Serial 121

Editor’s note: Several of the subjects whose names are deleted in this serial are known to the editor. Those notations have been indicated by red type.

0 212232Z NOV 78
FM SAN JUAN (89-123)
TO DIRECTOR IMMEDIATE
SAN FRANCISCO IMMEDIATE
BT
UNCLAS

RYMUR; CAS – FBC – 00; SAN FRANCISCO

Reference San Juan teletype, November 20, 1978.

Interviews of witnesses in Puerto Rico revealed that for background purposes Debbie
Layton who can be contacted at the Human Freedom Center, Berkley [Berkeley], California, is one of the high-ranking directors of the Jones camp, and should be interviewed if not done already.

Extensive background information received from Mr. [deleted name]

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[deleted name] regarding Jones and the Peoples Temple, much of which has appeared in press accounts.

Further information obtained to identify suspect Joe Wilson previously referred to in San Juan teletype, November 20, 1978, and Baltimore teletype, November 21, 1978, reveals that Wilson is a black male, late 20’s, 140 to 150 pounds, 5’7” tall, black short Afro, brown eyes, last seen wearing jeans and a dirty shirt. His wife, name unknown, and child [Leslie Wagner-Wilson and Jakari Wilson] possibly escaped from the camp.

Investigation in San Juan referring to suspect Ronnie James reveals that he is a black male, 22 years of age, 5’ tall, 185 pounds, slender, large black Afro (braided). James formerly resided on Fillmore Street, San Francisco, California. His mother, Dorothy, who has remarried, resides on [information deleted] and works at the [information deleted] in the [information deleted], San Francisco, California. James’ father, John, is believed to live somewhere in the [deleted information] of San Francisco.

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Two witnesses, Vernon Gosney and [name deleted] still hospitalized. Interviews of same may be conducted afternoon of November 21, 1978, pending doctor’s approval.

Copy of NBC video tape regarding incident at Jonestown being made available to FBI, San Juan, this date. This video tape will be reviewed by witness Beverly Oliver who is also hospitalized at Roosevelt Roads Naval Hospital (RRNH), Puerto Rico, for expected identification of any and all persons shown in the video tape.

It should be noted that late afternoon of November 20, 1978, two calls were received at RRNH, Puerto Rico, from “young sounding females” claiming to be Gosney’s mother. Also on November 21, 1978, a telegram was received at RRNH, Puerto Rico, sent to Gosney from San Francisco area saying Dear Verne, we all miss you and love you. Hope to see you soon. It was signed Col. FF&W. Above telegram was addressed to Lt. Verne Gosney.

[Editor’s note: Several of the subjects in the following paragraphs of this serial whose names are deleted are known to the editor. The deleted information from the memorandum – designated by brackets – has been indicated by red type.]

That background available regarding Gosney at this time has reflected that very little is known concerning Gosney’s

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relatives and he has had very little, if any, contact with family members since becoming a member of the People’s Temple. [Deleted name] father is possibly [deleted name], telephone number [deleted member] and his mother is [deleted name] [Alma Gosney], telephone number [deleted member].

San Juan wants to point out that [deleted name] [Steven Katsaris] has indicated “that former members have told me there were plans if anything happened to Jim Jones and to the rest in Guyana, the members in the States were to seek out and kill political figures and “enemies” and then commit suicide themselves and that I personally was one of the main targets”.

Members of the San Francisco-based Peoples Temple may or may not be attempting to contact pertinent witnesses in Puerto Rico or other places.

In regards to possible conspiracy and preplaned [preplanned] attack on part of Jones and followers, [deleted name] who was in Georgetown at time of attack advised that on three separate occasions male members of Peoples Temple in Georgetown were observed in and about the vicinity of the Pegasus Hotel where

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members of Ryan’s party were staying. Those male numbers referred to above are: Michael Touchette, Steve [Stephan] Jones (son of Jim Jones), Tim Jones (adopted son of Jim Jones), first name unknown (FNU) Cobb [John Cobb] (brother of Jim Cobb). Also, on Sunday, November 19, 1978, a local Georgetown taxi driver, [deleted name] who is trusted by [deleted name] revealed to him that he had overheard these male numbers talking about killing the people in the hotel.

Verne Gosney interviewed afternoon of November 21, 1978, at Intensive Care Unit (ICU) RRNH. Due to his critical condition doctors recommended brevity. Interview follows:

Q: Did you want to leave the camp and go back to the United States? A: Yes.

Q: Did you want to separate from the group? A: Yes.

Q: Were you aware of a conspiracy or preplanned ambush on the Congressman (Ryan) and members of his party? A: No. “We were afraid that it might happen”.

Q: Do you know who shot you? A: Yes.

Q: Was it Layton? A: Yes.

PAGE SIX (89-123) UNCLAS

Q: Were you in the plane or outside of the plane? A: In.

Q: Did anyone else get shot? A: My friend, Monica. I don’t know where she is”.

Q: Who tried to stab Congressman Ryan? A: “I don’t know”. “I was in the small plane located down runway. Congressman Ryan was in the large one”. “They were killing everyone, shooting everything”.

Q: Do you know who was doing the shooting? A: [deleted name] and others”.

Q: Do you know the men on the tractor? A: “Some”. [Deleted name] and others – three or four others”.

Q: You know of any specific plan against any political figures? Or anyone interfered with the Peoples Temple or Jones group? Anything about the suicide plans? A: Just talk of it”.

Q: Can you think of anything concerning potential attacks on any political person as a result of what happened? A: “Tried to kill rest of the news people that were there and at airport.

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And all ex-members, defectors. Don’t know as far as political figures”.

Q: Do you recall the message received this morning? A: “It was from my boss (former) [Deleted name] (phonetic). He is not a member”.

Q: How may peeple [many people] living at the camp? A: 1,200 exagerated [exaggerated] figure – 800 living but not sure”.

Q: Could the rest of the people get away – how? A: “They had two boats large and small”.

Q: How many people fit on boats? A: “Everybody”.

Q: Do you know names of boats? A: “Albatrose, Cajoe [Albatross, Cudjoe]”.

Q: Who will kill you? A: “I don’t know”.

Witnesses in RRNH and San Juan are concerned with their own security upon return to the United States.

Attending physicians, base security and hospital security, Roosevelt Roads Naval Base, Puerto Rico, alerted and taking proper precautions regarding witnesses Gosney, [Deleted name] and [Deleted name].

Investigation at San Juan continuing. Further details

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to be furnished. Leads being left to the office of origin.

Armed and dangerous. Suicidal.

BT

Originally posted on May 18th, 2018.

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