Temple Affidavits on Grace Stoen and the Paternity of John Victor Stoen (Part 1)


Affidavit of Melanie Breidenbach

I, Melanie Breidenbach, being duly sworn, declare:

I knew Grace Stoen for almost two years and lived with her for one of those years. During the time that I lived with her she never spent much time with her son. When he was home with us she was cruel to him and payed [paid] no attention to him, she would yell at him for no reason, slap him, discipline him when he was doing nothing, she neglected him by always putting him off on someone else to watch. I felt that she didn’t care for him at all by the way she acted towards him when he was home. She told me herself that she felt he would be better off with someone else. It feel it was just a cop-out so she wouldn’t have to take up her time taking care of him properly and give him the attention and care a child needs to grow. I feel that she just deserted him and put him off for someone else to take care of.

Melanie Breidenbach
Dated August 14, 1977


Affidavit of Barbara Cordell

I, Barbara Cordell, being duly sworn, declare:

Grace was having difficulty with John during a period when he developed a severe facial tic. She brought him to my home to care for him for an extended period of time. Within a matter of two week[s] away from her he was free of this tic.

Grace generally could not handle John. He told her that he hated her and she could not deal with this. During her visits with John while he was living in my home if he happened to be naughty, she would bring him to me to deal with.

Barbara Cordell
Dated August 13, 1977


Affidavit of Edith Bogue

I, Edith Bogue, being duly sworn, declare:

Grace Stoen used to bring John Stoen to my house and leave him for hours. I never knew where she went or when she would be back to get him. When he was little she [w]ould swing him by his arms. I was afraid she would either break his arm or collar bone. She tossed him on his blanket like he was  a doll, a number of times during the years from John’s birth until he was older I have heard her call him names like, “John you are stupid, how’s my crazy kid.[“] I’ve seen her pour a drink that he wanted on the ground because he spilled some of it. At times she would be very kind to him and then she would push him away and tell him she didn’t like him. She also said she didn’t like Tim Stoen in front of John a number of times.

Edith Bogue
Dated August 14, 1977


Affidavit of Lynetta P. Jones

I, Lynetta P. Jones, being duly sworn, declare:

A number of times while I was living in my son, James Jones’s home in Redwood Valley, California, Grace Stoen called him. I answered the phone myself on several occasions to hear Grace tearfully asking to speak to Jim. These conversations would continue for hours. One could not avoid hearing parts of them just working around the kitchen.

Another time Grace Stoen came to our house in the same state of mind, crying loudly. She even approached other teenage boys living the house, trying to tell them her problems. When Jim discovered she had done this he put a stop to it at once. He had already apprised the entire household of the situation. Grace’s hysteria certainly necessitated this.

John spent many hours with us at the house. He often spent the night and always returned home regretfully. He protested having to go back with Grace on many occasions.

Grace openly stated to me that my son, James Jones was the true father of John.

Dated August 13, 1977
Lynetta P. Jones


Affidavit of Joseph Wilson

I, Joseph Wilson, being duly sworn, declare:

I was a frequent house guest of the Stoen’s and as a consequence was exposed to some bizarre behaviour on the part of Grace Stoen. She often wrestled with me and brushed against my privates in a rough manner, obviously attempting sexual stimulation. She would then say, “What’s the matter, can’t you take it?” On other occasions she would run in front of me totally nude and ask me [the] same question, above mentioned. She also did this in front of me in the presence of Emmett Griffith, Jr.

I began wondering how she kept her accounting  in order when she handled some of the finances because she would give me gas money from church funds and not require receipts nor an accounting of any kind. This happened often and regularly. I saw her give Melanie Breidenbach money for personal clothing from the petty cash box in the church office.

She didn’t send time with her so like she should have, and I know she had plenty of spare time because she frequently took me out to dinner, several times driving all the way to San Francisco from Redwood Valley, just to eat in a restaurant. This is a six hour drive both ways alone.

On other occasions I saw her neglect her son for the sake of her affair with Walter Jones, many times she would leave John with me or other people and leave with Walter. This caused John a great deal of anxiety and tears. She even went as far as to push John aside, drop his hand, take Walter[‘]s hand and leave.

Joseph Wilson
Dated August 13, 1977


Affidavit of Carolyn M. Layton

I, Carolyn M. Layton, being duly sworn, declare:

Grace Stoen personally told me many times that Jim Jones was the real father of John Stoen and not Tim Stoen. She also frequently told me of the special love Jim had for John.

Carolyn M. Layton


Affidavit of Christine R. Lucientes

I, Christine R. Lucientes, being duly sworn, declare:

Grace Stoen spoke freely to me of the fact that James W. Jones is the father of her son John V. Stoen. In fact she never indicated to the contrary, ever. Indeed, when she talked to John about his father Jim Jones she referred to him as “your dad.”

Christine R. Lucientes
Dated August 13, 1977