FOIA Lawsuit Yields Additional Documents


A new strategy to open more documents from the FBI’s investigation into the assassination of Leo Ryan and the deaths in Guyana on November 18, 1978 has resulted in the release of several hundred previously-withheld pages.

In August 2011, a judge upheld the government’s decisions to withhold or redact many documents listing individuals involved in the Guyana tragedy, based on privacy grounds. Following that decision, the plaintiffs submitted scores of waivers signed by Jonestown survivors, former Temple members and relatives of the Jonestown dead. A subsequent review of the documents led to the additional release. While the release led to little information that was not already known, it has contributed to the creation of a more complete record of the government’s investigation.

In addition, the government’s discovery of a second set of RYMUR documents in a warehouse in Northern Virginia has led to the release of more legible copies of many of the pages.  

The developments came in a lawsuit filed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by Fielding M. McGehee III and Rebecca Moore – managers of this website – for all records in the FBI’s possession related to Peoples Temple and Jonestown.