Serial 517

United States Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Memorandum
Date: 11/24/78
To: Mr. Moore
From: J. O. Ingram

Subject: RYMUR

Conrad Banner, Deputy Assistant Director, Identification Division, in charge of the FBI Disaster Squad at Dover Air Force Base, Dover, Delaware advised Deputy Assistant Director Ingram telephonically on 11/24/78 that an Air Force employee examining the body of Reverend Jim Jones discovered a note. Banner stated this note was observed by him and was a handwritten note addressed to Jones “Dad” and more or less indicating he was tired of this world. Banner stated that an Air Force representative furnished this letter to [deleted name] State Department liaison who immediately had letter handcarried to State Department. I informed Banner the FBI should have seized this document as evidence. Banner indicated that everything is in motion to effect all other data found, but he had no idea that the State Department representative would immediately depart with the letter. I informed Banner we would handle this through the U.S. Department of Justice and the State Department to obtain the letter.

This matter was brought to the attention of Mike Abbell, Departmental Attorney, who immediately contacted John Bushnell, Deputy Secretary of State, and Bushnell advised this note would be promptly made available to the FBI upon receipt this date.

Supervisor [deleted name], the FBI’s representative at the Pentagon Task Force, contacted Ingram and advised that the letter was being delivered to him for immediate transportation to the FBI. I instructed [deleted name] to promptly deliver this letter to Bell Herndon at the Laboratory, who had been alerted. Mr. Herndon had document examiners standing by to process the letter.

End. (2)
JOI:hjs (9)

Continued – over

[deleted name], Laboratory, advised that the letter must be aerated over the weekend before any examination could be done in view of the fact the letter was “wet and at the putrid state.” It was agreed that the handwritten letter would be compared with the handwriting of Reverend Jones, and an examination for latents of Jones would be conducted. This letter to be preserved for future evidence. It is noted [deleted name] delivered this letter in a sealed envelope to Mr. [deleted name] period

Attached is a Bureau type version at this stage, the letter and a Xerox copy of the actual letter found on Jones’ body.

[Page 3]

Handwritten note on portion of lined notebook paper bearing following text:

Dad

Dad:

I see no way
out – I agree
with your decision –
I fear only that
without you the
world may not make it
to communism – Tish [handwritten notations “(Fish or Tish?)”

For my part – I
am more than
tired of this
wretched, merciless
planet & the hell
it holds for so
many masses of
beautiful people –
Thank you for the only life Ive known

[Photocopy follows]

Originally posted on March 26th, 2019.

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