Serial 2453

Transmit attached by Facsimile

TO: Director, FBI (89-4286)
FROM: SAC, San Francisco (89-250)
SUBJECT: RYMUR

Affidavit and Complaint

Special handling instruction: Hand carry to Criminal Investigative Division, [name deleted], Room 4294, JEH [J. Edgar Hoover] Building

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FM SAN FRANCISCO (89-250) (P) (SQ. 10)
TO DIRECTOR, FBI (89-4286) IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS

Attached is draft of complaint and affidavit re: Lawrence [Laurence] John Layton.

Bureau is requested to hand carry attached to Director, Michael Abbell, Office of International Affairs, Criminal Division, United States Department of Justice, Room 901, Safeway [illegible word], telephone 724-6600.

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United States District Court
for the
Northern District of California

United States of America
v.
Lawrence John Layton

Complaint for violation of
[line illegible]
Conspiracy to Commit Murder and [illegible word] in the Murder of a Congressman

The undersigned complainant being duly sworn states:

Count 1. On the 18th day of November [handwritten insertion: “1978”] in Jonestown and at the Port Kaituma Airstrip, Guyana, the defendant Lawrence John Layton willingly and knowingly did [illegible word], conspire and confederate and agreed together with Jim Jones, Joseph Wilson, and Thomas Kice and with diverse other persons to kill Leo J. Ryan, a Congressman of the United States, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 351 (d).

In furtherance of the conspiracy and to affect its object thereof, the defendant and his confederates performed the following overt acts:

1. On or about November 18, 1978, Lawrence John Layton armed himself with a .38 caliber pistol in Guyana.

2. On or about November 18, 1978, Lawrence John Layton conferred with Jim Jones, Joseph Wilson, Tom Kice and others at Jonestown, Guyana.

3. On or about November 18, 1978, Lawrence John Layton also told Congressman Leo Ryan that he wishes to defect from the People’s Temple Agricultural Mission at Jonestown, Guyana.

4. On or about November 18, 1978, Lawrence John Layton went to the Port Kaituma Airstrip, Guyana, with Congressman Ryan’s party.

5. On or about November 18, 1978, Joseph Wilson, Tom Kice, and 10 others shot Congressman Ryan with rifles at the Port Kaituma Airstrip.

6. Simultaneously, Lawrence John Layton shot Monica Bagby and Vernon Gosney with the aforesaid .38 caliber revolver.

Count 2: On or about November 18, 1978, at Port Kaituma Airstrip, Guyana, the defendant Lawrence John Layton with malice aforethought and with premeditation, did participate in the shooting of Leo J. Ryan, a Congressman at the United States, with a firearm, thereby causing injuries from which Leo J. Ryan did die.

And the complainant states that this complaint is based on the attached affidavit.

Donald R. Hale, Special Agent
Federal Bureau of Investigation

Sworn to before me and subscribed in my presence, [blank line left for date]

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Affidavit
State and Northern District of California
City and County of San Francisco

I, Donald R. Hale, am a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) assigned to the San Francisco Division. I have been advised by official FBI communications and do swear and believe that:

United States Congressman Leo J. Ryan was murdered at Port Kaituma, Guyana, South America, on November 18, 1978, during his visit to Guyana with an entourage consisting of Congressional staff, media people, and concerned relatives of People’s Temple. Also murdered with Congressman Ryan were NBC correspondent Don Harris; NBC cameraman Bob Brown; San Francisco “Examiner” photographer Greg Robinson; and Peoples Temple, Jonestown, “defector” Patricia Parks. Witnesses to the above murders include 24 individuals that have been interviewed by the FBI and have identified Lawrence John Layton and 12 other persons as participating in the assault which resulted in the death of Congressman Ryan.

I have reviewed and listened to many audio tapes seized at Jonestown by American Embassy Officials. On one of the tapes a voice identified to me to be that of Reverend Jim Jones states. “This criminal Ryan… will not leave alive” and on another tape, “Shoot his ass (Ryan).” I have also listened to the tape recording commonly referred to as the “Last Hour Tape” which was seized at Jonestown by Officials of the American Embassy on which Jones states, “They’re out there. They’ve gone with the guns and it’s too late.” Also on the same tape Jones states, “He’ll (Layton) stop that pilot by any means necessary. He’ll do it.”

On November 17, 1978, the morning of Ryan’s anticipated arrival, Vernon Gosney, Christopher O’Neal, and Brenda Parks advised that Jones called an “alert” and had the Jonestown community line up across the road to Jonestown. Brenda Parks states, “They just said, you know, line up clear across the road, or the road that they’d (Ryan’s entourage) be coming on, and I guess we were going to stop them from coming in.” Gosney advised that they were armed with cutlasses and clubs at that time.

On November 18, 1978, approximately one hour prior to leaving Jonestown, Monica Bagby observed the tractor-trailer used in the assault at Port Kaituma, drive behind the kitchen area where she knew from previous occasions that Jonestown Security Force would go to get weapons. Harold Cordell advised when he went to his cottage to gather his belongings in preparation to leave Jonestown, he saw some People’s Temple security members crossing an open field with jackets on and items under their coats that “looked like weapons.”

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Shortly, prior to leaving Jonestown and in the presence of Jim Jones, Mark Lane, Charles Garry, and others, Don Sly attacked Congressman Ryan and attempted to cut his throat.

Larry Layton was observed by James Cobb, Vernon Gosney, Dale Parks, and Gerald Parks, talking with Reverend Jim Jones just prior to Layton’s demand announcement to leave Jonestown. Dale Parks states that when he was aboard the truck ready to leave Jonestown, he observed Reverend Jim Jones and his “close people” around him having a discussion. He states, “The reason I vividly remember it, it included Larry Layton, he had then later jumped on the truck as a defector.” Dale Parks identified Marci [Marceline] Jones and Joe Wilson as part of that group. Joe Wilson was subsequently identified as an armed assailant at Port Kaituma, by James Cobb, Vernon Gosney, and Dale Parks. Gerald Parks states, “He (Jim Jones) was talking to some security. He was talking to Larry Layton. The security consisted of Tom Kice and Tom Kice is really the only one that I recall seeing him talk to, and Larry Layton, that he talked to on the outside of the pavilion after we had boarded the truck. That’s when Larry Layton posed as an defector and put on a poncho in the heat of the day, and it was too hot for even a shirt and boarded the truck with us.” Tom Kice was subsequently identified by James Cobb, Vernon Gosney, and Dale Parks as being one of the armed assailants at Port Kaituma Air Strip.

Jacqueline Speier (Ryan’s aide) advised Layton approached her in Jonestown and was adamant and demanding to leave immediately. Most of the Ryan entourage and defectors observed Larry Layton and Joe Wilson travel from Jonestown to Port Kaituma on the truck with themselves.

Juanita Bogue and Tina Bogue talk with Larry Layton at Park Kaituma. Larry Layton told Juanita that he decided to leave Jonestown because his mother had died and that he wanted to see his sister. Layton told Tina Bogue, “No, I don’t want anything to do with Debbie (sister).” Tina Bogue states that is when she became sure Layton was a plant and Tina asked Layton, “Larry, you know we are all going to die, don’t you?” Layton responded, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.” Tina asked, “Which one is going to do it? Is it anybody in our group here?” Layton responded, “I don’t know, I just want out.”

At Port Kaituma, Tina Bogue, Juanita Bogue, James Cobb, and Gerald Parks observed Joe Wilson shake hands with Larry Layton under the poncho that Layton was wearing.

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Jacqueline Speier advised that Larry Layton insisted that he go on the small plane. Speier states that it was the Congressman’s intention to have her (Speier) go on the first aircraft and that he (Ryan) leave on the second aircraft. Speier was concerned about the actions of Layton, so she approached the Congressman and stated, “Layton said that you promised he could go on the first plane. Frankly, I don’t want to be on the same aircraft with that young man.”

Dale Parks, Monica Bagby, Vernon Gosney, and Tina Bogue witnessed Larry Layton shooting Gosney and Bagby. Dale Parks advised that Layton insisted on sitting behind the pilot. Parks states, “Finally, as he (pilot) was turning around getting ready to take off, the first two or three shots began to take place at the larger plane, at which time the pilot noticed, and the engines revved down. I look at Layton and he was digging into his pants and crotch to pull the gun out and start shooting in our plane… He fired his first shot to his front right at Monica Bagby. He shot her once. I saw the hole and the blood. It was just very quick, boom, boom, boom. He shot Vernon Gosney to his direct right then turned around to his rear right where I was sitting and put the gun at my heart and pulled the trigger the third time. It exploded and fired and sounded exactly like the other two, and fell back well assured that I had been shot. And he turned around and shot both of them with the two bullets left in the revolver, both one more, one more time.” Vernon Gosney advised that he looked out of the window of the small plane and observed shooting and stated, “They’re killing everyone,” at which time he states, “Larry Layton shot me.” Gosney advised he finally managed to get out of the plane and noted that the shooting was still taking place at the larger plane where Congressman Leo Ryan was last seen.

Charles Garry and Mark Lane spoke with Jim Jones after Ryan left Jonestown. Garry advised the Jim Jones said, “Charles, all is lost, every gun in this place is gone. Larry Layton and Jerry Parks, they didn’t defect. They were part of this and they’ve got all the guns. Larry Layton came to me, he said he loved me and he said ‘You’re going to be proud of me.’ I felt he may have had a gun on him at that time.” After the meeting, Garry returned to the guest house and he observed People’s Temple members carrying guns and ammunition towards the pavilion and talking about suicide.

I have been advised by official communication that Mortimer Kanfin Ally, Constable, Port Kaituma, Guyana, furnished a sworn statement concerning an oral statement of Larry Layton on November 18, 1978 in which Layton states, “Yes, I was one of the persons involved in the shooting.” “Yes, I shot the mother fuckers.” Layton then repeated, “Yes, I shot the fuckers.”

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I have also been advised by official communication that on November 22, 1978, Larry Layton furnished a signed, written confession in which he states, “I, Larry Layton, take full responsibility for all the deaths…” Witnessed by Detective Assistant Smith and Inspector Jagmohan at Police Headquarters, Eve Leary.

FBI Laboratory experts report that 2 bullets removed from Monica Bagby were identified as having been fired from a .38 Special Smith and Wesson revolver, Model 36, Serial Number J298732, recovered from Larry Layton on November 18, 1978, at Port Kaituma, Guyana. Experts also report that one cartridge removed at Port Kaituma and one bullet removed from Congressman Ryan was identified as having been fired from a .308 caliber, Remington, Model 700 Rifle, Serial Number 6742465, that was recovered by authorities in Jonestown, Guyana.

Donald R. Hale, Special Agent
Federal Bureau of Investigation

Sworn to before me and subscribed before me
This 4th day of June, 1980

Originally posted on November 12th, 2020.

Last modified on November 29th, 2020.
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