[Editor’s note: This document was released both as a State Department cable as part of its 1981 FOIA release, and as Serial 382 of the FBI’s RYMUR release. The text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1978STATE299110_d.html.]
INFO OCT-01 ARA-15 ISO-00 CA-01 SCS-06 H-02 JUSE-00 FBIE-00 SSO-00 PPT-01 TRSE-00 /029 R
DRAFTED BY L/CA:RDALTON:VAB
APPROVED BY L/CA:RDALTON
——————083498 252343Z /12
O 252324Z NOV 78 ZFF4
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN NIACT IMMEDIATE
UNCLAS STATE 299110
SUBJECT: PROPERTY AND EVIDENCE
1. In assessing support required for mission as we approach end of search for remains, you shold [should] be aware of additional tasks that need to be peformed [performed] before military phase terminates.
2. As previously indicated, we have statutory consular duty with respect to effects of deceased citizens. Owing to unique situation in Guyana you need not accomplish 7 FAM inventories. You should, however, examine all property that appears to have been personal property of decedents and compile list of items you estimate to have or possibly have a value of 100.00 dols. or more. Depending on nature of property, it may be desirable to seek
PAGE 02 STATE 299110
concurrence of GOG [Government of Guyana] in selective repatriation of effects. This is matter on which we will be consulting with ward on his return from Jonestown. You should, of course, also take possession of any U.S. government property you find, such as additional passports, U.S. government checks, etc.
3. There is also property of People’s Temple, such as tractors, bulldozers, and generators, that it is not practicable to treat in same matter as property described para 2. You will probably wish to assist GOG in inventorying the property and possibly in assembling it in one area where it can be safeguarded by GOG officials or by persons hired for that purpose. Portable temple property of value, e.g. short wave radios and x-ray equipment, should be transferred to Georgetown for storage.
4. Dept of Justice has asked us to inform you that it would appreciate your securing following evidence prior to withdrawal of U.S. forces:
A) Sample of Kool Aide,
B) Sample of drugs,
C) Records or inventories of drugs,
D) Official photographs of drugs,
E) Records or inventories of firearms,
F) Official photographs of firearms, and
G) Official photographs of area of tragedy and of other subjects that might be of investigative value.
Christopher [Deputy Secretary of State Warren Christopher]