Serial 1616-2

[Editor’s note: One of the subjects of this serial whose name is deleted is former Temple member Richard Cordell. The deleted information from the memorandum which is known to the editor has been indicated by red type.]


Federal Bureau of Investigation

Date of transcription 12/11/78

[Name, address and telephone number deleted] was interviewed at her place of residence and advised of the identity of the interviewing Agent and the fact that she was being interviewed regarding any association the Peoples Temple may have had with the murder of Congressman Leo J. Ryan.

[Name deleted] advised that she first became acquainted with the Reverend Jimmy Jones when he was preaching at a Methodist Church on South Keystone Avenue in Indianapolis, Indiana, in the early 1950s. [Name deleted] advised that she heard from friends of hers about Jones’ healings and began to attend services there later becoming a member of his church which he called the Peoples Temple.

[Name deleted] advised that Jones moved his congregation to several locations in Indianapolis until he ended up at a location on New Jersey Avenue in about 1954 to 1956 where he began calling his church the Peoples Temple. [Name deleted] advised that Jones had been ordained by the Disciples of Christ and originally taught the Apostolic faith.

[Name deleted] advised that sometime around 1960 Jones took a trip to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to visit an individual called “Father Devine [Divine]”, a Negro male, who professed to be God himself and practiced false teachings. [Name deleted] went on that it was when Jones returned from visiting “Father Devine” that she and her husband [Name deleted] noticed that Reverend Jones had begun his false teachings and misinterpreting the Bible.

[Name deleted] advised that Jones also made a trip to Rio de Janeiro, South America, in the 1960s and supposedly instituted an orphanage there.

[Name deleted] continued that she and her husband and their daughter, [name deleted], continue to attend the services of Jones at the Peoples Temple until the late

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1960s when Jones moved to California taking all of his congregation with him that would follow.

[Name deleted] advised that she and her husband had considerable doubts about Jones’ teachings and healings at this time and did not follow him to California. [Name deleted] advised that her daughter, [Name deleted], traveled to California in 1967 to visit one of her close friends, [Name deleted], who traveled with Jones when he originally left for California. [Name deleted] advised that her daughter decided to stay in California and did not break away from the Peoples Temple group until approximately 1972. [Name deleted] advised that during her daughter’s stay there she on many occasions expressed a will to leave the church although she was afraid to as Jones had made subtle threats to her that if she left, her mother would die.

Prior to [Name deleted]’s leaving in 1972, she married a [Name deleted], who also left the group about the same time [Name deleted] did in 1972.

[Name deleted] advised that Loretta Cordell was killed in the mass suicide in Jonestown, Guyana, and [Name deleted] [Richard William Cordell] relocated someplace in Oregon or Washington State.

[Name deleted] advised that since leaving the Peoples Temple her daughter has remarried and now uses the name [deleted] and resides at [address and phone number deleted].

[Name deleted] advised that neither she nor her family has had anything to do with the Peoples Temple since their daughter broke away although Jones on numerous occasions telephonically contacted [Name deleted] in an effort to get her to return to the Peoples Temple church, the last call being about a year and a half ago. [Name deleted] advised that during the time her daughter was with the Peoples Temple she visited her every summer trying to get her to return with her (Mrs. [Name deleted]), to Indianapolis. [Name deleted] advised that her daughter was afraid as Jones told her that if she left, her mother would die.

[Name deleted] advised that after Jones left he left several pieces of property in Indianapolis, one of which was the old Peoples Temple church which is located at

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975 North Delaware Street, Indianapolis, Indiana. [Name deleted] advised that [line deleted] held services in it until it was finally sold in 1974. [Name deleted] advised that the Reverend Elmo Miller (deceased) conducted the services at the church during this time up until the time the church was sold.

[Name deleted] advised that during her visits to her daughter in the summer, she noticed that Jones had begun calling himself Christ and in a select group in the Peoples Temple church called a council would pass judgment on individuals who violated the law of Jones or the rules of the church. [Name deleted] advised that some of the individuals who are members of the council were Eva and Jim Pugh, Archie Ijams [Ijames] and Jack Beam, all of whom are deceased. [Editor’s note: At the time of this interview, Archie Ijames was still alive.]

[Name deleted] advised that the Peoples Temple church and its members were located in California about 120 miles north of San Francisco in an area called Ukiah and Redwood Valley.

[Name deleted] advised that she is not aware of any of the members of the Peoples Temple whether in Indianapolis or California other than a woman named Betty Boyd who moved to Florida (address unknown). [Name deleted] further stated that she was never aware of any cache of weapons or murder or assassination plots that Jones or the Peoples Temple members had.