Serial 858

[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.]

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
COMMUNICATION MESSAGE FORM

DATE: 12/5/78
CLASSIFICATION: UNCLAS E F T O
PRECEDENCE: IMMEDIATE

FM DIRECTOR FBI
TO FBI DALLAS PRIORITY
FBI HOUSTON PRIORITY
FBI LOS ANGELES PRIORITY
FBI MEMPHIS PRIORITY
FBI MIAMI IMMEDIATE
FBI BROOKLYN QUEENS MRA IMMEDIATE
FBI NEW YORK PRIORITY
FBI PORTLAND PRIORITY
FBI SACRAMENTO PRIORITY
FBI SAN FRANCISCO PRIORITY
BT
UNCLAS E F T O
RYMUR

FBIHQ review of reported information pertaining to Lawrence [Laurence] Eugene Schacht, alleged doctor of James Jones, Peoples Temple, and administrator poison during the mass suicide in

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Jonestown, Guyana, has resulted in the following questionable areas:

1. The complete identity of Lawrence Eugene Schacht.
2. What part, if any, of Schacht’s education was financed by the Peoples Temple?
3. Whether Schacht was in fact a medical doctor and whether he was licensed to practice.
4. The reasons behind Schacht’s joining the Peoples Temple.
5. What position did Schacht have in the Peoples Temple and whether he participated in or had knowledge of any contingency plans pertaining to “mass suicide” and/or associates of U.S. officials, specifically Congressman Ryan.
6. What Schacht’s participation in the mass suicide was including the acquisition of the poison, type of poison used, identity of those individuals providing medical assistance to Schacht to administer the poison, method used, and by whose direction.
7. The identity of any close associates of Schacht’s with whom he may have confided information pertaining to this

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investigation concerning the assassination of Congressman Ryan or any like reaction to congressional inquiries.
8. The identity of Becky (LNU) [last name unknown] who reportedly married Schacht at Jonestown, Guyana, location of her relatives and any information they may know.

A review of existing FBI HQ files concerning Lawrence Eugene Schacht, his relatives, and close associates reveals that he was reportedly born on 10/2/48 in Houston, Texas. His father is listed as Ezra Leonard Schacht, born in Stamford, Connecticut, on 6/6/19. His mother is listed as [name withheld], aka [information withheld], born in Houston, Texas on [date deleted]. He has one brother, [name deleted] [Daniel J. Schacht], born in Houston, Texas, on [date deleted], and a sister named [deleted] [Paula Schacht], born in Houston, Texas on [date deleted].

[Name deleted], according to Bureau file [number deleted], was a member of the Communist Party (CP) dating from 1944 and served on the state board of the CP of Texas, as well as secretary of Texas CP and a member of its executive committee. She was a SI subject of the Houston office

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and refused at various times to be interviewed by FBI agents. She was known to be affiliated with the CP as late as 1972.

Ezra Leonard Schacht, according to Bureau file 100-369419, was a member of the CP dating from 1946 and was known to be affiliated with the CP as late as 1967. He held no offices in the CP and according to information received was not as enthusiastic as his wife. In 1968 he telephonically complained to the Houston office that shotgun blasts were fired at his residence. He requested FBI assistance and was contacted by the Houston Division, and he displayed a friendly attitude. He was an SI subject of the Houston Division and refused to be interviewed by FBI agents concerning his CP affiliation.

[Name deleted] according to [name deleted] was a member of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) at various times, and associated with other leftist groups including the CP, and Student National Coordinating Committee. He was carried as a key activist of the Houston Division, [several lines deleted].

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[Name deleted] according to [name deleted], was a member of the Forbes Club, New York County, CPUSA. [Name deleted] was known to have participated in various CP activities as late as 1972.

[Name deleted] is reportedly an associate of Larry Schacht, joined the CP at the home of [Name deleted] in Houston, Texas, in 1966. He participated in CP activities in Houston, Chicago and New York until his resignation in 1968.

[Name deleted], in his application for the Peace Corps, lists as references Larry [Name deleted] Schacht. [Name deleted] was active in SDS activities at the University of Houston, Houston, Texas.

No main file is located concerning Lawrence Eugene Schacht and references reviewed indicated a report that Larry Schacht in February, 1972, had a serious drug problem and moved to San Jose, California, where the problem ceased. Previous information was received in 1966, that it was believed Larry [name deleted] Schacht were using marijuana and LSD.

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The names and field offices listed below represent the identities and location of individuals identified through media interviews and investigative results to possess information which may be pertinent in resolving the questions set out above. Receiving offices should conduct investigations set forth below unless deemed inappropriate based on previous investigation. Interview of additional individuals listed below, who may possess pertinent information concerning Lawrence Eugene Schacht should also be conducted.

Lead:

Dallas will, during the next opportunity, interview [name deleted] regarding the above and determine the feasibility of interviewing [name deleted] concerning the same information.

Houston continue efforts to locate and interview Ezra Leonard Schacht, [name deleted], [Daniel J. Schacht] and [Paula Schacht]. Also locate and interview former associate [name deleted], who resided at [address deleted], Houston, Texas, in 1972; and [name deleted], who in 1978 resided at [address deleted], Houston, Texas, and was employed in 1971 as owner of [information deleted],

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Houston, Texas.

Los Angeles (1) conduct appropriate investigation at the University of California, Irvine campus, where Lawrence Eugene Schacht reportedly received his medical degree in 1977. Los Angeles should note that Claire Leeds Wray, a spokeswoman for that school, reportedly confirmed Schacht’s attendance and graduation;

(2) Interview Stanley von den Hoort, Dean of medical school, University of California, Irvine campus, who reportedly was aware of Schacht’s involvement with the Peoples Temple and plans to become a missionary in South America; (3) conduct investigation of knowledgeable members of the Human Freedom Center (HFC), Encino, California, regarding any knowledge of Larry Schacht; and (4) interview [name deleted], daughter of [name deleted] and wife of [name deleted] who, according to San Francisco teletype 11/27/78 was assigned the task of determining the most expeditious and efficient means of administering a mass suicide. Los Angeles should note in their teletype 12/1/78 that [name deleted] is scheduled for interview in Ventura, California.

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Memphis, during the conduct of the next scheduled interview of Peoples Temple attorney Mark Lane, conduct appropriate interview concerning Lawrence Schacht.

Miami conduct appropriate inquiries of those Georgetown survivors returning through Miami.

Brooklyn Queens MRA will interview Sharon Rose Cobb, a.k.a. Sharon Swaney, w/f, DOB 5/31/48, who reportedly assisted Schacht in Guyana. It should be noted that Cobb’s whereabouts has not been determined, however, she was observed at Jonestown, Guyana, and may return among the other survivors. Also interview [name deleted], who reportedly was a teacher at Jonestown, escaped the suicide and has reported that Schacht prepared and administered the poison. [Name deleted] is scheduled to return with the other survivors.

Portland recontact [name deleted], who reportedly possesses a vast amount of information pertaining to Peoples Temple and Ruth Kerns reportedly one of three licensed nurses who assisted Jones.

Sacramento through contact with the California Bureau of Investigation and Identification determine available

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identifiable data regarding Larry Schacht. It should be noted Schacht’s body was identified through the assistance of that Bureau.

San Francisco (1) interview [name deleted], assistant Dean, San Francisco General Hospital intern program, where Lawrence Schacht interned in 1977; (2) reference Brooklyn Queens MRA teletype dated 12/3/78 concerning Julius and [name deleted] [Sandra] Evans. San Francisco should interview both of these survivors who were reportedly nurses in Jonestown; (3) reinterview [name deleted], a nurse associated with Peoples Temple; (4) attempt to interview [name deleted], former Peoples Temple member who is presently an official of HFC, Berkeley, California, and allegedly stated that Jones selected Lawrence Schacht as Jones’ doctor; (5) conduct appropriate investigation at the San Francisco General Hospital in 1977, where Schacht interned in 1977 and interview Dr. [name deleted], who reportedly was Schacht’s supervisor; (6) attempt through HFC, Berkeley, California, to interview [name deleted], who was aware of the Peoples Temple paying for Lawrence Schacht’s education and who attended school with him; (7) reference Columbia teletype dated 11/29/78 in

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which it was reported that [name deleted], HFC, Berkeley, California, is a cousin to Lawrence Schacht; (8) consider re-interview of San Francisco [name deleted] concerning Lawrence Schacht; (9) interview [name deleted] who, according to Portland teletype 11/22/78, was a former member of the Peoples Temple, knowledgeable of the hierarchy and can be located at [address deleted], California; and (10) attempt interview of [name deleted], HFC, Berkeley, California, who according to Portland was a very knowledgeable defector.

All offices report results to San Francisco and FBI HQ.

Armed and dangerous.

Suicidal tendencies.

BT

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Note:

Teletype sets forth background information on Lawrence Eugene Schacht and identifies individuals associated with the People Temple who may have information pertaining to Schacht. Appropriately leads being set forth.

Originally posted on May 3rd, 2019.

Last modified on November 30th, 2020.
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