Serial 2229 post-2

[Editor’s note: This is a second unnumbered serial which follows Serial 2219.]

FBI Airtel

Date 6/28/79

TO: DIRECTOR, FBI (89-4286)
FROM: SAC, SAN FRANCISCO [number deleted] [117-314] (C) (SQ. 14)
SUBJECT: [deleted]
00: San Francisco

Re Bureau teletype to San Francisco, 6/1/79, and San Francisco airtel to the Bureau, 5/3/79.

Enclosed are 6 copies of an LHM reflecting background and interview of captioned Subject.

During interview, [name deleted] advised Terri Buford was a [line deleted] at Berkeley (UCB). He initially met her during 1972 when he was [line deleted] and last saw her during the spring of 1976. He did not know of her affiliation with the People’s Temple until the murder of Congressman Ryan and subsequent mass suicides at Jonestown brought Jim Jones and his followers to the forefront of public attention.

Buford’s letter to [name deleted], last name unknown, was [words deleted] who expressed surprise at the letter’s contents and commented it was his opinion Buford was attempting to impress someone by making statements which were nonsensical and inaccurate. [4 lines deleted]

It should be noted that Jim Jones required and dictated that members of the People’s Temple were to write incriminating statements implicating themselves in nonexistent criminal activities and sexual perversions.

[Page 2]
SF 117-314
PWS/csa

Regarding Buford’s statement that she desired to kill Governor Reagan, and lead was set forth under “RYMUR” caption to advise former Governor Ronald Reagan of the threat.

UACB [Unless Advised to Contrary by the Bureau], no further investigation will be conducted of [words deleted]

San Francisco will interview Terry Buford under the auspices of the RYMUR investigation and will question her regarding the contents of her letter to [name deleted], last name unknown, which served as the basis for this investigation.

[Page 3]

United States Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation
San Francisco, California

June 28, 1979

[Name deleted] also known as [name deleted]

On November 18, 1978, US Congressman Leo Ryan was assassinated at the Jonestown, Guyana, settlement of People’s Temple. The same day, over 900 members of People’s Temple, including its founder, Jim Jones, participated in a mass murder at Jonestown. It is publicly known that People’s Temple, Disciples of Christ, originating in Indiana during the mid-1950s, travel to California during the mid-1960s, and established an agricultural mission in Guyana during the early and mid-1970s. People’s Temple dissolved in January, 1979, as a result of the assassination of a US Congressman in the mass murders of over 900 people at Jonestown, Guyana.

In March, 1979, during the course of an investigation conducted by the FBI into the assassination of Congressman Ryan, 15 crates of evidence were received from Jonestown. Included in that evidence were two statements from People’s Temple member Terri Buford, who returned to the United States prior to the mass murders at Jonestown and is currently residing in this country. Terri Buford was born February 4, 1952, and was a member of the People’s Temple planning commission.

In the first undated handwritten statement, Buford stated she would like to kill Governor Regan [Reagan] “just as soon as possible”.

The second statement is an undated handwritten letter from Terri Buford to [name deleted], last name unknown, which reads as follows:

[name deleted] Well, I’ve succeeded in getting enough information out of [several words deleted] that I can assure any nation that has the right price that I will be able to get them to complete [line deleted].

[Pages 4, 5 and the top half of page 6 of serial – pages 2, 3 and the top half of page 4 of letter – contain so many deletions as to be incomprehensible for researchers into Peoples Temple and Jonestown. Until more information is released, it will not be transcribed.]

[Page 6 of serial; page 4 of letter]

On April 23, 1979, [line deleted] was confidentially informed of the contents of Buford’s letter. He advised her statement that she is succeeded in obtaining complete [line deleted] was not credible and was not descriptive of any [word deleted] project.

On March 18, 1979, records of the Alameda County Centralized Indemnification Bureau at Oakland, which covers all Alameda police departments, were reviewed but failed to disclose an arrest record for [name deleted] during the past 10 years.

[2 paragraphs heavily redacted]

On June 5, 1979, [name deleted] was interviewed by Special Agents of the FBI. Results of interview are as follows:

[The three-page document that follows is an FD-302 of an FBI interview with John Truong, an acquaintance of Terri Buford. The interview discusses Buford’s time at the University of California-Berkeley library, during which she did research. The interview seems unrelated to Buford’s involvement with People’s Temple – Truong did not know of Buford’s involvement with the Temple until after November 1978 – and is so heavily redacted as to be incomprehensible. Until more information is released on this interview, it will not be transcribed.]

Originally posted on November 8th, 2020.

Last modified on July 17th, 2022.
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