June Crym letter, January 7, 1978

[Editor’s note: This report was transcribed by Heather Shannon. We gratefully acknowledge her invaluable assistance.]


[Handwriting at top: “Jim – Read”]

1/7/78 from June [Crym]

Henry Williams, et al.


Lou Gage, real estate agent, said today on the phone that those named in the lawsuit are Peoples Temple, Grubb & Ellis real estate company, Safeco Title Company, and Lou Gage, real estate agent.

The property is 119 Lobos Street, S.F. It was sold to Lou Gage and Mae Gage in March 1977. The lawsuit claims Williams never knew they were signing a deed; that they signed a blank piece of paper, and that the notarization is false. (The notary public was Martha Klingman.)

History of the property:

December 30, 1975 Harry and Rosemary signed a deed conveying their interest in the property to P.T., the deed is notarized by Grace Stoen. BUT this deed was never recorded and the property remained in the names of the Williams up until the time of sale in 1977. (Safeco Title Co. prepared a preliminary title report in February 1977, which traces the history of the property, and which indicates that as of February 1977 the property was still in the name of Williams.)

In February 1976 Johnny Smith started working on the property to make improvements in order to sell it.

In March 1976 Chaikin sent a memo to Tish saying the church should pay the mortgage payments on this property for December, January and February in the amount of $82 each, and that these payments should be made from church funds because the property had been donated to the church and was going to be rehabilitated with church funds for sale. He also directed Tish to make regular $82 mortgage payments thereafter.

In August 1976 Lou and Mae Gage offered to purchase the property. They put a deposit down of $100 and JEAN BROWN SIGNED THE SELLER’S ACCEPTANCE of the offer, as Assistant Secretary of Peoples Temple. (REMEMBER: P.T. does not own this property.)

There were negotiations back and forth for a long time about price and improvements, and it was not until March 1977 that the sale actually happened.

March 16, 1977 Harry and Rosemary Williams signed Escrow Instructions for Safeco Title Company agreeing to the sale of this property to Lou and Mae Gage. We have their original signatures on these instructions in our file. There is also a Joint Tenancy Grant Deed signed by Harry and Rosemary Williams, dated March 16, 1977, and notarized by Martha Klingman, conveying their interest in the property to Lou and Mae Gage.

There is a corporate resolution in the file, signed by Jean Brown, as Assistant Secretary for P.T. saying that the Board of Directors of P.T. agreed at a meeting held 11/11/76 that this property be sold to Lou and Mae Gage.

[Handwriting at bottom: “The confusing thing in this file is why the P.T. [several illegible words] Williams felt were legal owner of prop.?” ]


When I talked with Lou Gage this morning on the phone, he was surprised that Peoples Temple had not yet been served with the papers. He said that the woman who had called last week about the lawsuit, Marta Elliot, was the attorney for Grubb and Ellis.

Lou Gage left Grubb and Ellis about 4 months ago, works on his own.

He said he remembered back before the newspaper articles began coming out, when a reporter from the newspapers, Chronicle he thinks, called him, someone by the name like Kildrew, Kildall…..

The reporter wanted to know how Gage was involved with property sales with Peoples Temple. The reporter said he represented the Williams’ daughter or son. Gage told Kilduff he was agent for Eugene Chaikin, to sell some of the property for Peoples Temple. Gage told Kilduff to get in touch with Gene Chaikin and/or Jean Brown and/or Bea Morton.

Kilduff told Gage he had been to the Temple at some time in the past.

Gage remembers about the property involved, he talked to “Tri-Smith” (this is John Smith who was making improvements on the property) who was a member of Peoples Temple, and who said there was some property that Jim Jones wanted to get rid of. Lou Gage said he called Gene Chaikin and “we got together…”


Harry Williams, et al. p. 2

Other stuff, not concerning the lawsuit

When the Williams went over, they turned in several personal papers, and bills to be paid. We paid their bills til they returned, and continue to pay one bill still. They turned in $906.23 when they went over; we have paid out $1160.20 as of 12/77. We have receipts for all the bills we paid.

They also turned in an original handwritten will of an aunt who had named some of them as beneficiaries; this will was put in the will file in the original deeds. When they returned from Guyana, Rosemary & Yulanda asked several times for this will to be returned to them.

Before they went over, they received refunds from the balance of their Peoples Temple Federal Credit Union accounts. (Rosemary got $130.82; Harry got $51.98.) Then when they came back they claimed they never got refunds and we were still holding the money. It turned out the bank statement for the month that they got their refunds before they went over was lost in the mail before it arrived here, so we had no cancelled checks proving that they had already received their refunds. We wrote to the bank for microfilms of the checks, but it took, awhile and to soothe hostilities, we paid the Williams $130.82 and $51.98 -shortly after that we got a microfilm copy of the $130.82 check from the bank, the one that had been cashed before they went over to Guyana. So they actually got their refunds twice.

Betty McCann says we still have the pinck [pink] slip and registration papers on the cadillac [Cadillac] that Harry Williams is driving.