Serial 198

[Editor’s note: The person of this serial whose name is deleted is former U.S. Embassy Consul Richard McCoy. The deleted information from the memorandum – designated by brackets – which is known to the editor has been indicated by red type.]


Washington, D. C. 20520

November 22, 1978


To: The Honorable
William H. Webster, Director
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Washington, D. C. 20535

Attn: Criminal Investigations Division

From: Karl D. Ackerman
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Security
Office of Security

Subject: Assassination of Congressman Leo Ryan

The FBI report of investigation translated in your message DTG 211752, November 1978 contain information concerning the assassination of Congressman Leo Ryan and interviews with members of the People’s Temple group which had recently returned from Guyana. Contained in the report was an allegation made by James COBB that the head of the People’s Temple, James JONES, had compromised a US Embassy official, [line deleted related to Richard McCoy, former Embassy consul in Georgetown]. The compromise allegedly took place as a result of a sexual relationship between People’s Temple member Paula Adams and our employee. Tape recordings of liaison are alleged to have been made.

[Mr. McCoy] is presently assigned to the US Department of State, Washington, D. C. and was interviewed concerning the allegations by members of the Department’s Office of Security. He executed a sworn statement denying the allegations and our initial analysis of the statement confirms his denial. We intend, however, to follow-up in this investigation with an interview of Paula ADAMS, the woman whom COBB identified as having compromised [McCoy]. Miss ADAMS is presently in custody in Georgetown, Guyana. The result of our investigation in this matter will be made available to the FBI upon request.




In addition to the allegations against the US official, the initial FBI report contained an allegation that a number of Guyanese officials had also been compromised by James JONES through sex or financial means. The Department of State considers this information to have serious foreign policy ramifications and its exposure could jeopardize our efforts to bring the People’s Temple incident to an orderly conclusion. It is the opinion of the Department’s Latin American Bureau than any reference to the possible compromise of Guyanese officials should be made in a classified mode in order to protect ongoing US interests in Guyana and that the original report of this information should be upgraded to Confidential.