Q693 Summary

Summary prepared by Fielding M. McGehee III. If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.

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FBI Catalogue: Radio Transmissions

FBI preliminary tape identification note: One Tracs 60/ Patch 9/19/78, Suzanne 10/17/78

Date cues on tape: Conversations consistent with dates notes on tape box

People named:

Temple adversaries; members of Concerned Relatives:

Part 1
Mike Cartmell
Suzanne Cartmell (speaks)

Temple members not in Jonestown:

Part 2
Jean (likely Jean Brown) (speaks)

Part 3
Sandy (likely Sandy Bradshaw) (speaks)

Likely coded names:

Part 2
Charlie (could be Charlie Touchette)
Mrs. Clark
Gordon (could be reporter Gordon Lindsay)
Mr. Parks

Part 3

Jonestown residents:

Part 1
Chaeoke Jones (by reference)
Lew Jones
Jim Jones Jr. (by reference)
Marceline Jones (speaks)
Stephan Jones (by reference)
Tim Tupper Jones (by reference)

Part 2
Sarah (likely Sarah Tropp) (speaks)

Part 3
Sarah (likely Sarah Tropp) (speaks)
Mike (likely Mike Touchette) (speaks)

Bible verses cited: None


(Note: This tape was transcribed by Vicki Perry. The editors gratefully acknowledge her invaluable assistance.)

This two sides of this tape are unrelated, with the first side being much more significant.

On side one, Marceline Jones speaks with her adopted daughter Suzanne on the telephone, about a month before the deaths in Jonestown. Suzanne has been alienated from her family – especially her father – for some time when the conversation takes place, yet there is a sense of attempted reconciliation, or at least overtures to continue conversations, throughout most of it. Nevertheless, the conditions which Suzanne has laid down (Marceline calls them as an “ultimatum,” and Suanne does not challenge the description) and Marceline’s demand that Suzanne respect her father (which she refuses to do) ultimately lead to what turned out to be the final parting of the two women.

This was the second of two conversations known to have taken place between the two women during Marceline’s trip to the United States during the fall of 1978. The first contact occurred about a month earlier, on September 20, 1978.]

The conversation has a rocky start. Suzanne has wanted the meeting to be face to face, and says there are things she can’t talk about over the phone. Marceline is equally insistent that “I cannot meet with you when you are putting your dad down.” To this – and at several other junctures in the conversation – Suzanne says she’s ready to cut off the conversations forever.

Marceline accepts each iteration of her daughter’s decision – even as she tries to renegotiate – but does make a plea that Suzanne not “ally yourself with our enemies” or tell stories which would hurt the family. Suzanne’s reply to these entreaties is inconsistent: she doesn’t meet with the enemies, and yet “there is no other side” for her to join up with; she doesn’t lie, and yet “I can change my story” if Marceline agrees to her request to send her brothers back from Jonestown.

And yet Marceline is equally combative. She confronts Suzanne with some of the stories she’s heard, which Suzanne not only denies, but describes as “the very reason I’m gonna cut it off.”

The conversation ends much as it began. Suzanne has the final word: “I gave you an ultimatum about meeting this week one to one at a certain place. You didn’t want that and you gave me your reason for it, which is acceptable to me now, okay? I understand it and I’m not going to fuss about it. … For your reason and for my reason, we’ll just end it here.” Marceline accepts it – she has no choice – but says in farewell, “Very painful.”

The FBI description of one side of the tape as “Routine radio transmissions” slides over the numerous difficulties its contents present: It does consist of two conversations between two female Temple leaders in the States and (likely) Sarah Tropp in Jonestown,  but little can be gleaned from it otherwise. Much of the conversation is in code, the radio transmission is remarkably poor – so much so that the stateside members of the Temple comment upon it – and the clearer voices at the recording end often chatter over the few discernible words that do come through.  Given the date of the recording – in September 1978 – and the fact that Temple operators used a code word for the National Enquirer (as well as possibly referring to a reporter, Gordon Lindsay by his first, uncoded name), the prospective article from the Enquirer may been the subject under discussion, but without additional context or discovery of a Temple radio codebook from this period, the reference is conjectural at best.

FBI Summary:

Date of transcription: 3/8/79

In connection with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s investigation into the assassination of U.S. Congressman LEO J. RYAN at Port Kaituma, Guyana, South America, on November 18, 1978, a tape recording was obtained. This tape recording was located in Jonestown, Guyana, South America, and was turned over to U.S. Officials in Guyana and subsequently transported to the United States.

On March 5, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B62-10. This tape was found to contain the following:

Side “A” Routine radio transmissions. (Handwritten note adds date of “9/19/78?”)

Side “B” Telephone conversation between mother and daughter – private. (Handwritten note adds date of “10/17/78?”)

This tape was reviewed, and nothing was contained thereon which was considered to be of evidentiary nature or beneficial to the investigation of Congressman RYAN.

Differences with FBI Summary:

Other than the fact that the phone call represents probably the last communication that the Jones family had with their adopted daughter Suzanne, the summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.

Tape originally posted January 2012