Federal Bureau of Investigation
Date of transcription 1/4/79
An individual, who identified himself as Eugene Erskine Smith, was contacted as he departed Pam Am Flight 228 at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFKIA), Queens, New York (NY). At this time, Smith was advised of the identities of Special Agent (SA) [name deleted], Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and (SA) [name deleted], United States Secret Service (USSS). Smith was advised that the nature of the interview concerned the assassination of Congressman Leo Ryan and the activities of the People’s Temple.
Smith indicated that his first affiliation with Reverend Jim Jones was in the early months of 1975, when his legal guardian, a [name deleted], began attending meetings in Fresno, California. Smith explained that he attended for a few times but then stopped for approximately six months. He moved to San Francisco, California in late 1975 on Buchanan Street. Smith would help with construction work at the People’s Temple in San Francisco. He advised that he built a dark room and a printing press. Smith advised that during his initial indoctrination with the People’s Temple, he often had doubts about Jim Jones’ healings. Smith advised that he went to the Jonestown settlement in March of 1978. He indicated that his wife, Ollie Marie Wedeman, had gone to Jonestown a week ahead of him. His mother had been there for six months.
Smith’s only acknowledgment regarding written or oral oaths was that members would sign in at meetings. He said this was done because of the attempt on the life of Jim Jones. Smith stated that he never signed anything.
When questioned about whether Jones had personal bodyguards, Smith only stated that Jimmy Jones, Jr., Tim Glen Jones and John Cobb were always around him.
Smith advised that his duties in the Jonestown settlement included doing shoe repair work and being on the wood chopping crew. He stated that he lived in cottage number 13 with his wife. Smith could not recall the names of any other individuals who lived in cottage 13. Smith
indicated that on November 18, 1978, he was in Georgetown, Guyana, where he had been working for the past two months. His duties in Georgetown included working on the Bedford truck – unloading supplies. Smith stated that he worked with Chuck Kirkendoll [Kirkendall] and [name deleted]. He stated that both Kirkendoll and [name deleted] were in San Francisco. During this time, he lived at the Lamaha Gardens in Georgetown.
When asked about the Security Force, Smith became increasingly vague with his answers. He provided the following names as being members of the Security Force:
Jimmy Jones, Jr.
Tim Glen Jones
Tim Jones (both white and black)
Lou [Lew] Jones
He advised that the Security Force “walked” with Jim Jones. Smith stated that he never heard of the term “Angels”.
Smith indicated that he had only observed one weapon, a shotgun, and that they had a hunting license for it. Smith did not supply any information about who and/or what was kept in hut number 14. It should be noted at this time that the interviewing Agent felt that Smith was being evasive and deceptive. Continued inquiries regarding weapons and the Security Force met with negative results.
Smith stated that he was never a member of the Planning Commission and only provided the names of Terri Buford and Tim Stoen as being members.
Smith would not acknowledge any information regarding assassination plans or the forming of a “hit list”. Smith denied the fact that Steven [Stephan] Jones had given him assassination assignments.
In regards to the death of Sharon Amos and her three children, Martin, Crista [Christa] and LeAnn [Liane], Smith stated that he was not there. He was living at the Lamaha Gardens. He advised that they were killed on November 18, 1978, their throats slit. Smith stated that Chuck Belkman [Beikman] and Steven Jones were being held for the deaths. Smith stated that Stephanie Jones was with the Amos’ at their deaths and that Calvin Douglas had pulled Stephanie Jones out. He stated that she also had a knife cut across her throat. Smith denied that he had bragged about killing Sharon Amos or that he had anything to do with their deaths.
Smith stated that he first heard of the deaths at the Jonestown settlement on November 19, 1978, when he was in Georgetown. Smith said he later saw Odell Rhodes in Georgetown at the Park Hotel. According to Smith, Rhodes may have been responsible for holding children during the “forced suicides”.
Due to the fact that Smith was being evasive and deceptive, the interview was terminated by the interviewing Agents.
The following information was obtained from discussion and observation:
|Name||Eugene Erskine Smith|
|Date of Birth (DOB)||July 29, 1957|
|Place of Birth (POB)||Detroit, Michigan|
|Residence||(Prior March, 1978) – 1305 McAllister Street, San Francisco, California|
|(1975) – 620 Buchanan Street, San Francisco, CA|
|Occupation||Construction Worker, Freelance Photographer, Arc Welder|
|Education||John O’Connel Trade School, San Francisco, California|
|Second-Year College, City College, Fresno, California|
|Family Members||Wife – Ollie Marie Wideman (Deceased)|
|Son – Martin Luther Smith, age 5 months, (Deceased)|
|Arrests||Shoplifting, age 15, Fresno, California|
|Destination Point||[name deleted], Cousin
[name deleted], San Francisco, California
[name and address deleted], Compton, California