Serial 652

United States Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Memorandum
Date: 11/28/78
To: Mr. Moore
From: J. O. Ingram

Subject: RYMUR

Daily summary

[Name withheld], Legal Counsel, United States State Department, traveled to Guyana this date to meet with officials of Guyana in an effort to plead the cause for the FBI who still seeks to have Agents into Guyana in connection with the captioned matter. [Name withheld] will specifically attempt to seek approval from the Government of Guyana for the release of tape recordings and voluminous documents found at the Jonestown community. These items are currently stored at the American Embassy. [Name withheld] has advised that if the Government of Guyana will not allow the removal of these documents from the country, all items will be copied for the FBI prior to being turned over to local authorities.

Vernon Gosney, a member of the Peoples Temple (PT) who attempted to leave Jonestown with Congressman Ryan’s party and was critically wounded in the process, has been interviewed by FBI Agents at the Naval Hospital in Puerto Rico. Gosney is being interviewed for brief periods of time each day due to his physical condition, however, he has furnished the following information to date.

Members of the Jonestown camp were programed [programmed] to strictly obey Jones’ commands. Disciplinary action was taken by Jones for those who disobeyed including beatings, humiliation, and sedation by use of drugs. Interview also determined that a security squad was maintained by Jones and frequently received firearms training. The identities of members of the security force were furnished by Gosney and investigation is being continued to determine if these individuals participated in the killing of Congressman Ryan. Gosney identified Stanley Gieg as being the driver of the truck that transported Ryan and his group to the airstrip on the date of the shooting. Gosney stated that Gieg then

CONTINUED – OVER

Ingram to Moore Memorandum
RE: RYMUR

left the airstrip and returned on the tractor that contained the attackers. Gieg was seen with a weapon and engaged in shooting. It is not known if Gieg is alive. He is not one of those individuals for whom we have an arrest warrant. The information regarding Gieg has been furnished to the United States Attorney at San Francisco for his consideration. (A memorandum was previously submitted 11/28/78 detailing that Gosney furnished information that United States Senator John Stennis was on a hit list of the PT. Stennis and all appropriate agencies have been advised of this information.)

Arrangements have been completed for the sale of NBC news film to the Justice Department. NBC will be paid $1,300 for 13 hours of video tape that culminates with the actual shooting scene. The video tape was made by victim NBC photographer Bob Brown who continued to shoot film footage as he was shot. It is anticipated that the New York Office will secure these tapes and deliver them to FBI HQ in the near future.

The computer codes have been set for this investigation and it is anticipated that computerized printouts will be generated concerning this investigation within the next few days.

United States State Department has advised that seven elderly survivors of the Joneston community had been released by the Government of Guyana and will arrive at John F. Kennedy International Therefore, New York City, at 6:15 p.m., Eastern Standard Time on 11/29/78. The survivors will be transported aboard Pan American Flight 220. United States Secret Service (USSS) Headquarters has been advised of the above. Brooklyn Queens Metropolitan Resident Agency is handling the interview of the above repatrioting [repatriating] Americans in coordination locally with Secret Service, HEW, State Department, Customs, and Immigration Services.

A teletype has been received from Memphis detailing verbatim copy of a 49-page manuscript made available by Attorney Mark Lane purported to be Lane’s total knowledge of the facts in the captioned matter. Lane’s statement is being reviewed at FBI HQ and San Francisco. Upon completion of this review ASAC Richard Blay, Memphis Division, will be telephonically briefed and thereafter instructed to reinterview Lane in depth regarding his statement.

Ingram to Moore Memorandum
RE: RYMUR

The San Francisco Office has obtained from Charles Garry, attorney for the PT in San Francisco, a list of all PT members in the United States. San Francisco has also been given lists of “dangerous individuals” returning from Guyana. This list was furnished to San Francisco by Sherwin Harris, a PT member. Both lists are being forwarded to FBI HQ and both will be made available to USSS. San Francisco has been instructed to disseminate these lists locally to USSS at San Francisco.

Special investigative attention at this time is being given to identify all crime scene photographs taken by the media which may be of evidentiary value. The State Department has been asked to make available the pathology report concerning the autopsy of Congressman Ryan and which was conducted by local medical examiners in Guyana with the assistance of a United States Military Pathologist. State Department has advised that this report should be available to State Department from the Government of Guyana and thereafter available to the FBI within the next few days.

The disaster squad has positively identified the body of Dr. Lawrence [Laurence] Eugene Schacht, reportedly the doctor at Jonestown who prepared the Koolaide laced cyanide for the mass suicide. Investigation continues to determine if Dr. Schacht, who allegedly was a conspirator to the planning of the mass suicide, was also a conspirator to the planning of Congressman Ryan’s death.

The Government of Guyana has not given any positive indication to date when the remaining American survivors will be allowed to leave Guyana. This matter is being followed closely through our Legat and to State Department.

Investigation continuing.

Originally posted on April 14th, 2019.

Last modified on November 30th, 2020.
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