Congress of the United States
Committee on International Relations
House of Representatives
Washington, D. C. 20515
December 11, 1978
The Honorable Griffin B. Bell
Department of Justice
Washington, D. C. 20530
Dear Mr. Bell:
The Members of the Committee on International Relations are deeply distressed and concerned over the tragedy which fell the mission to Guyana headed by the late Honorable Leo J. Ryan.
In determining what steps might be taken in the wake of this matter, the Committee is examining all of the circumstances which might have a bearing on this tragic accident. It is therefore essential that the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation cooperate fully with the fact-finding efforts of the Committee in its investigation of the incident.
In this respect, your cooperation in making available to the Committee any and all information and documents pertinent to this matter would be appreciated. If you need additional details, please have your staff contact George Berdes, Staff Consultant, who is conducting the Committee inquiry.
Thanking you in advance for your cooperation and assistance, I am
Cc: Hon. William Webster
United States Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation
To: Mr. Moore
From: J. O. Ingram
PURPOSE: This is to advise that the House International Relations Committee, chaired by Congressman Clement J. Zablocki, has requested the aid and assistance of the FBI through the Department of Justice in connection with an inquiry being conducted by this Committee into the assassination of Congressman Leo Ryan.
RECOMMENDATION: None. For information.
DETAILS: On 12/22/78, Departmental Attorney Mike Abbell advised the House International Relations Committee, chaired by Congressman Clement J. Zablocki, has initiated an inquiry concerning the assassination of Congressman Ryan specifically to determine whether or not the Department of State had adequately fulfilled their responsibilities prior to the Congressman’s visit to the Peoples Temple, Jonestown, Guyana, and subsequent to Ryan’s assassination. He said the Committee was especially interested in obtaining a list of all Peoples Temple members and defectors from the Temple and their current addresses and telephone numbers. Abbell stated that the Bureau should definitely not provide the Committee any information obtained as a result of Grand Jury proceedings or make available to them any FD-302’s. Abbell requested that contact be made with Ivo Spalatin one of the staff members involved in the Committee’s inquiry.
On 12/22/78, Ivo Spalatin contacted Section Chief W. Douglas Gow at which time he reiterated the Committee’s purpose and inquired whether or not information such as the names and addresses of members and defectors of the People’s Temple could
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Ingram to Mr. Moore Memorandum
be provided to the Committee. In this regard, it was decided that prior to the release of any information to Zablocki’s Committee, it would be of benefit for Mr. Spalatin to meet with FBI representatives and further discuss this matter. A meeting was scheduled for 12/26/78 at FBIHQ.
On 12/26/78, Messrs. Richard T. Taylor and John T. McCarthy, Legal Counsel Division, and Vernon D. Kohl and W. Douglas Gow, Criminal Investigative Division, met with Mr. Spalatin. During this meeting, Mr. Spalatin advised that Congressman Zablocki had previously directed a letter to Attorney General Griffin Bell requesting whatever information the Department could share concerning the assassination of Congressman Ryan. Again, Mr. Spalatin specifically requested the information set forth above being made available to the Committee. In addition, he requested a summation of all interviews conducted to date including our observations concerning the individuals interviewed, whether the FBI felt it would be of value for the Committee to interview specific individuals, and whether specific interviews posed a security risk to Committee members conducting the inquiries. He further requested our recommendations as to the best areas to conduct these interviews; for example, should they utilize a hotel room or should they attempt to obtain space in a Federal Building.
Mr. Spalatin further pointed out that the Committee intended to focus its investigation in the San Francisco area and in this regard had previously contacted ASAC Larry Lawler, San Francisco Division. (San Francisco advised FBIHQ of this contact by teletype dated 12/22/78.) It was pointed out to Mr. Spalatin that in our opinion any travel by Committee members to San Francisco in order to pursue their inquiry was perhaps premature at this time, if in fact the information he had requested from the Bureau was necessary to the conduct of his inquiry, until such time as the Bureau received authorization from the Department to release information pertaining to this matter. Mr. Spalatin was advised that inasmuch as this matter is an ongoing criminal investigation, the specific authority of the Department in writing would be required prior to the release of any information. He was further advised that to the knowledge of the Agents present, the Bureau had not received any request, either orally or in writing, from the Department to provide information to the Committee other than the telephone call received from Mr. Abbell on 12/22/78.
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Ingram to Mr. Moore Memorandum
Mr. Spalatin agreed that in order to proceed further with the Committee’s request he would attempt to determine the status of Chairman Zablocki’s letter to the Attorney General and would thereafter further coordinate this request through the Bureau’s Legal Counsel Division.
On 12/27/78, a memorandum was received from Assistant Attorney General Philip B. Heymann, Criminal Division, to the Director of the FBI (attached) regarding the assassination of Congressman Ryan. Mr. Heymann in his memorandum to the Director requests that the Bureau provide the House International Relations Committee with “as much information and assistance as we can consistent with our responsibilities for the conduct of an ongoing criminal investigation.” In addition to Mr. Heymann’s memorandum, Mr. Spalatin directed a memorandum to Mr. Taylor, Legal Counsel Division (attached) which details specific individuals under consideration for interview by the Zablocki Committee.
[Editor’s note: This page is a duplicate of serial 1631 and is reproduced below.]
United States Government
Date: December 27, 1978
To: The Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation
From: Philip B. Heymann, Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division
Subject: Assassination of Congressman Leo Ryan; Peoples Temple.
The House International Relations Committee has written the Attorney General requesting the Department’s aid and assistance in their inquiry into these matters. In responding for the Attorney General, I have informed the Committee that we will provide them as much information and assistance as we can consistent with our responsibilities for the conduct of an ongoing criminal investigation.
Staff members of the Committee are traveling to the West Coast next week to interview certain members of the Peoples Temple and other possible witnesses in these matters. Consistent with the assurances the Department has given the Committee, this is to request that the FBI provide, where available, the names, addresses, and phone numbers of the witnesses which the Committee staff has an interest in and, if possible, the location of the witnesses at the time of the killing of Congressman Ryan.
We specifically told the Committee staff that if the witnesses were concerned about their safety, we would not provide their location but that in such instances we would attempt to contact the witnesses and have the witnesses in turn call the Committee staff if the witnesses agree.
We have also told the Committee staff that at this stage of the investigation they are, of course, not authorized to receive or review FBI files, including 302’s, or grand jury information.
December 26, 1978
To: Dick Taylor, FBI
From: Ivo Spalatin
The following are under consideration for interviews by the staff of the Committee on International Relations in relation to the Guyana investigation, as requested by Chairman Zablocki.
Present addresses and phone numbers, and location as of Nov. 18, are specifically requested as well as any other information the Bureau is able to share with the Committee which is pertinent to the Committee’s investigation. Also attached is Chairman Zablocki’s
December 11, 1978 letter to Attorney General Bell related to this investigation.
S. F. Examiner Tim Reiterman
NBC Bob Flick
S. F. Chronicle Ron Javers
New West Phil Tracy
Ukiah Kathy Hunter
S. F. Gordon Lindsey [Lindsay]
S. F. Chronicle George Draper
NBC Steve Song [Sung]
New West Rosalie Wright
Ukiah George Hunter
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Former PT defectors
Yolanda [Yulanda] D.A. Crawford
Deborah Layton Blakey
Jeannie and Al Mills
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PT defectors from Jonestown leaving w/ Ryan Codel
Members are Patricia Parks’ Family
Harold Gordell [Cordell]
Boggs [Bogue] Family
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Survivors of Jonestown
Grover Davis (?)
Hyacinth Prash [Thriash] (?)
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Concerned Family Members
Mr. & Mrs. Oliver
Mr. & Mrs. Sam Houston
Steve & Anthony Katsaris
Ms. Carol Boyd
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PT Members & Hierarchy in SF
Tim & Michael Carter
Eugene B. Chacken [Chaikin]
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U.S. Attorney’s office in SF
S.F. Customs Office