Serial 1836

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
COMMUNICATION MESSAGE FORM

DATE: 2/5/79
CLASSIFICATION: UNCLAS
PRECEDENCE: PRIORITY

FM DIRECTOR FBI
TO FBI SAN FRANCISCO PRIORITY
BT
UNCLAS
RYMUR

On February 1, 1979, James G. Hergen, Civil Division, United States Department of Justice (USDOJ), telephonically contacted FBIHQ and requested an interview of Helen Swinney, a member of the People’s Temple (PT).

Mr. Hergen stated he has learned through State Department sources that the PT maintained an account in Barclay’s Bank, Trinidad. This account was in the names of Helen Swinney and Richard Janaro. According to Mr. Hergen’s information, the PT funds in this account were to be used for supplies and servicing of their boat, Albatross III. According to Mr. Hergen’s information this account contained approximately $60,000 which Helen Swinney obtained when she closed the account

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December 8, 1978. Helen Swinney then reportedly returned to the United States December 10, 1978.

Mr. Hergen requested Helen Swinney be located and interviewed concerning the purpose of the account in Barclay’s Bank, who authorized it to be opened, what was the interest of Richard Janaro in the account, the disposition of the funds which were removed from it, and other pertinent details.

San Francisco is requested to review prior interview reports of Helen Swinney and thereafter set out appropriate leads to have her interviewed as requested by Mr. Hergen. Instruct office covering lead to submit results to FBIHQ in a form suitable for dissemination.

BT

[Page 3]

Note: As indicated above James G. Hergen, Civil Division, USDOJ, requested Helen Swinney to be reinterviewed concerning a bank account she closed and reportedly obtained $60,000. Mr. Hergen is handling the civil matter as to the United States Government’s attempt to obtain funds from PT bank accounts in order to reimburse the Government for expenses incurred in airlifting bodies from Jonestown, Guyana, to Dover, Delaware. Mr. Hergen stated his information came through the State Department [several lines deleted].

Originally posted on August 3rd, 2020.

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