Edith Roller Letter to Jim Jones, September 1978

[Editor’s note: This letter was transcribed by Don Beck. The original appears on p. 399 of RYMUR Section EE-2 (RYMUR 89-4286-EE-2-pq-9).]

10 September 1978

Dear Jim,

I want to report to you a rather strange event which may possibly have security implications – absurd as this may seem.

Yesterday I missed a big blue binder in which I kept the typed copy of the journal I write.  It contained a record from August to October 1977 and about 50 pages of blank paper.  The last time I used it was last Sunday, 3 September.  I never take it out of the cottage and did  not do so this time,  I looked thoroughly among all my possessions.  I kept it in a crate which I left unlocked a good deal lately, as the lock is beginning to rust and Edith Cordell is in the cottage most of the time.  As I checked, I found that another folder was missing, which contained the handwritten notes from August 1977 to August 1978, as I had never thrown any of them away.

My first thought was that somebody just stole the binder (which was a good one) for itself and the paper that was in it.  It would have been easy to lift the top of the crate and take the binder, as it might have been near the top.  However, the other folder is a different thing – it was buried deeper, it was bulky and would have been harder to walk away with, and the paper in it would have been of little value to a thief, as it was all written on.

I don’t think the security danger is very great, no matter who has the notes, as I know no secrets, but these notes contain items on individuals, and I know intelligence agencies consider any information important.  It seems unlikely, though, that any agent would have happened on my papers unless Tim Stoen were involved.  As you remember, he knew of the journal, as I used to turn it over to him for delivery to Carolyn Layton.  That is why I am bringing this to your attention, in case there is a possibility of espionage, rather than just old-fashioned theft.

The paper in the notebook is probably not like any other in Jonestown – good bond, punched for a three-hole binder.  I suggest that the tests taken last night be checked for this type of paper and other paper which may come to attention – three-hole punch is probably scarce.

Pardon the typing.  I got my typewriter fixed, but now something else is wrong with it.

Sorry to bother you with this.

Much love,

Edith Roller