Federal Bureau of Investigation
Date of transcription 12/1/78
Raymond D. Godshalk, passenger on Pan American flight number 228, was interviewed by Special Agent (SA) [name deleted], Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in the presence of SA [name deleted], United States Secret Service, and SA [name deleted], United States Customs Service, and furnished the following information:
Godshalk advised that he has been a member of the Peoples Temple Christian Church (PT) for ten years. He had left for Guyana from San Francisco on the latter part of September, 1978. However, he then was sent to Caracas, Venezuela, for one month in order to receive medical treatment and to have tests conducted for skin lesions. He returned to Georgetown, Guyana, on November 17, 1978, and stayed with approximately 46 other PT members in Georgetown’s main house, and had not been in Jonestown. Godshalk’s wife of 38 years, Viola, died in Guyana. He was able to leave Guyana because Guyanese officials allowed senior members of the PT to leave the country first.
Godshalk further advised that he had no knowledge of any written oaths signed by church members to kill a congressman, government official, or a former President of the United States should the United States bring disgrace upon the PT. Moreover, he did not know the identities of any persons who killed or conspired to kill Congressman Leo J. Ryan and his party. He only learned of the incident via what he heard on the radio or via news accounts since he and others were held incommunicado by the Guyanese government.
Godshalk did advise that he heard in Guyana that Don Sly, known to him also as “Ujara”, both in San Francisco and in Guyana, placed a knife to Congressman Ryan’s throat. He assumes that Sly is dead. Sly, whom
Godshalk knew for ten years, but had not seen for the last year, was described as a white male, 43 years of age, 6 feet 2 inches, 190 pounds, no moustache, sharp features, short brown hair, wore glasses, who had a violent temper. Sly previously resided in Willits, California, approximately 135 miles north of San Francisco, and was believed to have served in the United States Navy or Merchant Marine. He was separated from his wife, Neva. Sly’s duties in Guyana included dispatching buses and working as a mechanic on one of the sect’s boats. Sly also was assigned to lifeguard duty in Redwood City [Redwood Valley], California.
Godshalk knew some members of the PT’s Planning Commission, but the only name that came to his mind during the interview was Larry Layton. These members, according to Godshalk, kept to themselves, and he assumed most were now dead.
Godshalk had no knowledge of the acquisition, licensing, or shipment of weapons by PT members. However, he was aware that three or four members did have permits to carry weapons. He did have knowledge of a Security Unit, which was comprised of young males who were seen to patrol the premises, but whom he never saw armed. One was named Joe Wilson.
The PT basketball team was not known to him as a “hit team”. Godshalk advised that the team’s members were obnoxious teenagers and recalled the following by name:
Steven [Stephan] Jones
Male, 6 feet 3-4 inches, dark hair, moustache.
Reverend Jones’ natural son, presently under arrest in Georgetown, Guyana.
Jim Jones, Jr.
Male, 6 feet 4 inches, 19-20 years old.
Reverend Jones’ adopted son, presently under house arrest in Guyana.
Male white, 6 feet 1-2 inches, afro hair style, blond features.
Reverend Jones’ adopted son.
Johnny Cobb Jones
Male black, 6 feet.
Reverend Jones’ adopted son.
John Jones, Jr.
Presently in Guyana.
Godshalk also advised that he had no knowledge of any threats made to harm public officials as a result of exposing, infiltrating, or inducing a PT member to leave the PT, nor did he know of any “contingency plan” that would go into effect if Reverend Jones was arrested. Moreover, Godshalk was not aware of any suicide pact nor of other members called “Angels” or staff members who were characterized as “hit men”.
Former members of the PT known to Godshalk are the following:
Tim Stone [Stoen]
Attorney – practiced in San Francisco.
He was purportedly close to Reverend Jones and left the PT two years ago.
Grace Stone [Stoen]
Possibly Tim Stone’s ex-wife. Left the PT three years ago because she was “causing trouble.” She has a son, John John, who was in Jonestown, Guyana, when he was six years old, three years ago.
Left the PT six or seven years ago.
He has a brother, John Cobb, 20 years of age, who is still in Georgetown, Guyana.
Elmer Myrtle [Mertle] – 50 years of age
Resides in the Bay Area.
Former chemical engineer with Standard Oil Company.
He left the PT two years ago with his wife, Diana [Deanna], and his daughter.
Myrtle had been with the PT for five or six years.
Godshalk further advised that Dr. Lawrence Eugene Schact [Laurence Eugene Schacht] first came to the PT six or seven years ago when he (Schact) was “on drugs and way out”. Through the PT, Schact “straightened out” and obtained his medical degree. He was educated in Irvine, California and Mexico City or Guadalajara, Mexico. Godshalk saw Schact in Jonestown, Guyana, and appeared to him to be a dedicated doctor, helping people and working 16 hours a day. Godshalk further advised that he had no idea who administered or acquired any poison, nor was he aware if Schact was part of “contingency plans” in the event of Reverend Jones’ death or fall of the PT, including the death of Congressman Ryan.
Godshalk also advised that the only drugs he knew of were administered to the sick members by the medical
staff. He did not know of any drugs being produced by the PT, or of any being sent elsewhere outside of Guyana.
United States Customs Agent [name deleted] inquired regarding the following individuals and Godshalk advised as follows:
PT member for four or five years, presently in Georgetown. She was a funds coordinator.
Ex-PT member, left two years ago. He was last seen in Redwood Valley, California.
The following description of Godshalk was obtained from observation and interview:
|Name||Raymond D. Godshalk|
|Date of Birth||April 18, 1916|
|Place of Birth||Three Rivers, Michigan|
|Height||5 feet 10 Inches|
|Eyes||Blue, wears glasses|
|Social Security Account Number||555-07-4198|
|Passport Number||G 463558, United States, issued March 4, 1976.|
|Occupation||Retired – formerly a warehouseman for 12 years in Ukiah, California|
|Medical||Hard of hearing, suffers from skin lesions|
|Residence||[deleted], Montebello, California, (daughter’s residence)|
|Daughter||[name and address deleted], Montebello, California|
|Miscellaneous||Godshalk to reside with daughter for few days. Can be reached via Peoples Temple, San Francisco, California.|