Serial 588

[Editor’s note: Several of the subjects whose names are deleted in this serial are known to the editor. Those notations have been indicated by red type. Other information which remains withheld under the Freedom of Information Act has been denoted in green type.]

0 291815Z NOV 78
FM NEW ORLEANS (89-184)
TO DIRECTOR FBI (89-4286) IMMEDIATE
MEMPHIS IMMEDIATE
SAN FRANCISCO (89-250) IMMEDIATE
BT
UNCLAS
RYMUR, 00: SAN FRANCISCO

Re New Orleans telcal to FBI HQ Command Center, Nov. 29, 1978.

New Orleans has interviewed [identifying information on Lou Gurvich].

Jann Elizabeth Gurvich, white female, DOB, Nov. 5, 1953, was one of the victims in the Jonestown, Guyana mass suicide. [Gurvich] is also [2 lines deleted of identifying information on Gurvich] following the early news reports of the mass suicide.

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[identifying information deleted on Jann Gurvich] was a schoolteacher for the Peoples Temple Christian Church at the Jonestown, Guyana commune. She had been in Guyana since August, 1977 and prior to that time she resided in San Francisco, California. [Lou Gurvich] believes that her last address was on Gary [Geary] Avenue, which apparently was an address for the Peoples Temple in the San Francisco area. He advised that he would try to confirm this specific address. He also furnished the address 1433 Hurst [Hearst] Avenue, Berkley [Berkeley], California, as being a former residence [information deleted]. Additionally he furnished the following telephone numbers as numbers at which [name deleted] could be contacted, home telephone [number deleted], office phone [number deleted] or [number deleted]. [Lou Gurvich] advised he thinks [Jann Gurvich] made long-distance telephone calls from San Francisco to other countries and charged them to his business phone. [identifying information on Lou Gurvich]. He was not sure of the specific calls, nor the dates, however, will attempt to obtain this information and furnish it to the New Orleans FBI.

When [Gurvich] traveled to Guyana, his first point of arrival was in Georgetown. There he met with [name deleted] (phonetic) an NBC affiliated reporter and [name deleted] the cameraman with [name deleted]. Together they met with Mark Lane an attorney who is well-known to the Bureau as a result of his publicity in connection with the JFK

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assassination, who was in Guyana doing some legal work for the Peoples Temple. Lane related to them details of the events immediately preceding the assassination of Congressman Leo J. Ryan in Guyana on Saturday, Nov. 18, 1978. Lane told [Gurvich] that he was at the Jonestown commune with attorney Charles Gary [Garry] who represents the Peoples Temple while Congressman [Ryan] was visiting that commune. Congressman Ryan had just concluded addressing the entire camp and was preparing to leave to return to the United States when he was assaulted by a Negro male whose name recalled by [Gurvich] was Don Sykes [Don Sly, a white male]. Sykes grabbed the congressman around the waist and held a knife to his throat. Sykes stated to the congressman, “I am going to kill you you MF”. The congressman’s reaction to this according to the way [Gurvich] related the story from Lane indicated that the congressmen thought it was a joke because of the warm reception he had just received from the large contingency of people in Jonestown. This assault allegedly occurred in full view of the vast majority of people at the commune. Sykes then tightened his grip on the congressman and pressed the knife closer to his throat. At this time, Lane and Charles Gary grabbed Don Sykes’ arm and a scuffle ensued in which Don Sykes cut a thumb. They were apparently successful in disarming Sykes. At this time, Larry Layton announced

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that he was going to leave the country with Congressman Ryan. There was apprehension among the other people who were formerly members of the Peoples Temple who were going to leave the country with Congressman Ryan because Layton was very close to Jim Jones the leader of the Peoples Temple and considered to be a hard core member of that group. Layton is alleged to have walked over and embraced Jim Jones in what appeared to be a goodbye gesture. Congressman Ryan and his group including Layton then left the Jonestown area by way of a land vehicle. Jim Jones supposedly told Mark Lane, “They are not going anywhere this is the end of all us including you”. Lane told [Gurvich] that he tried to talk Jim Jones out of doing anything of a foolish nature. Apparently Lane’s pleadings were to no avail. The details concerning the events which followed Congressman Ryan and his group leaving the camp and Jonestown were not known to Lane.

[Gurvich] also stated that while he was in the commune at Jonestown, he attempted to locate [information deleted] but was unable to. He then attempted to locate any information he could concerning [deleted name, likely Jann Gurvich] around the camp. [Gurvich] stated that in cabin Number 46 he found a roster of persons in the commune listed by job position. Attached to this roster, was an affidavit executed by Lisa P. Layton,

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a relative of Larry Layton (supra). [Gurvich] made the original of this affidavit available to Bureau agents. The affidavit relates how Lisa Layton, gave her daughter, Deborah Layton Blakey $4800 in U.S. currency upon her arrival in Guyana. She entrusted this money to her daughter to be placed in a bank account in Georgetown, Guyana in her, Lisa Layton’s name. The affidavit goes on to state that she eventually discovered through Maria Katsaris, who is alleged to have been Jim Jones’ paramour as well as the treasurer of the Peoples Temple commune that the bank account had not been established as she provided for. The affidavit concludes that Deborah Layton Blakey must have kept the money for her own use.

[Gurvich] stated that while he was in the Jonestown commune he heard from several unrecalled individuals that the mail going into and coming out of the Jonestown commune was censored by Peoples Temple members in the Georgetown Temple.

He also heard that following the congressman’s death, Maria Katsaris issued instructions that the money should be taken to the Soviet Embassy. According to [Gurvich], Mark Lane related information to him that the evening following the assassination of Congressman Ryan he, Lane, observed men carry what he described to be three footlockers into the jungle. These footlockers allegedly

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contained $3 million in U.S. currency.

[Lou Gurvich] received a letter from [Jann Gurvich] two days ago, dated Nov 12, 1978, and postmarked Nov. 18, 1978 from Georgetown, Guyana. This letter was characterized by [Lou Gurvich] to be very normal and similar to the other letters [Jann Gurvich] sent him. There was no mention made in this letter concerning the anticipated visit by Congressman Ryan. In the letter [Jann Gurvich] requested that [Lou Gurvich] contact her former optometrist [name deleted] and arrange for a new pair of glasses to be made and mailed to her. She requested that the glasses be mailed to Jean Brown, P.O. Box 15156, c/o G. Chaikin, San Francisco, California, 94115. [Jann Gurvich] explained in the letter that this was to avoid duty being paid on the glasses if they were mailed directly to her.

When [Lou Gurvich] traveled from Georgetown to Jonestown, he was in the company of Tim Jones, son of Jim Jones (supra) who is considered also to be a hard core member of the Peoples Temple. During their travel Tim Jones never made any statements to [Gurvich] relating to anything of a violent nature involving the Peoples Temple commune. [Gurvich] had no other information which related to any violence or receiving of firearms or firearms training in Guyana by the Peoples Temple.

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[Lou Gurvich] did not know whether [Jann Gurvich] has ever been fingerprinted in this country before. He did state that it is his understanding that all members of the Peoples Temple upon arrival in Guyana were fingerprinted by the Guyanese officials. [Lou Gurvich] stated that he has already obtained dental records on [Jann Gurvich] and forwarded them to the Air Force Base in Dover, Delaware. It is noted that [information deleted].

Memphis at Memphis. Will ensure that any interview with Mark Lane cover material mentioned above.

San Francisco, San Francisco, California. Will attempt to obtain toll records for the above-listed residential telephone number for [Jann Gurvich] as well as any toll records for the above mentioned office telephones which are believed to have been subscribed to by the Peoples Temple. San Francisco will also conduct investigation relating to the address furnished by [name deleted] at which he was to mail her new glasses. San Francisco will insure any interviews with attorney Charles Gary covers information mentioned in instant teletype. San Francisco will also attempt to determine the affiliation of [two deleted names] at NBC and set appropriate lead to have these individuals interviewed concerning the conversation with Mark Lane.

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New Orleans at New Orleans, La., will attempt to obtain copies of any long-distance toll calls charged to the business telephone of [Lou Gurvich] or his residential telephone number which may have been made by [Jann Gurvich] to foreign countries. New Orleans will also attempt to verify Jann Gurvich’s residential addresses in California prior to her leaving for Guyana. New Orleans will forward appropriate FD-302s to San Francisco, Memphis as well as the Bureau and other pertinent information collected during this investigation.

Armed and dangerous. Suicidal tendencies.

BT

Originally posted on April 13th, 2019.

Last modified on July 29th, 2022.
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