Serial 2178

United States Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Memorandum

Date: 5/7/79

To: Mr. D. W. Moore, Jr.
From: W. D. Gow

Subject: RYMUR

PURPOSE: To enter into the Bureau file autopsy reports on certain victims of the incident at Jonestown, Guyana.

RECOMMENDATION: That this memo and attachments be entered into the Bureau file in captioned case.

DETAILS: Attached hereto are the original of autopsy reports furnished by the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology on the following victims of the Jonestown, Guyana, incident.

1. James Warren Jones
2. Maria Katsaris
3. Ann Elizabeth Moore
4. William Richard Castillo
5. Violet [Violatt] Esther Dillard
6. Carolyn Layton Moore [Carolyn Louise Moore Layton]
7. Lawrence Eugene Schacht

Copies of the reports for Maria Katsaris, Ann Elizabeth Moore and Carolyn Layton Moore were provided to next of kin at their request. Also for filing is a copy of a receipt signed by Fielding McGehee, next of kin for the Moores who was provided copies of their reports.

Above for filing purposes.

[Page 2 – photocopy of manila file folder]

[Page 3]

April 27, 1979

This certifies that on the above date, Supervisor [name deleted], FBI Headquarters, delivered two copies of autopsy reports prepared by the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology for the remains of Carolyn Moore Layton and Ann E. Moore to me.

Fielding McGehee

[Page 4]

Armed Forces Institute of Pathology
Washington, DC 20306

Mr. Arthur Norton
General Litigation and Legal Advisory Division
Criminal Division
Department of Justice
Federal Triangle Bldg. – Room 510
315 – 9th Street, NW
Washington, DC

Dear Sir:

Attached please find the original and one copy of the architecture report on each of seven autopsies requested by the FBI and Department of Justice, and performed by members of the AFIP staff on selected Guyana victims.

In a general summation, two deaths were due to gunshot wounds to the head at close range and cannot be further defined as to the mode of infliction. In two of the autopsies cyanide was identified, one of the two also having a gunshot wound of the head. Various other drugs and non-lethal amounts were determined. With no other demonstrable cause, coupled with Dr. Mootoo’s (the Medical Examiner for Guyana) demonstration of cyanide in the stomach contents of 65 victims on site, it must be presumed that cyanide poisoning is the mode of death in the other individuals whether through coercion or self ingestion. Cyanide is a very transient drug at best and under the circumstances may have volatilized even without the further complication of embalming prior to toxicology analysis. Extensive efforts to demonstrate cyanide, its byproducts or expected compound as a result of interaction with embalming fluid, were to no avail in a definitive cause of death.

Requests have been received from the next of kin for copies of the autopsy reports on Maria Katsaris and the two sisters, Ann Elizabeth Moore and Carolyn (Moore) Layton. Copies of the requests are attached. With special reference to the Moore request, 1. and 2. are accomplished. No. 3 is part of the permanent record with our file and FBI. No. 4 – no tapes were made during the procedure and the autopsy report constitutes the only document. Mr. Bruce Dozier of the Department of State also requests an information copy for their files.

The AFIP will refer any future requests to your office. We would

[Page 5 of serial, page 2 of letter]

recommend that, in consideration of the remaining families, the dissemination of this information, except in the general form alluded to in previous paragraphs, be very limited.

William R. Cowan
Colonel, USAF, MC
Deputy Director

[Page 6 – Letter on First United Methodist Church, Reno letterhead]

December 7, 1978

We request and authorize the physician in attendance at the Dover Air Force Base, Dover, Delaware, to perform a complete autopsy on the remains of Carolyn Moore Layton, and Ann E. Moore. We understand that a complete autopsy may include an examination of the head, eyes, spinal cord, chest, abdomen, and extremities. We authorize removal and retention or use for diagnostic, scientific or therapeutic purpose of such organs, tissues, and parts as such physicians deem proper.

We withdraw our request for the presence of an independent pathologist during the autopsies.

We represent that we are the parents of Carolyn Moore Layton, and Ann E. Moore, legal next of kin of the deceased and entitled by law to control the disposition of the remains.

A list of conditions of the autopsies is attached.

/s/Barbara C. Moore
/s/ John V Moore

[Names are two Special Agents of FBI deleted]

[Page 7 – Letter on First United Methodist Church, Reno letterhead]

December 7, 1978

Conditions for granting permission and authorization for autopsies for Carolyn Moore Layton, and Ann E. Moore

1. A written report of the pathologists’ autopsies shall be given us.
2. The report shall state how the identifications were made of Carolyn Moore Layton and Ann E. Moore, and what records were used in making these identifications.
3. When the reports are released, they shall include all records used in identification
4. If a tape is made during the autopsies, we shall have access to the tape.

/s/Barbara C. Moore
/s/ John V Moore

[Names are two Special Agents of FBI deleted]

[page 8 – letter on Trinity School for Children letterhead]

January 5, 1979

Colonel William R. Cowan
Deputy Director
Armed Forces Institute of Pathology
Washington, DC 20306

Dear Colonel Cowan:

I am the father of Maria S. Katsaris who died in Jonestown, Guyana on November 18, 1978. Pursuant to our telephone conversation of January 4, 1979 I am requesting a copy of the findings of the autopsy performed on her.

I understand this will be available in about one month and express to you my appreciation for your help.

Sincerely,
/s/ Steven A. Katsaris

[pages 9 – 14 is autopsy report of Carolyn Moore Layton]

[pages 15 – 21 is autopsy report of Ann Elizabeth Moore]

[pages 22 – 28 is autopsy report of James Warren Jones]

[pages 29 – 34 is autopsy report of Laurence Eugene Schacht]

[pages 35 – 39 is autopsy report of William Richard Castillo]

[pages 40 – 44 is autopsy report of Violatt Esther Dillard]

Originally posted on November 4th, 2018.

Skip to main content