Serial 1068-4


Federal Bureau of Investigation

Date of transcription 12/1/78

Grover Davis was interviewed in the presence of Special Agent (SA) [name deleted], United States (US) Secret Service, and SA [name deleted], US Customs, aboard Pan-American flight 228 at Kennedy Airport, Queens, New York (NY), upon Davis’ arrival from Guyana. Davis furnished the following information:

Davis advised that he has been a member of the Peoples Temple (PT) Church for seven years, and that he has been living at the Jonestown commune since early October, 1978. Davis stated that he signed over his monthly pension check to the PT. At the commune, Davis’ job was to tear up strips of rags to stuff dolls that were made there.

Davis denied any knowledge of a plan to assassinate any high government officials. Davis knew of no plans being made if something should happen to Reverend Jones or the PT Church. Davis denied knowledge of a suicide pact.

Davis stated that at the commune, the people were not allowed to talk to each other unless they were working together. Davis stated that at the commune you could not write back home to anyone. Davis stated that Reverend Jones told the people that there was no use leaving because they could not find any place better. Reverend Jones kept reassuring people that everything would be fine.

Davis advised that there were a lot of guards around the commune to keep strangers out. Davis stated that he never saw any guns until the Guyanese soldiers were stacking them up at the commune.

NY 89A-495

Davis stated that Reverend Jones would not talk over commune business or plans with all the people living at the commune. Reverend Jones would only talk to a close group of younger commune members. These members include Joe Wilson and Jim MacAbain (phonetic) [McElvane] who are dead; Tim Jones, Reverend Jones’ son with an almost white complexion; Don Sly, a white male, mid-40’s, 6 feet, light brown hair, clean shaven. Davis did not know whether Sly was dead or alive.

Davis stated that he was not aware of anyone at the commune called “Angels”, “hit men”, or “the inner core”. Davis stated that the “basketball team” was a basketball team that played basketball. Both Jones’ sons and Sly were members.

Davis advised that he never signed any oath or made an oath to the church. Davis stated that every time he attended church in the United States, he had to sign a piece of paper. Davis stated that the paper was blank.

Davis had no knowledge of any bank accounts, and stated that he thought the PT Church funds were spent on buildings at the commune and large equipment.

Davis denied knowledge of the use of narcotics by occupants of the PT commune.

Dennis advised that in mid-October a Russian came to the commune. This unknown individual spoke briefly to the people, and stated he was pleased with the commune. Davis stated that this individual could not speak English very well. Davis stated that Reverend Jones often talked of going to Russia to live.

Davis advised that Dr. Lawrence Eugene Schact [Laurence Eugene Schacht] was the commune physician, and that he took x-rays at the camp.

NY 89A-495

The only ex-members of the PT Church that Davis could recall are Jim and Grace Stone (phonetic)  [Tim and Grace Stoen], whereabouts unknown.

Davis advised that Saturday, November 18, 1978, when the people who accompanied “Senator Ryan” to the plane returned to the commune and told Reverend Jones that “Senator Ryan” was dead, Jones told them “You know I was against that kind of thing”. About 4:00 or 5:00 o’clock, Reverend Jones stated “I can’t go on”, and asked his people who wanted to take the “shot”. Davis saw some hypodermic needles. Davis stated that he was standing behind Reverend Jones in back of an organ. Davis hid behind the organ. Davis advised that he escaped and hid in a cave.

At this point, the interview had to be terminated in order that Davis could be taken to a connecting flight to San Francisco, California.

The following description of Grover Davis was obtained through observation and interview:

Sex Male
Race Black
Date of Birth November 22, 1899
Place of Birth Milam (phonetic), Texas
Height Five feet, five inches
Weight 150 pounds
Social Security Number 449-03-8758
Hair Black, receding hairline
Son [name deleted]
  Address unknown
  Telephone [deleted]
  Employed with [deleted]
Passport Number G 188637, issued August 23, 1976
Originally posted on August 13th, 2019.

Last modified on November 30th, 2020.
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