Serial 2342
Nov 01, 79 • 1400 • Georgetown-State • 4919

[Editor’s note: This is a State Department cable that was included in the FBI’s 2009 RYMUR release of documents under the Freedom of Information Act. It was not included in the State Department’s own release, but we have included identifying information for it using the agency’s designations.]

UNCLASSIFIED FBB 512

[Listing of agencies receiving informational copies on pdf]

P 011400 NOV 79
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0000
UNCLAS GEORGETOWN 4919
E.O. 12065: NA
TAGS: CARR, GY (LAYTON, LAWRENCE [Laurence])
SUBJ: SECOND PRELIMINARY INQUIRY INTO MURDER OF CONGRESSMAN RYAN

1. The second day of the preliminary inquiry into the murder of Congressman Ryan and five others at the Port Kaituma airstrip on November 18, 1978 was taken up by the testimony of former People[s] Temple’s members Vernon Dean Gosney and Odell Rhodes who related at length their experiences in Jonestown and Port Kaituma. Gosney and Rhodes flew into Guyana on October 30 as witnesses for the GOG’s [Government of Guyana] prosecution of USC [United States citizen] Lawrence Layton for the multiple murders.

2. The session was an emotion charged one in which senior counsel for the defense, Rex McKay, cross-examined both witnesses at great length. At one point Gosney, badly shaken by McKay’s rough treatment, and already on the verge of tears throughout the proceeding, began shouting at McKay. The defense attorney threatened to have Gosney locked up for his behavior in court, McKay then also delivered a long harangue about expatriates coming to Guyana and breaking the country’s laws. The Magistrate dismissed McKay’s charges stating that Gosney’s outbreak was perfectly understandable given the experiences he had undergone.

3. The inquiry will continue on November 2.

Roberts [George B. Roberts, U.S. Ambassador to Guyana]

UNCLASSIFIED
UNCLASSIFIED
PAGE 02 GEOEGE 04919 021949Z

Originally posted on November 10th, 2020.

Last modified on July 19th, 2022.
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