Serial 1577

[Editor’s note: One of the subjects of this serial whose name is deleted is Henry Cannon, a Temple member who was in Georgetown at the time of the deaths. The deleted information from the memorandum – designated by brackets – which is known to the editor has been indicated by red type.]

FBI Airtel

Date 1/5/79

TO: DIRECTOR, FBI (89-4286)
FROM: SAC, BROOKLYN/QUEENS MRA (89-495) (P)
SUBJECT: RYMUR

Enclosed for San Francisco are original and two copies and for the Bureau to copies of FD-302s pertaining to:

[3 names deleted]

Also enclosed for San Francisco is criticism letter addressed to Coordinator and signed by [name deleted].

Armed and dangerous. Suicidal tendencies.

[Page 2]

FD-302

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Date of transcription 12/12/78

[Name deleted] was interviewed upon her arrival at the John F. Kennedy International Airport from Georgetown, Guyana. After being apprised of the identity of the interviewing agent and Special Agent [Name deleted] of the United States Secret Service, who was present during the interview, [Name deleted] provided the following information:

[Name deleted] had been in Guyana since August 19, 1977, and in Georgetown for approximately the last two months. She had gone to Georgetown to [line deleted] at the People’s Temple house. Except for the last two months, [Name deleted] had not been outside the Jonestown complex since her arrival in Guyana.

[Name deleted] first came in contact with the People’s Temple approximately nine years ago when she resided in the Redwood Valley near Ukiah, California. A friend of hers, [Name deleted], told her that the Temple was wonderful and [Name deleted] went to her first meeting nine months after her first contact with the People’s Temple. Jones told the members of the People’s Temple that the Temple should move to Guyana because poor people could not obtain land in the United States. [Name deleted] voluntarily gave her home to the People’s Temple when the latter moved to San Francisco. [Name deleted] was told by the Reverend Jim Jones that if she did not give her home to the People’s Temple, the Government would take it away by imposing high taxes. [Name deleted] was also told that the proceeds from the sale of her house would be used to educate the children and elderly of the People’s Temple. Upon her arrival at Jonestown, Guyana, [Name deleted] gave her money to Layton. [Name deleted] noted that not many black people in Jonestown handled money.

[Name deleted] advised that when she arrived in Jonestown, life was not as she envisioned it would be. She lived in a building first called a dorm and later called a cottage. [Name deleted]’s job consisted of doing maid work, caring for children, cooking and washing. [Name deleted] never protested because her

[Page 3]
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[Information deleted] Cardell Neal, (died at Jonestown), told her to keep her mouth shut or he would die. If you did not do as Jones wished, you would be put in a guarded place.

[Name deleted] stated that she was not aware of any threats to harm public officials or current and former members of the People’s Temple. [Name deleted] stated that political leaders were never mentioned.

The day of the suicides at Jonestown, [Name deleted] was in Georgetown. About 8:30 PM, [Name deleted] heard screaming at the house and closed the door in the room where she was staying. Someone told her that a mother, a Jewish lady, had cut her daughter’s throat and that a white man had also cut one of her daughter’s throat. [Name deleted] heard that they wanted to kill Stephie [Stephanie] Jones and [Name deleted] recalled seeing a little girl with blood on her leg and throat.

Present at the Georgetown house with [Name deleted] were Nedra Yates, 50 years old and planning to marry a Guyanese soldier, Mary Ann Cassanova [Casanova] and her daughter [Dianne], Jim Jones, Jr., Steven [Stephan] Jones (Jim Jones’ only blood son), Lee Agner [Ingram] (phonetic), Debbie Cruchet [Touchette], Smith (first name unknown) (FNU) [Eugene], Jean Smith, Carl (last name unknown) (LNU) [Barnett], one of the Giegs.

[Name deleted] stated that the People’s Temple had two boats. There were two different names for one boat and one was a big u-boat from San Francisco. [Name deleted] heard that the u-boat had been rented.

[Name deleted] saw only two weapons at Jonestown, but saw many bows and arrows. [Name deleted] had no specific knowledge of acquisition or shipment of any weapons by the People’s Temple. She never saw anyone training with any weapons. [Name deleted] did not know what was kept in Cottage 14.

[Name deleted] noted that drugs were kept in restricted area and she did not have access to them. [Name deleted] once heard Jim Jones order that drugs be given to a girl because she wanted to fight.

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Guards were used at Jonestown to keep inhabitants from leaving. [Name deleted] did not see these guards with guns, but they did carry cutlasses. [Name deleted] did not know any of the guards by name. She recalled that at meetings, Jones stated that if anyone should leave Jonestown, the church would have someone “take care of you”.

At one of the meetings or “gatherings”, [Name deleted] was present during a practice suicide drill. Jones’ plan was that if one should come to Jonestown to take anyone away, everyone would kill each other, all would die together. During this drill, in September, 1978 [1977], everyone took the Kool-Aid because they were afraid not to. [Name deleted] believed the drill was a result of the visit by a lawyer who wanted to take away one of Jones’ children. Jones insisted the child was his.

[Name deleted] recalled that once someone fired shots into the compound at Jonestown. Bullets were heard and everyone laid down flat on the ground. Jones stated the CIA and the lawyer who wanted Jones’ child were responsible for the shots.

[Name deleted] stated that Jones was ill. At the meetings, doctors told everyone that Jones’ temperature was 105 degrees at all times. [Name deleted] noted that Jones could not remain anywhere for long because he had to use a bathroom often.

[Name deleted] believed that the People’s Temple’s money was placed in a bank in Georgetown. [Name deleted] recalled that on one occasion, the Guyanese police raided her cottage and found some money. [Name deleted] did not know how the money had gotten at her cottage. [Name deleted] stated that there was one woman who controlled the money who was called a “coordinator” and picked by Jones.

[Name deleted] stated that members of the People’s Temple were told to tell visitors that they worked when they wanted to and not to tell them how much they ate. In reality, they worked every day, except half-day on Sunday. [Name deleted] added that they had plenty of food to eat, although meat was usually given to the children. Discipline consisted of being worked harder than usual.

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[Name deleted] noted that all Jonestown survivors are required to give their names and phone numbers where they could be reached in the United States to the United States Embassy in Guyana. [Name deleted] heard that 30 persons escaped suicide at Jonestown, but she was of the opinion that there must have been more, as Jones had told Temple members that there were 13,000 inhabitants of Jonestown. [Name deleted] believed that there were more babies than were discovered who had no American passports because they were born in Guyana.

[Name deleted] provided the following information regarding the below noted individuals:

Steven [Stephan] Jones: Son of Jim Jones; white; from San Francisco; worked with a caterpillar to clear land at Jonestown

Jim Jones, Jr.: Alias “Junior”; black; from San Francisco

Lou [Lew] Jones: Black; from San Francisco; dead

Calvin Douglas: Black; from San Francisco; in Georgetown; told [Name deleted] he would be glad to return to the United States; mother resides in San Francisco

Johnny Cobb Jones: Black; in Georgetown; wants [Name deleted] to keep house for him.

Johnny Jones, Jr.: Black; dead; from San Francisco

Newel [Newell]: There were a lot of Newels at Jonestown. Two brothers are alive. Her father is alive and does not belong to the People’s Temple. From San Francisco; one of the Newell brothers was on a boat during the suicides.

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Jim Macabone [McElvane]: Really Jim McCabine; from San Francisco; believed dead; black; was a highway patrolman in the Redwood Valley.

The Gieg Brothers: There were three; one who has nine fingers was on one of the Temple boats at the time of the suicides and is presently in Georgetown

Joe Wilson: Black; from San Francisco; dead

Lee Ingram: Black; in Georgetown

Chris O’Neal: Male

[Name deleted] advised that she never heard of anyone being beaten at Jonestown. She stated, however, that she would not be surprised that such things occurred because she did not know what happened at night. [Name deleted] noted that she was usually exhausted because it was difficult to sleep with the constant playing of news tape recordings over the Public Address System.

Concerning the assassination of Congressman Leo Ryan, [Name deleted] stated that she did not know anything about that matter because she was in Georgetown at the time. [Name deleted] heard that the reason for the assassination was that a black girl from Los Angeles was trying to escape from Jonestown.

[Name deleted] stated that she recalled that Reverend Jim Jones asked the members of the People’s Temple if they would move to Russia or Cuba. The members, however, responded that they did not wish to go because there were no blacks in Russia. They told Jones that they would rather return to the United States.

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[Name deleted] stated that she was not aware of any contingency plans that existed or any discussions of a plan by Jones as a means of retaliation against anyone attempting to arrest or capture Jones. [Name deleted] recalled, however, that Jones had once stated that if the CIA should come after him, he would surrender so that the remaining members of the People’s Temple would not be hurt.

Regarding the involvement members of the People’s Temple in any criminal offenses, [Name deleted] stated that Jones had often admonished one “Stanley” (last name unknown) (LNU) [Clayton] that he would not return to the United States because he would be arrested. [Name deleted] described “Stanley” as a black male, very dark complexion, 5’9″ tall, slim build, approximately 30 years old, and having a receding hairline with a noticeable bald spot in the middle of the top of his head. [Name deleted] added that “Stanley” is still in Georgetown, Guyana.

[Name deleted] noted that Mary Ann Cassanova [Casanova] operated the radio at Jonestown. Mary Ann Cassanova is in Georgetown and is supposed to return to the United States with Diane Cassanova [Diane Scheid Casanova] who is keeping a child who is deaf, dumb, approximately 18 years old and called “Henry” [Cannon]. [Name deleted] added that a girl on the airplane from Georgetown with [Name deleted] was a radio operator. [Name deleted] could not recall her name, but stated that this young lady was wearing a blue pants suit.

[Name deleted] acknowledged that she was required to sign many papers without reading them. [Name deleted] did not know what the papers stated, as she does not know how to read.

[Name deleted] stated that she was not aware that the Reverend Jones had bodyguards. [Name deleted] was of the opinion that Jones did not need bodyguards because everyone was afraid to do anything to him.

[Name deleted] recalled the Jones had said the China had tunnels for people and a “beam”. [Name deleted] heard talk of nuclear weapons, but never heard Jones say he had one.

[Name deleted] stated that she had never heard of Doctor Lawrence [Laurence] Eugene Schacht.

[Page 8]
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The following information regarding [Name deleted] was obtained througho observation and interview:

[The balance of page 8, and the entirety of page 9, detailing physical traits, relationships and education of interview subject deleted].

[Page 10]

FD-302

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Date of transcription 1/4/79

[Name deleted] [Henry Cannon] was met at the Pan Am Arrivals Terminal, John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFKIA), Jamaica, New York (NY), by Special Agent (SA) [name deleted], Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and (SA) [name deleted] United States Secret Service (USSS). [Cannon], who was rumored to be retarded, was advised of the identities of the interviewers and the nature of the inquiry. It was determined at this point that [Cannon] was unable to speak. [Cannon] was then given a pen and asked if he was able to write. [Cannon] attempted, but was unable to create any recognizable symbols. [Cannon] then produced a sheet of paper bearing his name, the name of his contact, [name deleted], and an additional name [name and address deleted]. This latter party appeared to be [Cannon]’s final destination.

[Cannon]’s contact, [name deleted], who accompanied him from Guyana, advised that [Cannon] was retarded and unable to speak. [Name deleted] stated that [Cannon] spent approximately 16 months in Jonestown. The interview was then terminated.

The following descriptive data on [Cannon] was obtained from [name deleted] and from physical observation:

[The balance of page 10, and the entirety of page 11, detailing physical traits, relationships and destination of interview subject deleted].

[Page 12]

FD-302

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Date of transcription 1/4/79

Special Agent (SA) [name deleted] served upon [name deleted], a subpoena issued within the United States District Court (USDC), Northern District of California (NDC), for a Grand Jury appearance at San Francisco, California, on January 24, 1979. The subpoena was served in the Pan-American International Arrivals Building at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

[Page 13]

FD-302

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Date of transcription 1/4/79

At 10:20 PM, Special Agent (SA) [name deleted] served upon [name deleted], a subpoena issued within the United States District Court (USDC), Northern District of California (NDC), for a Grand Jury appearance at San Francisco, California, on January 24, 1979. The above subpoena was served in the lower level of United States Customs area of the Pan-American Airlines terminal, John A. Kennedy International Airport.

Originally posted on May 13th, 2018.

Last modified on November 29th, 2020.
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