Federal Bureau of Investigation
Date of transcription 12/12/78
Claire Elaine 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 she has been a member of the People’s Temple (PT) Christian Church since the summer of 1971. On January 1, 1972, she and her husband, Richard Mario Janaro, were placed in charge of a working ranch owned by the PT, at 2451 Road K, Redwood Valley, California. The purpose of the ranch was for taking care of mentally retarded children, and the building of a revenue fund for the PT, years later materialized in an agricultural project in Guyana. Janaro advised that during the spring of 1977 the PT came under a lot of criticism from former members, the news media, and a group called “Concerned Relatives”. Due to the public scrutiny undergone by the PT, Jim Jones, leader of the PT, ordered some documents and PT material, located at the Redwood Valley Ranch, to be burned and buried on the ranch property. Janaro advised that she does not now recall exactly what was contained in these papers and documents. She also advised that this incident not only took place at the Redwood Valley ranch, but also took place at the People’s Temple in San Francisco. She further advised, that she believed that a firearm belonging to her husband, Richard Janaro, was buried along with the burned documents she had previously referred to, on ranch property. She could not be specific as to the location on the property where these items were allegedly buried.
Janaro stated that while in San Francisco she was a “counselor” within the “Planning Commission” (PC), where she was helping PT members with personal problems. Janaro further advised that the PC eventually became ineffective as a decision-making body because often the members would argue among themselves during meetings. According to Janaro, the “secretarial staff” or “staff” were the “inner circle” of the PC and the closest individuals to Jim Jones and helping him administer PT affairs. Janaro has never heard of the term “hit man” or “Angels” mentioned as part of the PT structure. She “nevertheless” does not discount news media
accounts regarding “paid killers” within the PT. She stated that she did not have any information regarding this possibility; however, considering the mass suicide-murders at Jonestown as well as other, now seemingly unusual events, namely confessions signing of like pieces of paper and so forth, she believed the possibility existed. According to Janaro, prior to the PT moving to Guyana, plans were discussed of moving the Church to such places as Mexico, Canada, and Africa; however, all these plans did not seem to be as ideal as Guyana for the PT agricultural project. Janaro stated that these moves were contemplated because Jim Jones often made statements to the effect that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and United States Government were out to destroy the PT. Janaro also advised that these plans of moving, were at the time, contingent upon “they” continuing to call the PT socialists, communists, or if the “ghettos” in the United States “became concentration camps”.
While Jim Jones was in San Francisco, he often spoke of having “Mafia connections”, but Janaro and others always thought these remarks to be unfounded. She also advised that Jim Jones would have PT members write and sign confessions regarding immoral and illegal acts. Janaro felt compelled to follow instructions and therefore, she said others would comply with these instructions although it was generally felt that these confessions served no purpose and she thought it “was a farce”. She emphasized that the confessions she wrote and signed were completely untrue and imaginary stories which she wrote in order to comply with Jones’ instructions. Janaro also stated that she wrote statements alleging willingness to assassinate unrecalled public officials, including the President of the United States. Again she emphasized that she did this only to comply with instructions from Jim Jones and that she did not attribute importance to these statements. Blank pieces of paper were given to PT members, during meetings, to be signed and returned to the “staff”. To the best of her knowledge, these blank pieces of paper were later filled in by the “staff” with incriminating information concerning the signee; all these statements were given to “staff” members. Janaro believes that these incriminating statements were solicited from PT members in order to use these statements against them should these members leave the Church and later decide to cause problems
for the Church. Janaro believes that all the statements were burned and buried at the Temple in San Francisco during the spring of 1977 when the PT came under “attack” and public scrutiny in compliance with instructions from Jim Jones.
According to Janaro, there is a genuine list of PT membership, but she does not know where this list is kept or by whom.
Jim Jones often eluded [alluded] to suicide demonstrations while he was in San Francisco. Janaro advised that she had heard of these demonstrations, and that on one occasion she walked into the San Francisco PT in the middle of one of these demonstrations. She described this incident as many PT members drinking wine and immediately following the consumption of the wine, being told by Jim Jones that the wine had not contained poison and that that was merely a “test” to determine the member’s “loyalty”.
Janaro stated that when her children were in Jonestown and she was in San Francisco, she heard from friends, not further identified, that her children had been beaten at the camp. She stated that she immediately queried certain people, not further identified, concerning this allegation, but was told that this wasn’t true.
Janaro did not have any idea that anything would happen at Jonestown before, during, or after Congressman Ryan’s visit to the agricultural project. She did not have any information concerning any firearms training by PT members either in Jonestown or the United States. She did know certain PT members which were part of “security”. These individuals, according to Janaro, were responsible for the personal safety of Jim Jones when he traveled in California and abroad. These individuals also provided protection for PT members when they traveled by busloads to different areas of California as well as the United States, for varying reasons. She was not aware of any of these individuals ever having been armed. These individuals merely guarded PT members and properties during rallies and public appearances by PT members.
Immediately prior to Congressman Ryan’s visit to
Jonestown, Francis Carter, Tim Carter’s father, telephonically contacted the San Francisco PT and was making inquiries concerning Tim Carter’s whereabouts at the time. Some told Janaro that Tim Carter’s father had stated that Tim Carter had been in Boise, Idaho recently and was supposed to have had some dental work performed, but that he had left Boise en route to California without having the dental work performed. In connection with this, Janaro advised, that upon departure from San Francisco en route to Georgetown, [2 names deleted] gave her a coded message with instructions to give the message to Carolyn Layton, in Jonestown, upon Janaro’s arrival there. Janaro stated that she saw the message and that the message contained coded names and telephone numbers. She further advised that although she could not read the coded message, she assumed the message, in part, dealt with Tim Carter’s activities in California prior to Ryan’s trip to Guyana. Janaro mentioned that Tim Carter was known to have been in Oakland and San Francisco but had not gone to San Francisco PT while he was there.
Janaro arrived at Georgetown the same date that Congressman Ryan was murdered, November 18, 1978. She stated that when she arrived at Georgetown, she learned of the incident and was totally confused. In speaking with several unidentified PT members at Georgetown, she learned of the incident and became apprehensive concerning the coded message she had with her. Therefore, she gave the coded message to a Guyanese attorney, who she refused to identify, so that he would dispose of it as he saw fit. She stated that she did not want to be found with this coded message on her person by any Guyanese officials.
While in Georgetown, Janaro was told by friends, not further identified, that Joe Wilson, Bob Kice, Tom Kice, and Albert Touchette were on the trailer that was allegedly at the Jonestown [Port Kaituma] airstrip, and were responsible for firing at Congressman Ryan and his party when they were departing. She was also told that Tom Kice was the person responsible for shooting Mrs. Parks and her daughter Patty Parks, at the Jonestown airstrip. Mrs. Janaro refused to identify the source of her information at Georgetown. She also stated that she knows that Bob Kice, Ronnie James, and Joe Wilson were members of “security” at Jonestown.
Janaro furnished the following descriptions and information regarding PT members:
1. Joe Wilson: Black male, mid 20s, five feet ten inches, 170 pounds, wife: Leslie Jackary [Leslie Wilson and son Jakari Wilson].
2. Bob Kice: White male, wife: Renee, occupation: “walking” security: at Jonestown; described as impulsive and disturbed personality, with police record in California.
3. Tom Kice: White male, six feet two inches, 170 pounds, late 30s, cousin of Bob Kice; “gun carrying type”.
4. Albert Touchette: White male, mid-20s.
5. Ronnie James: Black male, mid 20s, five feet ten inches, member of security force, martial arts expert, possibly a PT basketball team member.
6. Don Sly: White male, late 30s, six feet four inches, 200 pounds; described as: susceptible and impulsive personality, but not known to be violent, ex-physical therapist at Mendocino, California; jail record in California; wife: Neva, son: Mark, age seventeen.
7. Harriet Randolph Tropp: “Advisor” at PT, Jonestown.
8. Michael Prokes: “Advisor” in Jonestown.
9. Teri Buford: White female, approximately 27 years, five feet six inches, 100 pounds, natural blonde hair. Was member of secretarial staff and very close to Jim Jones. Residing at PT, San Francisco.
10. Sandra Bradshaw: White female, early 30s, five feet six inches, 120 pounds, light brown hair, secretarial staff and coordinator. Familiar with situation in Guyana. Residing at PT, San Francisco.
11. Jean Brown: White female, mid 20s, short in height, blonde hair, supposedly an ex-school teacher, also secretarial staff and coordinator. Residing at PT, San Francisco.
12. Tom Adams: White male, early 30s, five feet nine inches, 160 pounds, PT radio license in his name, knew PT radio code, familiar with the situation in Guyana.
13. Paula Adams: White female, 27 to 28 years, ex-wife to Tom Adams. She supposedly was having relationship with high Guyanese government official. She was also secretarial staff member in Georgetown and coordinator there. Residing at “Lamaha House”, a PT facility, Georgetown, Guyana.
14. Deborah Touchette: White [Black] female, no other description, house coordinator in secretarial staff at Georgetown. Residing at “Lamaha House”, PT facility at Georgetown, Guyana.
15. Leona Collier: Black female, mid 40s, main coordinator at PT San Francisco; familiar with Guyana situation. Residing at PT, San Francisco.
16. Hugh [Hue] Fortson: Black male, late 20s, assistant minister, not ordained; has knowledge of PT San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Guyana communities.
Janaro did not have any immediate future plans. She advised that she and her husband were contemplating continuing on the “Albatross III” and operating the vessel as a business enterprise. She also stated that eventually she wanted to return to the United States if the United States Government was not against that.
Janaro advised that she had spoken with several PT members in San Francisco on Sunday evening, November 19, 1978. She specifically recalled speaking with [2 names deleted]. She stated that the conversation essentially dealt with what had taken place at Jonestown. Janaro was advised by PT members in San Francisco to return to San Francisco. She also stated that [2 names deleted] were afraid to speak on the telephone for fear of being overheard by unknown parties in the United States and Guyana, therefore the conversation was short. During the conversation, Janaro was told that some of the PT members who had been in the Temple had left. Janaro believed that based upon the information telephonically furnished there were approximately 25 people left in the PT, in San Francisco. Janaro refused to attribute specific portions of this conversation with particular individuals.
The following descriptive information was obtained as a result of observation and interview:
|Name:||Claire Elaine Janaro|
|Date of Birth:||February 21, 1939|
|Place of Birth:||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Weight:||Approximately 230 pounds|
|Last address in United States:||2451 K Road, Redwood Valley, California|