[Editor’s note: This document was released both as a State Department cable as part of its 1981 FOIA release, and as Serial 421 of the FBI’s RYMUR release.
[The State Department release of this cable included several deletions which are reflected in the RYMUR release.]
R 260335Z NOV 78
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8213
UNCLAS GEORGETOWN 3942
E.O. 11652: N/A
TAGS: CARR (BEIKMAN, CHARLES EDWARD)
SUBJECT: W/W [Whereabouts/Welfare] – Arrests: Charles Edward Beikman
REF: GEORGETOWN 3821
Followin[g] American Arrested:
1. Beikman, Charles Edward
3. August 13, 1935 Indianapolis Indiana
5. Has been in Guyana for almost five years. Only lived in Calpella (phonetic) [Capella], CA. Mr. Beikman cannot read or write.
6. Formally charged on Nov 25, 1978, although held since Thursday afternoon for questioning.
8. Murder (4 counts) attempted murder (1 count)
PAGE 02 GEORGE 03942 261122Z
9. Georgetown, Guyana
11. Dec 14, 19UI [likely 1978]
12. Life/life. Although execution by hanging as possible, prison officials have advised that since 1970 execution is not recommended except in cases involving the murder of a police or prison official.
[Paragraph 13 deleted]
14. Yes -to family friends and Congressman
[Paragraph 15 deleted]
16. Consoff [consular officer] advised by police officials prior to his arrest that he would probably be charged. Notified of his formal charging almost as soon as it was done.
17. Consoff saw subject prior to his arrest, before he was named by police as chief suspect. Personal visit made four hours after arraignment.
19. No mistreatment allegd [alleged]
PAGE 03 GEORGE 03942 261122Z
21. No plea entered yet
23. Beikman is accused of murdering Sharon Amos and her three children, and attempting to murder Stephaie [Stephanie] Jones, all members of the People’s Temple who were in Georgetown at the time of the mass suicide in Jonestown, Guyana.
24. Advisory opinion. Beikman said Department could notify next of kin of his arrest, but did not actually specified that he wished Department to do so. He indicated that he did not care one way or the other. Department’s opinion would be appreciated. For Department’s info: [deleted] son, Thomas Beikman, is here in Georgetown and is aware of his father’s arrest.
Burke [John Burke, U.S. Ambassador to Guyana]