Serial 2128

[Editor’s note: Two of the subjects of this serial whose names are deleted are Jonestown survivors Odell Rhodes and Stanley Clayton. The deleted information from the memorandum – designated by brackets – which is known to the editor has been indicated by red type.]

April 12, 1979

Assistant Attorney General
Criminal Division
Attention: Art Norton
Director, FBI

PEOPLE’S TEMPLE

Reference is made to your communication of April 10, 1979, which communicated a letter from the Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs (HCFA) to the Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division. The letter requested certain items of information and evidence in the possession of the FBI regarding the assassination of Congressman Leo J. Ryan at Port Kaituma, Guyana, on November 18, 1978, be turned over to the Committee. As you will recall a meeting was held on March 29, 1979, between representatives of the Criminal Division, the Committee, and the FBI at which time it was mutually agreed that the FBI would furnish a copy of the “Death Tape,” a 43-minute tape recording of the final hour of Jonestown; a statement as to FBI pre-tragedy knowledge of the activities of the People’s Temple; FBI assistance to the Committee in locating one Stanley Clayton and one Odell Rhodes; and a copy of the NBC videotape film footage of the crime scene at Port Kaituma, Guyana. It was additionally agreed that the FBI would not turn over to the Committee the Jonestown guest book, however, the Committee would be allowed to view a copy of the book at FBI Headquarters.

Accordingly, enclosed herewith is a copy of the above-mentioned videotape film footage which may be transmitted to representatives of the Committee.

The last known address for [name deleted] [Odell Rhodes] is [address deleted], Detroit, Michigan, telephone number [deleted].

The last known address for [name deleted] [Stanley Clayton] is [address deleted], Oakland, California, no telephone number. An additional address for [Stanley Clayton] is in care of [name and address deleted], Guyana.

Also enclosed is a blind memorandum setting forth a statement as to the pre-tragedy knowledge by this Bureau of People’s Temple activities. This blind memorandum is furnished to you for transmittal to the Committee.

See note page two.

[Page 2]
Assistant Attorney General
Criminal Division

The Jonestown guestbook may be viewed by representatives of the Committee at a mutually agreeable time by contacting Assistant Director Donald W. Moore, Jr., Criminal Investigative Division, FBI Headquarters, telephone 324-4260.

A transcript of the “Death Tape” has previously been made available to the committee by Mr. Robert Keuch, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division, Department of Justice. A copy of the actual tape is being transcribed at FBI Headquarters at this time and will be made available through you to the Committee when available.

Enclosures (2)

NOTE: A copy of the above referenced letter to Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division, from the House Committee on Foreign Affairs is attached hereto and is self-explanatory.

See Gow to Moore memorandum 4/4/79, captioned, “RYMUR” which sets forth the results of a committee at the Department with members of the staff of the Committee on International Relations on 3/29/79. At that meeting a formal request was made for all items appearing in attached formal letter. It was agreed that upon receipt of the formal request as further described above, only those items which are being furnished by this communication would be given to the Committee. The remaining items would be withheld from the Committee at this time inasmuch as they are considered to be evidence of potential criminal activity which is being reviewed at this time by a Federal Grand Jury at San Francisco, California.

[Page 3]

PEOPLE’S TEMPLE

FBI knowledge of the activities of the People’s Temple prior to the assassination of Congressman Leo J. Ryan at Port Kaituma, Guyana, on November 18, 1978, consists of a communication received in June, 1978, from the Office of Senator S. I. Hayakawa concerning an allegation by a constituent of Senator Hayakawa that Jim Jones was coaxing individuals into traveling to Georgetown, Guyana, where they were being held against their will for unknown reasons. The constituent was contacted by this Bureau and during personal interview it was determined that relatives of the constituent had voluntarily gone to Guyana and no evidence of forced confinement could be developed. It was determined that no violation of the Federal Kidnapping Statute had occurred and no further investigation was conducted.

Originally posted on August 7th, 2020.

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