Serial 607

United States Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Memorandum
Date: 11/20/78
To: Mr. Moore
From: James O. Ingram

SUBJECT: UNSUB; LEO J. RYAN,
U.S. REPRESENTATIVE,
STATE OF CALIFORNIA – VICTIM
CONGRESSIONAL ASSASSINATION

On Sunday morning, 11/19/78, Assistant Director Moore telephonically contacted me inquiring whether I had any information that the FBI was currently investigating the Peoples Temple (PT), a sect from California. I advised that to my knowledge we have no investigation whatsoever of this group and certainly no domestic security investigation. I was aware of the fact that Congressman Ryan and others had been killed in Guyana according to news media. Mr. Moore asked me if I would contact Mr. Adams and handle this matter with him.

I contacted Mr. Adams, related that we had no information that this group was under investigation by the FBI and I would get in contact with Sunday Supervisor of Division 6, [name deleted]. In contact with [name deleted] he indicated he had been in touch with State Department and State Department had furnished background generally what was in the news media regarding the deaths. He said he did not have the opportunity as yet to review files and I told him I would dispatch Supervisor [name deleted] who handles international terrorism into the office. They could assess whether any additional information needed to be handled. I advised Mr. Adams that I felt three supervisors could adequately handle file reviews and handle any inquiries received from State Department on that date to assist U.S. State Department in whatever manner necessary.

[name deleted], Legal Counsel, U.S. State Department, phone [deleted] telephonically contacted me to inquire if the FBI would send FBI Agents to Guyana to assist in investigation of this matter. I told [name deleted] we did have two Legal Attaches in Caracas who handled matters

JOI: emb

CONTINUED – OVER

Memorandum to Mr. Moore
Re: UNSUB; LEO J. RYAN,
U.S. REPRESENTATIVE,
STATE OF CALIFORNIA – VICTIM

for the country of Guyana. He said he realized this matter at this point involved Americans against Americans in a foreign country, but their Deputy Chief of Mission [Richard Dwyer] had also been wounded and this could be a violation within the jurisdiction of the FBI. I told him that we would get in touch with the Department of Justice to determine what jurisdiction the FBI may have in this case since under the Protection of Foreign Officials I was not positive that the Deputy Chief of Mission assigned to Guyana by the U.S. State Department would fall under that category. I then contacted Section Chief Jean Gray, who advised that Bob Oglesby was in Caracas, but [name deleted] was on Home Leave in Miami.

Mr. Adams was telephonically contacted and the request of the State Department was discussed with him at which time it was agreed I would contact Deputy Assistant Attorney General Robert Keuch, Criminal Division, to advise him what we had. It is noted that in contact with [name deleted], he said he had been in touch with San Francisco and the San Francisco Office planned to interview some dissident members of the PT and an Assistant District Attorney, a Kevin Ford, indicated that the PT had a so-called hit squad and a contingency plan in the event their leader Jimmy Jones was ever arrested, then this squad would go into action to retaliate against high government officials.

Mr. Keuch was immediately contacted and it was pointed out to him that FBI Agents were in the process of interviewing some dissident members in San Francisco who desired to be contacted regarding the PT. It was a possibility that those members would furnish information that in the event of Jones’ death they had a contingency plan or hit squad formed to possibly attack high government officials. It was pointed out that we have no idea who killed Ryan or if it started in this country. We desired to know if we had jurisdiction. Specifically, we desired to know if we had authority under PFO, internationally protected persons or assaulting or killing a Congressman, particularly conspiracy, since the act did occur in a foreign country. If we did not have authority, would we have a problem sending Legal Attaches into that country. Mr. Keuch indicated he had followed that through the news media and it appeared to be Americans killing

CONTINUED – OVER

Memorandum to Mr. Moore
Re: UNSUB; LEO J. RYAN,
U.S. REPRESENTATIVE,
STATE OF CALIFORNIA – VICTIM

Americans in a foreign country and he could see no violation. He said research has been done in the past where American scientists [handwritten phrase] in foreign countries killed American scientists and there was no violation. Mr. Keuch stated as far as he could see he can see no violation of Federal law and even in the general conspiracy 371, but he would have this matter researched. He said he could see no jurisdiction. This information was passed on to Mr. Adams. This information was also relayed to [name deleted] indicating the Department was looking into this matter and he would be advised.

In the late afternoon 11/19/78 Keuch advised he had been in touch with Phil Heymann, Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division, and they could see no violation within the jurisdiction of the FBI. If we obtained information concerning a conspiracy in this country than they should be advised so they could review the results. I told him interviews were still being conducted and I did not know the details at this point. Mr. Keuch indicated that if Guyana officials request assistance of our Legal Attaches we should as a matter of cooperation send our Legal Attaches. This would be under Foreign Police Cooperation. It was pointed out that the State Department has indicated that there could be mass suicides at the present time and the entire matter is in complete disarray in view of the fact Jonestown where the violence took place is about a hundred miles from Georgetown where the American Embassy is located.

This information was relayed to Mr. Adams. The information regarding Legal Attaches was discussed with Section Chief Jean Gray, Intelligence Division, and he indicated there were no flights at the present time to Guyana and [name deleted] was in Miami, but both individuals would be alerted.

In contact with [name deleted], and [name deleted], they were reviewing their files regarding PT.

Mr. Keuch was contacted again at which time he indicated he still felt that based upon the facts at this point Protection of Foreign Officials or Congressional Assassination Statute [three handwritten words] did not apply but the Agents could proceed with their interviews in California and if information obtained re possible assassination then this matter should be discussed on 11/20/78.

Originally posted on April 13th, 2019.

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