Q881 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           Unidentified Individuals Speaking

FBI preliminary tape identification note: [None]

Date cues on tape:     Late March/early March 1977 [Dana Truss en route to Guyana, arrived 4/5/77]

People named:

Temple members not in Jonestown:
Carnella Truss (speaks)

Jonestown residents:
Emmett Griffith, Sr.
Mary Griffith
Harriet Sarah Tropp (speaks)
Dana Truss

Bible verses cited:      None


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

In this short tape, Temple attorney Harriet Tropp calls Carnella Truss about a report that the woman has a problem with her daughter, Dana Truss, leaving on a trip. As Tropp describes it, Dana would be gone “six weeks, two month” to Barbados, the Caribbean, and to South America “to the mission project for the denomination.”

But Tropp has misunderstod the concern. Carnella just wanted to know where Dana was. She tells Tropp that she gave her daughter to her mother – Dana’s grandmother – and hadn’t said anything about getting her back.

What is significant about the phone call – one reason this may have not been recorded over, as so many others were – is that the custody of Dana eventually became an issue in Jonestown, second only to that of John Victor Stoen. In a tape from Jonestown made a year later, the grandmother Mary Griffith reads a statement over the Temple’s short wave radio to reporters in San Francisco that Carnella had been “on dope,” that she had surrendered Dana at birth, and that Mary and Dana and the rest of the family were staying in Jonestown.  With the exception of Mary’s husband, Emmett Griffith Sr., who died of natural causes before November 18, the Griffith family died in the mass murder/suicide.

FBI Summary:

Date of transcription: 6/25/79

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 June 10, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B102-C15. This tape was found to contain the following: A short phone call from a female in the legal section of the Temple to an unidentified person. The rest of Side A and all of Side B is blank.

Differences with FBI Summary:

The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.

Tape originally posted March 2010