
San Francisco, California 94102
[3 lines of address deleted]
601 California Street
San Francisco, California 94108
Dear [name deleted]
RE Your letter, dated January 18, 1979, RK511-Guyana
Thank you for your letter, dated January 18, 1979, and the enclosed letters from [name deleted], Journalist, dated October 12, 1978 and December 12, 1978.
In reviewing [name deleted] letters, we noted that he made reference to five young German females and one Dutch male, who were on their way to join the People’s Temple (PT) Colony in Guyana, South America. He furnished the following descriptions for these individuals:
(1) [name deleted], white female adult, age – about 20; dark blonde afro hairdo; wearing blue jeans; spoke high German and apparently had with her a blue Adidas travel bag. She appeared to be the recipient of a letter from the PT organization in California, which was mailed to her in Cologne, Germany.
(2) [name deleted] (last name unknown), a white female adult, dark blonde hair; spoke high German; described as the inconspicuous type; chain smoker of French cigarettes (Gitane); wore blue jeans.
(3) (First and last name unknown) also known as [name deleted]; a white female adult, age – about 20; light blonde hair; very attractive; spoke high German; dressed in yellow corduroy pants and a white pullover with a yellow kerchief; appeared to be very intelligent; apparently had studied art in West Germany; was the owner of an “instamatic” camera; also had in her possession a small blue pocket calendar. This person apparently had a relative who is an Evangelic theologian in West Germany.
(4) A white female adult, (name unknown) who spoke with a Bavarian accent, possibly was interested in the “children of God movement”; dressed in blue jeans.
(5) A white female adult, (name unknown) who apparently was politically active in Mannheim or Heidelberg[,] dirty looking chewed fingernails; possibly wearing blue jeans.
A white male adult (name unknown), Dutch National, approximately 190 centimeters tall, blonde hair, 19 – 22 years old; spoke good German; resided in vicinity of Groningen and was interested in clairvoyance. This individual had with him a backpack and a metal suitcase.
From conversation between these individuals and [name deleted], it was apparent to the latter, that all of the young people had sufficient funds for the trip abroad, however, no specific travel plans were named.
Please be advised that we checked all of the above information through our available identification records of victims and survivors of the Guyana incident and we were unable to affect an identification.
We would like to point out that to date, no information has been developed with a single exception that any of the victims were survivors in Guyana or other than US citizens. The exception being a British male National. We have also learned that any person entering Guyana was fingerprinted and properly identified by Guyanese officials and that immigrants to the Jonestown settlement had to surrender the passports on arrival there. Guyanese law enforcement officials have recovered close to one thousand passports belonging to former settlers of Jonestown, none of which was, as far as we know, from either a German or Dutch National.
As a suggestion, I would like to mention that perhaps West German Police Authorities could through their Missing Persons Bureau, establish full identity of the above persons, which probably would enable them to also obtain fingerprints on record. With this information a complete and definite determination could be made whether any of the bodies from Jonestown, which have not as yet been identified, are identical with these persons.
In the event your Government wishes to pursue this matter as suggested, inquiries as to fingerprint comparisons should be submitted to the FBI at either Washington, D.C., or here in San Francisco. Identification requests by physical description and/or clothing and personal items should be directed to Colonel William R. Cowan, Deputy Director, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, 6825 – 16th St., N.W., Washington, DC, 20302. Colonel Cowan’s office will handle dental and pathology record identification.
I hope the above will be of some help to you in resolving your task. If we in the FBI can be of any further assistance to you, please do not hesitate to call us.
Special Agent [name deleted] has advised me of the splendid cooperation which he and other agents of our office have received from your department in the past in matters of concern to the FBI. I like to express our appreciation to you and to your service. I do hope that this good relationship continues in the future.
Charles R. McKinnon
Special Agent in Charge