[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.]
United States Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation
To: Mr. Moore
From: J. O. Ingram
Identification of the Dead
The Disaster Squad, FBI Identification Division, has completed their work and returned to Headquarters from Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. During the late evening hours of 11/29/78, film of the Guyanese Government Immigration fingerprints were delivered, and Identification Division has advised that they are legible and suitable for comparison purposes. The actual matching process started at Noon, this date, and by COB [close of business] 12/1/78 Identification Division anticipates having a great many of the deceased identified. To date, 46 persons have been positively identified. It is noted that four rolls of film were found in the pockets of an unknown deceased. The rolls of film were delivered to Headquarters and processed. They are scenes of Congressman Ryan and his party at Jonestown prior to the assassination. The prints are of excellent quality and would be suitable for witnesses knowledgeable with members of the Peoples Temple to place names on individuals depicted in the photographs.
Return of Survivors
On 11/29/78, seven survivors arrived from Georgetown at John F. Kennedy Airport, New York, en route to final destinations in California. These persons were all elderly, the youngest being born in 1917, and the eldest in 1899. The survivors were interviewed by our Agents and by Secret Service Agents. Two of the survivors were at Jonestown during the massacre. One Hyacinth Thrash slept through the entire massacre. The second, Grover Davis, slipped out of the suicide circle and hid in a cave in the jungle. These elderly individuals all stated that they were separated from the ruling cadre of the Peoples Temple and were used as a labor force. Each month they signed their
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Social Security checks over to the Peoples Temple. These individuals confirmed that in October, 1978, Jones was visited by a representative of the Soviet Embassy who spoke to Peoples Temple members and told them that he liked Jonestown. The elderly people furnished information about the leaders and bodyguards in the Peoples Temple, and this information corroborates statements we have received from other witnesses as to who Peoples Temple leaders were and as to the violence utilized to control the people. None of the survivors were able to give any details concerning contingency plans to kill high government officials or concerning a plot to kill Congressman Ryan. The survivors are going to be interviewed in more detail when they are settled at their permanent residences in California. Because of their age and various infirmities and the limited time available before they caught connecting flights, the interviews had to be somewhat limited.
Investigation in Guyana
On 11/30/78, a team of four Special Agent personnel left FBI HQ in route to Georgetown. They arrive at that location at 11:30 p.m., this date. Their purpose there is to assist Guyanese authorities with various technical aspects of this investigation, and if possible to review records and conduct interviews at the American Embassy. The American Ambassador has stated, and we have been advised by State Department, that no active investigation by the FBI personnel will be allowed in Guyana. Instructions have been cabled to Legat, Robert Oglesby to telephonically contact the Command Post at FBI HQ twice each day to summarize developments in Guyana and to receive any requests and instructions from Headquarters. No announcement has been made as to when any other survivors will be released by Guyanese authorities. State Department has furnished us a letter from [name deleted] [Mary Ann Casanova] officially requesting that she, her 15-year-old daughter [name deleted] [Dianne Scheid] and her 18-year-old retarded son [name deleted], be allowed to remain in Guyana. This letter was acknowledged by Mason, an American Vice Counsel. No new charges have been placed by Guyanese authorities against any of the suspects remaining in Guyana. Guyanese authorities have furnished us a copy of the autopsy report and death certificate for Congressman Ryan.
Investigation in United States
Investigation concerning members of this cult is continuing. Many interviews have been held with relatives of
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members in Guyana and with former members who left the Peoples Temple over the past few years. Interviewees included the in-laws of Reverend Jim Jones. Almost without exception, the interviews characterize the Peoples Temple as being a group that changed from a socially-oriented religious group to a cult of fanatics controlled by fear and violence. Most of the interviewees spoke of death threats and retaliation for leaving the Peoples Temple. Many of the interviewees had heard plans to kill various high officials if the Peoples Temple was bothered, but none could document that such a plan was written or in fact was stated policy. There are hundreds of leads outstanding to conduct various interviews in most of the states in this country. It is felt that by approximately Wednesday of next week, we should have a comprehensive picture of the activities of this Temple and will have interviewed most people involved with this cult. It is noted that as of this date, remaining members of the Temple at San Francisco have refused to submit to interview.
Mark Lane Interview
Attorney Mark Lane on 11/27/78, furnished a manuscript of 49 pages, which is a statement concerning events in Guyana. Lane set forth in detail events which occurred from the time he arrived through his wandering out of the jungle the day following the assassination and mass suicide. While many adjectives are used in the statement and while Lane pictures himself as “a hero,” it is nonetheless apparent that in many instances he has accurately portrayed the events as they occurred. Lane has agreed that the FBI should review this document, formulate questions concerning the events, and then sit down with Lane for a detailed interview as to his observations. The Agents interviewing Lane said that he is outwardly very cooperative with them, but has announced his intention of writing a book concerning the events in Guyana. Lane also places much of the blame for this tragedy on Peoples Temple Attorney Charles E. Garry. Garry, of course, on interview and in public statements, places blame for this tragedy on Lane. There are contradictions and discrepancies in the statements given by the two attorneys which will have to be cleared up by further interview, and in all probability by appearances before a Federal Grand Jury. It is noted that Lane’s analysis of the violence advocated by this cult, of their plans, and of their potential danger to others, is corroborated by interviews with survivors and with former cult members. The Secret Service is participating in the interviews of Lane and in the interviews of many witnesses in this entire investigation.
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At the request of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), survivors and former Peoples Temple members when interviewed are being questioned concerning the possibility of the Peoples Temple Guyanian [Guyanese] operation engaging in commercial drug trafficking. Four questions were provided by DEA to be asked. These are being effected, and to date there is absolutely no indication that the Peoples Temple was engaged in any type of commercial drug trafficking.