[Editor’s note: This document was released both as a State Department cable as part of its 1981 FOIA release, and as Serial 535 of the FBI’s RYMUR release. The text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1978STATE301288_d.html.
[Both the State Department and the FBI withheld one name from this cable. It is denoted below in red type.]
INFO OCT-01 ISO-00 L-03 SCS-06 FBIE-00 PA-02 ICAE-00 /027 R
DRAFTED BY ARA:RWZIMMERMAN:MJT
APPROVED BY ARA:JABUSHNELL
——————116876 282158Z /70
O 282128Z NOV 78
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN IMMEDIATE
UNCLAS STATE 301288
E.O. 11652: N/A
TAGS: CASC, OREP (RYAN, LEO) GY
SUBJECT: NOTE FOUND ON JONES’ BODY
1. Following is text of article entitled “Woman Apparently Wrote Jones Note” which appeared Washington Post November 28, credited to Los Angeles Times.
2. Quote: The FBI seeking to quell speculation that a note found on the body of Peoples Temple leader Jim Jones was his crucial dying declaration, yesterday released the text, which indicated it was written to him by a woman follower.
The note found on Jones’ body Friday by an airman at Dover Air Force Base, Del. indicated that the writer agreed with Jones’ decision for a mass suicide.
In releasing the note the FBI cautioned that the person who wrote it could not be positively identified until additional writing samples from Jones and other
possible authors were obtained. The text of the note read: “Dad: I see no way out–agree with your decision–I feel only that without you the world may not make it to communism. (Name deleted) [Tish Leroy]
“For my part–I am more than tired of this wretched, merciless planet and the hell it holds for so many masses of beautiful people–Thank you for the only life I’ve known.’
The note, written on a folded sheet of lined loose-leaf notebook paper carried what appeared to be a signature at the end of the first sentence.
The FBI deleted that name, but it was learned that it was an unusual, feminine given name, no last name included.
The second part of the note carried no signature. Sources familiar with the investigation said the FBI had not yet determined whether the apparent signer of the note is still alive or was among the more than 900 bodies recovered from the mass suicide-murder ritual in Guyana November 18.
The FBI is known to be seeking samples of Jones’s handwriting in San Francisco and in Guyana. More than one sample, preferably written under different conditions of stress, is needed to achieve the kind of comparison and contrast required for positive handwriting identification. Unquote
Vance [Cyrus Vance, Secretary of State]