Serial 1305-8

[Editor’s note: One of the subjects of this serial whose name is deleted is Walter Williams, who survived November 18, by being in Georgetown on the Jonestown basketball team. The deleted information from the memorandum – designated by brackets – which is known to the editor has been indicated by red type. In addition, many of the FBI interviews summarized in the FD-302s of the RYMUR investigation deleted the verb following the deleted name of the interview subject; most oftentimes, that word was “advised.”]


Federal Bureau of Investigation

Date of transcription 12/13/78

[Name deleted] [Walter Williams] was interviewed at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFKIA), Queens, New York (NY), upon his arrival on Pan American flight 228 from Georgetown, Guyana. [Name deleted] interviewed in the presence of Special Agent [Name deleted], United States Secret Service (USSS), and furnished the following information:

[Williams advised] his first encounter with the People’s Temple was when he was 19 years old and in trouble with the police. His mother [Name deleted], a member of the People’s Temple, brought him to the People’s Temple Headquarters in San Francisco to meet with her attorney, Eugene Chakin [Chaikin]. [Williams advised] on that occasion, he listened to Reverend Jim Jones speak at a meeting; however, at this point, he was not interested in becoming a member, so he returned to Los Angeles, California.

[Williams advised] in June, 1977, he moved to San Francisco, California, and became a member of the People’s Temple. He advised he was assigned a position on the security patrol which earned him $10 a week. His function was to guard the door and surrounding areas of the headquarters to make sure that only members entered the grounds. [Williams advised] he maintained this position for nearly three months, and then in August, 1977, he took a bus from San Francisco to Miami, where he boarded a plane to Georgetown, Guyana. He advised his fare was paid by the People’s Temple. Upon arrival, [Williams advised] he spent the first two nights at the People’s Temple Headquarters in Georgetown and the next four days he worked on the wooden boat “Lotti Sue.” He advised the People’s Temple also owned two other boats, “Cudjoe” and “Albatros”. These boats were used to transport supplies between Trinidad, Barbados and Georgetown, Guyana.

[Williams advised] after a week in Georgetown, he was transported to Jonestown. He was assigned to Cottage [number deleted] as his living quarters, which were shared with [line deleted]. He advised he was assigned working with [names deleted]

[Page 2]
BQ 89-495

[1/2 line deleted] after six months, he was reassigned to work on the security patrol. He stated his duties on security were to protect the livestock from being attacked by wild animals, protecting the camp from possible attack by outsiders, and searching for individuals who wandered away from the camp and were lost in the jungle. [Williams was] asked how would they protect themselves if attacked. [Williams advised] they would carry clubs and flashlights; however, he went on to say that they also carried shotguns at times. [Williams advised] all weapons were stored in Cottage 14, where Johnny Cobb resided; however, Tim Jones was responsible for the weapons. [Williams advised] other members of the security force that carried weapons and whether they were alive (A) or dead (D);

Joe Wilson (D)
[name deleted]
Garry [Gary] Johnson (D)
Mondo [Amondo] Griffith (D)
David Moten (D)
[2 names deleted]
Bob Kize [Kice] (D)
Billy Oliver (D)
[3 names deleted]

[Williams advised] Joe Wilson was in charge of the security force and was also the instructor in operation of the weapons. [Williams advised] Tom Grubbs, Guy Mitchell, and Mike Lund [Rozynko] were trained in the use of bow and arrows. He advised the only weapon he ever used was a shotgun. [Williams advised] to his knowledge, there was no assassination squad in Jonestown nor were there any plans to murder any officials from the United States (US), including Congressman Ryan. [Williams advised] the day Ryan was killed, he was in Georgetown with the Jonestown basketball team, which consisted of the following members:

Steven [Stephan] Jones
Jimmy Jones
Tim Jones
Johnny Cobb
Calvin Douglas
Burrell Wilson
Mark Cordell
Preston Wade
Cleveland Newell
Carol Burnett [Barnett]
Lee Ingram – Coach

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BQ 89-495

[Williams advised] approximately five days before the killing, Reverend Jones called Steven Jones in Georgetown to advise him that he wanted the team back in Jonestown and if they saw Ryan, they should not converse with him. Steven advised the Reverend that it was not necessary for the team to come back and in fact, they were staying where they were. [Williams advised] several days after the killing, he learned [several words deleted] that on the day Ryan was leaving Jonestown, Joe Wilson handed out weapons to Gary Johnson, Mondo Griffith, Danny Motten, Bob Kize and Billy Oliver, and advise them we have to stop him. [Williams advised] [name deleted] advised him that the Reverend was afraid Ryan learned many people were not happy at Jonestown and when he got back to the States, he may start an investigation of the activities there. [Williams advised] if Reverend Jones ordered Ryan killed or if Joe Wilson took it upon himself. [Williams advised] he was not aware of the term “Angels” and that it had nothing to do with the security force. [3 lines deleted] they were the closest members of the group with Reverend Jones.

[Williams advised] the remaining members of the security force have no plans to kill any survivors or defectors of the People’s Temple.

[Williams advised] he was aware of the individuals comprising the Planning Commission. [Williams advised] the members were as follows:

Karen Layton
Maria Karsaris [Katsaris]
Annie Moore
Ava Jones
Marceline (Reverend Jones’ wife)
Mike Prokes
Tim Carter
Johnny Cobb
Caroline [Carolyn] Layton
Sara Tropp

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BQ 89-495

[Williams advised] the above individuals would run Jonestown if anything happened to the Reverend or if he got arrested, they would form a plan to get him released. [Williams advised] the most important people on the Commission were Caroline Layton and Sara Tropp.

[Williams advised] he was familiar with the term “White Night”. He stated this was when Reverend Jones would get on the PA and order everyone to immediately go to the pavilion for a meeting. At these meetings, Reverend Jones would warn us that the FBI or CIA may attempt to arrest people at Jonestown and if they tried to take someone, they would have to deal with all of us. Reverend Jones would ask us if we were prepared to die and by what means we would prefer. At one of these meetings, we all practiced suicide by drinking punch and pretending it contained poison. We closed our eyes and fell to the ground. If you didn’t go along with these ideas, you would be called upon to explain why not. [Williams advised] some people tried to run away from Jonestown and it was up to the security force to find them. When they were found, they would be brought back to the camp hospital where they were treated for any bites or cuts they may have received in the jungle. [Williams was] not aware of these people being punished for running away, although he stated some individuals were punished if they crossed the Reverend. [Williams advised] while in the hospital, you were treated by Doctor Larry Schact [Schacht]. He advised he knew Schact received his education in the US and that his assistance in Jonestown were Dale Parks and his wife, Annie Moore, Diane Louie, Ruby Johnson, and Judy Ijimes [Ijames] (phonetic). He stated he knew that cyanide was contained in the hospital and that he heard on the day of the suicide, Joyce Touchette helped mix the poison.

[Williams advised] he knew the individuals having access to the radio room. He stated that several people worked in the radio room, including Karen Layton, Sara Tropp, Mike Prokes, Sandy Jones, Lee Ingram and Paula Adams. He advised they were the main individuals that operated the radio, although other people had access to the radio room.

[Page 5]
BQ 89-495

[Williams advised] to his knowledge, there were no definite plans to relocate the People’s Temple if something happened in Jonestown; however, he advised that possibly Russia, Cuba or Brazil had all been mentioned as possible new locations. He thought it might be Russia, as there were two representatives from Russia visiting Jonestown recently; however, it would be just a guess on his part, although in school, the children were being taught Russian by Don Jackson.

[Williams advised] being in security force did not mean you got any special considerations. For the most part, you ate the same food everyone else did and you lived by the same rules of the camp as the other individuals. [Williams advised] only Reverend Jones’ sons and the people closest to him got special treatment in regards to what they ate and what they could do. [Williams advised] being on security was just a job that he was assigned to and that he never hurt or mistreated anyone in Jonestown. He further advised that if the basketball team was in Jonestown, the suicide would not have taken place because Steven Jones would have talked his father out of such an idea. [Williams advised] the day of the suicide, he didn’t know for a fact, however, he believed some of the individuals were forced to take the poison or they would have been shot. He didn’t know who did the shooting; however, he felt that it was probably the same individuals that killed the congressman.

[3 lines deleted] and could be reached there if it be necessary in the future.

Through interview and observation, the following information was obtained [about Williams]:

[Editor’s note: Balance of page 5 and entirety of pages six and seven providing physical description, residence, education, marital status, and relations, all deleted.]