0 062110Z DEC 78
FM TAMPA (89-79) (P)
TO DIRECTOR (89-4286) PRIORITY
INDIANAPOLIS (89-181) PRIORITY
SAN FRANCISCO (89-250) PRIORITY
RYMUR, AFO (A).
Re Tampa telephone call to San Francisco, December 1, 1978.
On December 1, 1978, [name and address deleted]. Tampa, Florida, estranged wife of [name deleted], advised she and her husband had attended Peoples’ Temple (PT) in Indianapolis, Indiana, in late 1950’s or early 1960’s. She advised her contacts had been limited and, therefore, could furnish no information which had not already been reported by the news media, except that she had received a
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telephone call from one Ross Case, [address deleted], Ukiah, California, telephone [deleted], during which he told her that he believed he was on a PT “hit list” because of his continued opposition to Jim Jones. She also indicated that Russell Winberg (phonetic), an Indianapolis evangelist, would be knowledgeable regarding the PT finances during the time they were in Indianapolis.
[name deleted] stated she had appeared on radio talk show, 9 p.m. to 12 midnight, November 30, 1978, “Talk of Tampa Bay,” on station WDAE, Tampa, Fla., and had arranged for Case to be telephonically interviewed, which he was.
Case covered Jones’ activities fully, but did not mention the “hit list.”
Contact has been made with WDAE to obtain a copy of the tape of the aforementioned talk show, but the station legal staff still debating advisability of delivery without subpoena. Their decision is expected December 7, 1978, and San Francisco will be advised if subpoena required; otherwise, a copy of the tape will be forwarded. Ross Case noted during that radio show that he had been interviewed by the FBI, and it
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is suggested that radio tape be reviewed to ascertain if facts given in radio interview and Bureau interview are essentially the same.
On December 5, 1978, Elvin E. Faris, 5923 North Ola, Tampa, telephone 813-238-8366, a white male, born March 25, 1905, advised he is the brother of Helen Swinney. He had a very close relationship with her and her husband, Cleave, until 1965 when they (Helen and Cleave Swinney) disposed of all possessions and went to Ukiah, Calif., with Jim Jones and other of his followers. That move broke all family ties between Helen Swinney and her brothers and sisters. During the ensuing period, until 1975, Faris received only two telephone calls, one letter and one Christmas card from his sister, Helen Swinney. In late spring, 1975, he wrote Helen that he and his wife would be in Ukiah that summer. Helen responded that they would be leaving for Guyana in August, 1975. Helen and Cleave Swinney were visited in July, 1975, by Faris, his wife, Vada, white female, born November 10, 1912, and another sister, Mary Norris, 5190 Seale Road, Beaumont, Texas, telephone 713-842-1988. Helen and Cleave Swinney were
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found to be residing in the living quarters of a PT nursing home which they operated for the Temple. The home had 14 male patients, was clean, and seemingly well-maintained. At that time, Helen appeared happy, but definitely was a “changed person” in that she had developed a “vulgar mouth” and no longer believed in God or the Bible. She believed only in Jim Jones and had a picture of him in every room of the house. Faris noted Cleave Swinney had “looked bad” at that time and had indicated that he was recovering from an operation, type of which was never discussed.
While in Ukiah, Calif., Helen Swinney took them on a tour of the PT settlement and surrounding area, most of which she indicated was owned by the PT. The “Temple” itself was a very plain wood frame building which sat back from the road. Around it was a chain-link fence which had a gate at the front with a “guard shack” by it. There were several guards in the vicinity, and when their car stopped, the guards started towards it until Helen identified herself and told the guards it was “O.K.” She gave the definite impression that she was high in the organizational structure of the PT.
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Faris advised that the guards, previously mentioned, wore a definite uniform type garb, but he can no longer recall the description. He is also the under the impression that Helen’s son, his nephew, Tim Swinney, was one of the PT security force, although he does not ever recall seeing him in uniform. He also had the impression that Al Touchette, Helen’s grandson, was one of the gunmen who was on the wagon which went to the airport and killed the people and Congressman Ryan’s group. He advised he does not now know how or where this impression came from.
Faris noted Helen and Cleave Swinney had been of an “average” religious persuasion before Jones, but had abandoned their earlier beliefs after going with the Jones organization.
He further noted Charles Touchette had originally been strongly opposed to Jones as well as the Swinneys’ involvement with him. (Touchette is the husband of Joyce, nee Swinney.) Joyce Touchette visited her parents about 1966 or 1967 in spite of her husband’s opposition. She then stayed in Ukiah, Calif., and told Touchette that he could either join her or
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she would get a divorce. Touchette joined her at the PT settlement in Ukiah.
Faris made available photographs taken in July, 1975, of Helen and Cleave Swinney as well as their son, Marvin, and his wife, Jackie, who had also gone to California, but who has since left the PT and now reside somewhere in North or South Carolina.
Copies of the above photographs are being made and will be forwarded to the Bureau and San Francisco when available.
FD-302s to follow.
Armed and dangerous.