[Editor’s note: This FD-302 interview with Carol Houston Boyd – a member of the Concerned Relatives who accompanied Leo Ryan to Jonestown and who survived the attack at Port Kaituma – also appears as part 9 of Serial 1681, the FBI’s 387-page report of January 12, 1979. While the earlier version of the interview had more deletions than the later – designated by blue type – in neither interview was the subject identified. The deleted information which is known to the editor is indicated by red type.]
[In addition, an earlier version of this serial included a name which was deleted from this version. That name is designated by orange type. Finally, other information which remains withheld under the Freedom of Information Act has been denoted in green type.]
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Date of transcription 11/29/78
[Three lines of establishing identity of Carol Houston Boyd deleted] in Room 9, Ward E, Malcolm Grow Medical Center, Andrews Air Force Base, Camp Springs, Maryland, at approximately 10:30 PM on November 19, 1978. [Carol Boyd] who was a patient in this hospital, was informed of the identity of the contacting agents and was advised that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) would desire to interview her regarding any knowledge that she might possess concerning the assassination of Congressman Leo J. Ryan on Saturday, November 18, 1978, at Port Kaituma airport, Guyana, South America. [Carol Boyd] advised that she was present at the time Congressman Ryan was killed and that she would most willingly furnish information regarding this matter at this time.
[Carol Boyd] was a member of a group of concerned relatives headed by [name deleted] [Released at Serial 1681] Grace Stoen who went to the Jonestown, Guyana compound with the Ryan group in an effort to persuade relatives to return to the United States. She explained that [her father] Robert Houston, Sr., and Associated Press (AP) photographer, was a personal friend of Congressman Ryan. Mr. Houston’s son, Robert, Jr., had been a member of the Peoples Temple group from approximately 1969 until his death on October 5, 1976. Robert, Jr.’s mangled body was found during the early morning hours of October 5, 1976, lying on the railroad track roadbed in San Francisco, California. His death was listed as a train accident, however, [Released at Serial 1681] she and other family members believe that [Robert Houston, Jr.] may have been the victim of foul play by members of the Peoples Temple group. On October 2, 1976, he had telephoned his second wife, Joyce Shaw, advising her that he was leaving the Peoples Temple group. [Robert Houston, Jr.] had become a member of the group, which at that time called itself “Peoples Temple, Disciples of Christ”, in approximately 1969 when the group was located on a farm in Redwood Valley, California. During the period 1969 up until the time of his death, Robert had very little contact with his family while he was a member of this group.
Robert Houston, Jr., his first wife, Phyllis Houston, nee Tuttle, and their two daughters, Patricia and Judy Houston, had all been involved with the Peoples Temple group. Phyllis and the two girls had continued their affiliation with the movement after the death of Robert, Jr. The girls had been residing in the Jonestown settlement for the past 14 months. These girls, whose ages at this time would be 14 and 15, were the reason that the Houston family was quite concerned about their welfare. The girls’ mother, Phyllis, was allegedly in the San Francisco area during the week of November 5, 1978, because she telephonically contacted Robert Houston, Sr. inquiring if he and Mrs. Houston would desire to go to Jonestown, Guyana with her in December, 1978 so that they could see the two girls. Mr. Houston declined due to illness and told Phyllis that he would not be up to making the trip.
In regards to the trip to Guyana with Congressman Ryan’s group, [Carol Boyd] advised that the concerned relatives group left from California and flew to New York where they met with Congressman Ryan, Jackie Speiers [Speier], his aide, and a man named Jim (last name unknown) [Schollaert]. They thereafter flew to Georgetown, Guyana via Port-of-Spain.
The following concerned relatives were traveling with Ryan party:
Tim and Grace Stoen, former members of the Peoples Temple group
Claire Bouqueket [Clare Bouquet] (phonetic)
Mickey Touchette, former member
Mr. and Mrs. Howard Oliver (Mrs. Oliver was a former member)
Stephen and Anthony Katsaris (daughter Maria, age 23 or 24, was resident at Jonestown settlement)
It is also believed that Maria Katsaris was living with Jones.
Upon arrival at Georgetown, Ron Javers, a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle traveling with the group, was refused entry into the country and had to spend the night at the airport. Ryan intervened with the Guyanese authorities and Javers was admitted the following morning. Reservations, which they allegedly had at a local hotel, were not honored and the explanation given was that there was a convention. Congressman Ryan stayed in the US ambassador’s residence and the remainder found other accommodations. Congressman Ryan and a man from the embassy, Don Ellis [Doug Ellice], were negotiating with James Jones, the leader of the Peoples Temple group in Jonestown, to obtain entry into the Jonestown compound. On Friday evening, the group was told that they would be allowed to visit the compound. Jones had approved a representative number to meet with him at the Jonestown complex. Included in this group were Anthony Katsaris; Congressman Ryan; Jackie Speiers; a Guyanese information minister [Neville Annibourne]; Carol Boyd; Tim Reiterman, a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner; Beverly Oliver, a concerned relative; Don Harris, an NBC reporter; Robert Brown, an NBC cameraman; Greg Robinson, a photographer for the San Francisco Examiner; Richard Dwyer, Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy; and Steve Sung, NBC soundman. This group traveled from Georgetown via a charter airplane (Air Guyana), arriving at Port Kaituma Airport during the late afternoon of November 17, 1978.
At approximately 6:00 PM on November 17, 1978, a dump truck arrived and took the group approximately four miles from Port Kaituma to the entrance to the Jonestown compound where [Carol Boyd] was greeted by [her sister-in-law], Phyllis Houston. They were then taken to a large pavilion type structure where Congressman Ryan addressed the group and thanked them for allowing the delegation to come to Jonestown. They then had dinner and were entertained by a “talent” show. Congressman Ryan made a speech after the talent show and then the group was told that they would have to leave.
Charles Krause, a reporter for the Washington Post, Congressman Ryan and Jackie Speiers stayed overnight at the temple and the remainder of the party returned to Port Kaituma and stayed at “Mike’s Disco”, a local nightclub.
The next morning, Saturday, the 18th of November, the group was picked up at approximately 9:30 AM in the same dump truck and driven to the Jonestown compound. They were more or less on their own to mingle with relatives and talk to others as they wished. Phyllis Houston, the mother of Patricia and Judy Houston, however, made it a point to remain with the girls during [Carol Boyd]’s visit.
Mrs. Houston did allow girls to hear a tape prepared by their grandfather, Robert Houston, Sr. This tape was personal in nature and endeavored to encourage the girls to return to the United States. The girls responded to the tape by indicating how much they were enjoying their stay in Jonestown. The girls’ message was tape recorded to be returned by [Carol Boyd] [Released at Serial 1681] to her father. Mrs. Houston endeavored to obtain this tape from [Carol Boyd], however, she refused to surrender it to her.
After visiting at the Jonestown compound for several hours on November 18, 1978, [Carol Boyd] was informed by Jackie Speiers that some of the Jonestown people wanted to leave with the Ryan delegation. They were passing notes stating their desires to members of the delegation. Don Harris, NBC news reporter, was one of the persons who had received a note from one of the people who wanted to escape.
According to [Carol Boyd], those who made their desires known to Jones were given their passports and $5000 in Guyanese currency. As the delegation was preparing to depart Jonestown for the Port Kaituma Airport, additional Jonestown residents tried to get on, but there was not enough room. Congressman Ryan then decided to remain with the group that was left behind until they could be transported to the airport. The truck pulled out and there were some commotion in the group where Congressman Ryan was located. Don Harris left the truck and went back to see what the commotion was all about. Someone had tried to kill Ryan at the compound with a knife. The two lawyers, Mark Lane and Charles Gary [Garry], took the knife away from the assailant and it was decided at this time that Congressman Ryan should leave with the first group. The first group
included an individual identified as Larry Layton. Some of the departing Jonestown residents expressed apprehension about Layton’s presence inasmuch as he was an avowed Temple member. He was reportedly very close to Jones and was considered one of his trusted inner circle. When the group arrived at the airport, everyone got off the truck and all the baggage was removed from the truck. At this time, Congressman Ryan met with the news media and explained the commotion that took place inside the compound. A short time thereafter, a small plane arrived for the group. Larry Layton made a concerted effort to get on this plane. Jackie Speiers advised him that he was not one of the first individuals indicating a desire to leave Jonestown and accordingly, he would have to wait for the next plane. Layton then went to Congressman Ryan and apparently convinced him that he (Layton) would be the best source of information regarding the Jonestown group and accordingly, he should be allowed to leave immediately. Congressman Ryan then instructed that Layton be allowed to leave on the first plane. Layton was thereafter observed shaking hands with a group of spectators who had arrived at the airport, prior to boarding the plane. Because of fear of Layton’s true intentions, he had previously been searched prior to his shaking hands with spectators. At that time, no weapon was noted to be in possession of Layton.
Prior to the first plane departing, a second and larger plane arrived. Mrs. Oliver and [Mrs. Boyd] got on this plane. At this time, some of the Peoples Temple defectors said that members from the Temple who were at the airport had guns and were going to kill them. Larry Layton said they had to get the plane off the ground immediately. At this point, shooting started. Someone yelled “hit the dirt”. Both she and Mrs. Oliver were in the doorway of the second plane and both headed for the rear of the plane and got on the floor. Mrs. Oliver had been hit in the legs. Those who were standing in the doorway were shot by individuals on a tractor and flatbed, which appeared to be circling the plane. After the tractor left, they got off the plane and saw Anthony Katsaris, who was still alive, but who had been shot in the chest. They carried Jackie Speiers, who had multiple gunshot wounds, away from the plane. They knew that
the tires were shot out and the plane received numerous hits in the engine and compartment area. The next thing she remembers is running into the jungle and thereafter, observing the five seater plane taking off with the pilots and some crew members from the larger plane.
There were three or four Guyanese Army personnel located at the airport, camped out in the tent by a Guyanese Air Force plane which they were guarding. The Guyanese told them what to do relative to hiding out and the military personnel provided three stretchers. While they were rendering first aid to Jackie Speiers and Steve Sung, Larry Layton approach the group and he was told to leave by the others. Layton attempted to talk to the group, but they were fearful of him. Some of the group accused him of being involved in the shooting. At this point, at the direction of Guyanese people, the group decided to leave the injured members of Ryan’s group in the tent with the Guyanese Army personnel and the remainder would be taken into Guyanese homes in Port Kaituma. Mr. Dwyer and one of the members from Ryan’s group remained with the injured. When help arrived on the morning of November 19, 1978, [Carol Boyd] was informed of this by Mr. Dwyer or someone who had been at the airport. They thereafter went to the Port Kaituma Airport, boarded a Guyanese military aircraft and were flown to Georgetown. On the same date, she departed Georgetown, Guyana on a United States medevac aircraft, which brought her and several of the other members of the group to Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland.
[Carol Boyd] advised that she did not observe the shootings that took place at Port Kaituma and could not identify from personal knowledge any of the assailants. She explained that when the shooting began, she immediately concealed herself in the rear of the plane and did not exit the plane until after the shooting had ceased.
[Carol Boyd] expressed great fear of reprisals from the Peoples Temple organization, particularly in light of [Released at Serial 1681] her [word deleted] [Released at Serial 1681] relationship with Congressman Ryan and because [one line deleted] Jones and the Peoples Temple movement. She explained that from the conversations that she had had with various members of the
Peoples Temple group, indications were that in the event something happened to the group, they would take retaliatory actions against those persons responsible.
[Majority of paragraph describing Carol Boyd deleted]
[1 line deleted] Robert Houston, Jr. at the time of his death, can be contacted at the “Human Freedom Center, Berkeley, California”. This organization is headed by a Jeannie Mills and her husband, mostly for people who have “escaped” from the Peoples Temple organization.