Federal Bureau of Investigation
Date of transcription 12/6/78
Richard Mario Janaro, Fabiennes Guest House, Port of Spain, Trinidad, after being advised of the identity of the interviewing Agents and of the nature of the interview, furnished the following information:
Janaro advised he has been a member of the People’s Temple (PT) Church since the summer of 1971. On January 1, 1972, he and his wife, Claire Elaine Janaro, were placed in charge of a working ranch by Jim Jones, property of the PT at 2451 Road K, Redwood Valley, in the vicinity of Ukia [Ukiah], California; the purpose of the ranch being the building of a revenue fund for the PT that six years later materialized in an agricultural project in Guyana. Mr. Janaro departed for the settlement in Guyana on September 24, 1977, and was first assigned to the Georgetown camp where he did some public relations work and procured supplies for the agricultural project in Jonestown. Their son, Daren Richard, date of birth, May 1, 1964, place of birth, California, and daughter, Mauri K., date of birth, November 22, 1962, place of birth, California, had arrived in Guyana during the summer prior to his arrival.
Janaro later became a business agent for the vessel “Albatross III” operated by the PT. The vessel is of Panamanian registry and obtained by the PT through PT attorneys in San Francisco whose names are unknown to him. Janaro stated he was also unaware if the vessel is actually owned or leased by the PT, however, he advised that Dennis Rambaran of Georgetown, Guyana had owned the vessel previously. Regarding the function of the vessel, he indicated that it was both as a supply carrier for the PT settlement in Guyana and commercial trade shipping as a source of revenue for the PT.
According to Janaro, during one thirty-day period, he spent approximately $250,000 in supplies for PT camps in Guyana. Some money was made available by coordinators Debbie Touchette and Paula Adams. Also, money was made available through the Barclays Bank’s external accounts in Georgetown, Guyana and Port of Spain, Trinidad, allowing Guyanese dollars
to convert into Trinidad dollars.
Janaro advised that the “Albatross III” made its first trip for the PT from Port-of-Spain, Trinidad where it was delivered to Georgetown, Guyana during the end of May, 1978. Janaro was not aboard during that voyage. During that trip, the vessel was carrying approximately 300 tons of foodstuffs and construction materials. According to Janaro, the vessel traveled from Georgetown to Port Kaituma, Guyana on July 1, 1978, taking the supplies for the Jonestown camp and returned to Georgetown between July 7 and July 10, 1978, at which time it became disabled due to gearbox trouble and was not again operative until late October, 1978.
Janaro stated that the vessel departed Georgetown on November 1, 1978, en route to Port-of-Spain, Trinidad due to a previous contract agreement with the Lever Brothers Company for transportation of merchandise. Janaro further stated that, due to his position, he oversaw all of the vessel’s operations and that he never had any knowledge of any weapons being transported aboard the vessel. He described the “Albatross III” as a 131-foot long vessel with a 200 horsepower engine with a maximum speed of approximately six knots and a cargo capacity of 350 tons. The vessel carried a crew of eight people, only one of which was a PT member, who he identified as Philip Blakey, assistant engineer and a British subject. The following additional crew members were identified by Janaro:
|First Mate:||Albert Crawford|
|Chief engineer:||Stanley Gonzalez|
|Assistant engineer:||Philip Blakey|
|Cook:||Kishoor, LNU [last name unknown]|
Janaro advised that he had no specific knowledge of any trouble of any type would occur during
Congressman Ryan’s visit to Guyana, however, in his opinion, if the Congressman’s visit to Guyana was to determine which members wanted to leave the settlement, that would generate “uptightness” by Jim Jones and other PT members. Janaro also advised that he was in Trinidad two weeks before Congressman Ryan visited Guyana, therefore, he was not in a position to know what reactions PT members were having in Georgetown or Jonestown.
Janaro stated that he had no specific knowledge regarding the acquisition, shipment or any caching of weapons by PT members; however, [he] was aware of the fact that there were four unknown type weapons, licensed by the Guyanese Government, located at the Jonestown PT camp; the purpose of these weapons was never clearly defined, but they were used by PT numbers for hunting and possibly defense. There were also bows and arrows being used by PT members in Jonestown. Janaro assumed that all weapons were registered since the Guyanese Government was very strict about possession of weapons.
Janaro stated that he does not have any specific knowledge regarding any firearms training by PT members in the United States or Guyana. He admitted that while administrating the Redwood Valley Ranch, he had a .25 caliber Beretta in his possession. The weapon was registered in California and he was licensed to carry it because he occasionally carried large sums of money ($2000 to $3000) to or from the ranch. He occasionally shot the weapon at the ranch for familiarization purposes only. On one or two occasions, Don Sly, another PT member employed at the ranch, also shot a handgun for the same purpose on ranch property. Janaro does not know if Sly’s weapon was registered but assumed it was. The current whereabouts of the weapon are unknown. Janaro assumes it was destroyed and buried on ranch property along with PT papers and documents ordered destroyed by Jim Jones in 1977 after the PT came under public scrutiny.
Janaro was not aware of any specific threats to harm public officials or current and former PT members as a result of persons attempting to expose the PT, infiltrate the PT or inducing a member to leave the PT.
Janaro advised that he does not have specific knowledge regarding any contingency plans of the PT except that in the event that the PT Church was attacked or persecuted
by the United States Government or the news media, the PT would move to an unspecified foreign country. Janaro had no specific information regarding the inner core (“inner circle”) of the PT except for the fact that he admitted being a member of the Planning Commission and “counselor” during the time he and his wife Claire administered the Redwood Valley Ranch. He was familiar with the term “staff” or “secretaries” but not with the terms “Angels” or “hit men”. To him the term “staff” meant a small group of members having secretarial responsibilities and assisting in the administration of the PT. When queried regarding the identities and location of the “staff” workers, his wife, Claire Janaro, provided the information requested of him, which is contained in her interview.
Janaro advised that he never participated in any practice suicide drills where people pretended to drink a poison. He also stated he is unaware of the existence of an assassination squad or conspiratorial effort within the PT. Regarding the names of present or former members of the PT, he stated that he knew many people by sight but was unable to add to the names already provided by his wife.
Janaro stated that he and his wife remain undecided regarding future plans and/or travel to the United States. He expressed a desire to continue operation of the “Albatross III” as a business enterprise.
The following description of Janaro was obtained from observation and interview:
|Name:||Richard Mario Janaro|
|Date of Birth:||February 3, 1927|
|Place of Birth:||Bronx, New York|
|Address, prior to Guyana:||2451 Road K, Redwood Valley, California|