Serial 478

[Editor’s note: One of the subjects of this serial whose name is deleted is former Temple member Jim Cobb. The deleted information from the memorandum – designated by brackets – which is known to the editor has been indicated by red type.]

United States Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Memorandum
Date: 11/26/78
To: Mr. Moore
From: J. O. Ingram

Subject: RYMUR

DAILY SUMMARY 11/25 – 11/26/78

On 11/24/78, the U.S. Attorney, San Francisco, Mr. James Hunter, after receiving authorization from Deputy Attorney General [Benjamin] Civiletti and Deputy Assistant Attorney General (DAAG) Robert Keuch, authorized complaints which were filed and warrants issued at San Francisco for the arrest of Bob Kice, Tom Kice, Joe Wilson, Albert Touchette, Ron James, Eddie Crenshaw, Ron Tally [Talley], and Wesley Bridenbach [Breidenbach]. These individuals are charged with violation of Section 351, paragraphs a and d, Title 18, U.S. Code – Conspiracy to Commit Murder and Murder of a Congressman. These are magistrate warrants and all papers regarding the warrants were sealed and no publicity afforded. As of this time, we have restricted notification of this information to SAC, Columbia, as Charleston, South Carolina is to be the port of entry of the survivors, and also Memphis for their information, in view of interviews conducted of Mark Lane at Memphis. This decision by Deputy Assistant Director (DAD) James O. Ingram is to assure this data is on a need-to-know basis at this time.

Key witness [name deleted] [Jim Cobb], along with an Assistant U.S. Attorney and two Agents from San Francisco, are presently in Charleston, South Carolina. [Cobb] will attend the identification of the above persons by way of a two-way mirror to be installed. Prosecutive matters are to be further discussed between the U.S. Attorney in San Francisco and the U.S. Attorney for the District of South Carolina.

As of 12 Noon, 11/26/78, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Crisis Action Team has advised that the count of known dead is 912, with 80 survivors, several of whom are known to be in Trinidad. Concerning the survivors, the State Department has advised that the exact date for their release from Guyana to return to the United States has not been determined. However,

CONTINUED OVER

Memo to Mr. Moore
RE: RYMUR

tt is believed the earliest date for release of survivors will be Tuesday, 11/28/78, pending approval of the Guyanese Government. Aircraft which will transport these people are presently at the Charleston, South Carolina Air Force Base.

SAC, Colombia has advised that he has 38 Agents available to handle interviews and the possible arrests. Agents are on the scene as of 1:00 p.m., 11/26/78. Logistical problems at Charleston as they concern the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) have developed; however, these problems will be handled adequately by DAAG Keuch and officials of HEW, Washington, D.C.

DAD Conrad S. Banner, presently on location at the Dover, Delaware Military Mortuary, has advised that there has [have] been 22 positive identifications and a total of 478 bodies processed to date. On Noon, 11/27/78, there will be 35 pathologists on location to determine the identities of the victims. The pathologists do not intend to determine the cause of death and there will be no effort for autopsies. The autopsy issue was discussed with DAAG Keuch who advised he discussed the matter with Philip Heymann, AAG, and they agreed Federal Government has no criminal jurisdiction of bodies at Dover; no request from Guyanese authorities for autopsies and bodies appear too mutilated at this time for autopsies.

We have effected arrangements with the State Department and the Government of Trinidad for two of our Agents to fly to Trinidad to effect interviews of three known Peoples Temple members being detained in that country. In addition, through State Department and liaison with police authorities at Guyana, we have obtained a list of weapons and serial numbers that are known to have been in the Jonestown area, and these are being searched through NCIC [National Crime Information Center].

Peoples Temple Attorney Charles Garry, who was present during the shooting of Saturday, last, where Congressman Ryan was killed, was interviewed by the San Francisco Office on 11/24/78 and offered his cooperation. San Francisco is submitting results of the complete interview of Garry. Attorney Mark Lane, who was also present with Garry at the time of the shooting, has been interviewed. He expressed cooperation stating that he is completing a diary of the events in Guyana, after which he can more accurately talk to the FBI, and therefore he will be reinterviewed. Lane made reference to a burglary of his home, claiming the burglar was an employee of the FBI, at the time of his initial contact with the FBI. According to Lane, his information came from a CBS correspondent who identified [name withheld], white male, born [withheld] as the alleged burglar.

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Memo to Mr. Moore
RE: RYMUR

[Name withheld] was located at the Shelby County Jail where he has been incarcerated on bad check charges, 10/12/78. He denies contact or knowledge of Lane, the Reverend Jim Jones, or the Peoples Temple Church. He said on 11/23/78 his mother received a telephone call from a CBS newsman who indicated that [Name withheld]’s name was found along with some of the personal belongings of Reverend Jones in Guyana. He also received subsequent contact from a correspondent at ABC. [Name withheld] has no idea how his name became involved with the Reverend Jones. He recalls about two weeks ago a young female called the jail identifying herself as an employee of the Department of Human Resources. She asked if he would be willing to go to an attorney’s office in Memphis to take photographs. [Name withheld] replied that he could not do so because he was in jail.

Concerning the presence of additional FBI personnel in Guyana, DAAG Keuch has advised that in discussion with the State Department, it may be possible for us to send two or three Agents to go to Guyana to review 12 cabinets of records, as well as a tape recording believed to have been made at Jonestown during the last hour before the mass suicides, all of which are presently located at the American Embassy, Guyana. DAAG Keuch advised he would further pursue this with the State Department. Our liaison Agent at the JCS has further advised it is the intent of the military to ensure that any spokesmen of the survivors be HEW so that both the FBI and the military can properly fulfill their administrative and investigative responsibilities with as little interference from the news media as possible.

The U.S. Secret Service has advised by teletype that the agency has an investigation of the Peoples Temple and its members to determine the degree of danger which the group may present to protectees of the U.S. Secret Service.

The U.S. Attorney in Columbia is scheduling a press conference to discuss with the press the logistics of the arrival of the survivors and what will be expected in the press by way of cooperation in securing the interests of this Government.

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Originally posted on March 24th, 2019.

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